Ellen Cormier at Dial has acquired, at auction, debut author Isaac Fitzsimons's The Passing Playbook, and an untitled second project. The #OwnVoices YA contemporary novel features a queer, biracial, transgender protagonist fighting for his rights and falling in love for the first time on the soccer field. When Spencer is benched due to the "F" on his birth certificate, he has to make a choice: cheer from the sidelines or fight the ruling even though it would mean coming out to everyone, including the conservative Christian teammate he's falling for. Publication is set for summer 2020; Jordan Hamessley at New Leaf Literary negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Nancy Siscoe at Knopf has bought, in a preempt, sister-brother author duo Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina's first co-written novel, The Things She's Seen. A crossover thriller with a supernatural twist, the story features two Aboriginal girls who uncover long-buried crimes in a remote Australian town and expose a dark history of violence against women, police corruption, and systemic cultural oppression. Publication is planned for summer 2019; Katelyn Detweiler at Jill Grinberg Literary Management brokered the deal for North American rights on behalf of Tara Wynne at Curtis Brown Australia.
Mary Kate Castellani at Bloomsbury has acquired, at auction, Alex Richards's Accidental, about a 16-year-old girl who learns that she shot and killed her own mother with her father's gun when she was just two years old; now she must choose whether to trust her dad, who has suddenly popped back into her life, or the grandparents who raised her but lied the whole time. Publication is scheduled for spring 2020; Lauren Galit at the LKG Agency did the two-book deal for world rights.
Kat Brzozowski at Swoon Reads has bought Tiana Smith's new contemporary YA novel, Not Up for Debate. Pitched as You've Got Mailmeets high school speech and debate, the book follows two rivals who find themselves exchanging anonymous letters. Soon their friendly notes turn into something more, but their competitive natures put everything at risk. Publication is slated for winter 2020; Eric Smith at P.S. Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Hannah Smith at Owl Hollow Press has acquired Nameless author and Teen Author Boot Camp co-founder Jennifer Jenkins's Teen Writer's Guide: A Road Map to Writing, a teen-targeted writing guide. Publication is set for 2020; Jenkins represented herself in the deal for world English rights.
Andrea Colvin at Lion Forge/Caracal has bought world rights to Brenna Thummler's Delicates and a second untitled original graphic novel. Delicates follows the adventures of 14-year-old Marjorie as she runs her family laundromat and navigates the increasingly complex friendship dynamics that come with getting older, while her ghost friend Wendell laments his inability to grow up. Publication is planned for 2020; Hannah Mann at Writers House brokered the two-book deal.
David Saylor and Megan Peace at Scholastic/Graphix have acquired, at auction, North American rights to Nat Enough, a debut middle-grade graphic novel series by cartoonist Maria Scrivan. In the story, Natalie is dropped by her best friend, bullied by her classmates, and convinced that she's just not enough—smart enough, pretty enough, cool enough—for middle school. Publication for both books is scheduled for 2020; Gillian MacKenzie and Allison Devereux at MacKenzie Wolf handled the two-book deal.
Gina Gagliano at Random House Graphic has bought Sophie Escabasse's middle-grade graphic novel trilogy, The Witches of Brooklyn, the story of a girl who comes to live with her great-aunts in Brooklyn—and finds out that they're witches. As she adjusts to her new home, she also gains magical powers of her own. Publication is slated for 2020; Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown sold world rights.
Alyssa Miele at HarperCollins has acquired, at auction, What Happens Next by debut author Claire Swinarski. The middle grade novel follows star-obsessed Abby as she navigates her older sister's eating disorder, a wave of tourists overtaking her small Wisconsin town to watch a total eclipse, and a friendship with a world-famous astronomer who is after the same buried treasure that she is. Publication is set for summer 2020; Alexander Slater at Trident Media Group negotiated the two-book deal for North American rights.
Justin Chanda at Simon & Schuster has bought Spencer's New Pet by Jessie Sima, author-illustrator of Not Quite Narwhal and Harriet Gets Carried Away. The quirky story features a boy with a unique pet: a balloon animal. Spencer's New Pet is planned for summer 2019, with two more picture books, Jules Versus the Ocean and an untitled book, to follow in 2020 and 2021, respectively; Thao Le at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.
Sasha Henriques at Little, Brown/Patterson has acquired author-illustrator Jomike Tejido's debut picture book, There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Book, about a mother who encounters classic fairy tale characters while on a quest to find her lost children. Publication is slated for January 2020; Mela Bolinao at MB Artists represented the author-illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Liz Kossnar at Simon & Schuster has bought Jasper & Ollie author-illustrator Alex Willan's Unicorns Are the Worst, about Gilbert the goblin who is none too pleased when the offending creatures move in next door, until a turn of events forces him to reevaluate his bias. Publication is scheduled for spring 2020; Lori Kilkelly at LK Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
Margaret Ferguson at Holiday House/Ferguson has acquired author-illustrator John Hare's debut picture book, Field Trip to the Moon, about a school field trip to the moon. Publication is set for spring 2019; Kendra Marcus at Book Stop Literary represented the author-illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Susan Kochan at Putnam has bought world rights, in a three-book preempt, to Ivy and Bean author Annie Barrows's The Best Of Iggy, first in a middle grade series about a bunch of things Iggy did the year he was nine, and they're all bad (he's not sorry about most, but is really, really sorry about one). Sam Ricks will illustrate; publication is planned for spring 2020. Liza Dawson at Liza Dawson Associates represented the author, and Minju Chang at BookStop Literary Agency represented the artist.
Yasemin Uçar at Kids Can has acquired world rights to Sherry J. Lee's (l.) Going Up!, illustrated by Charlene Chua, a picture book about a child who joins her neighbors as they gather in an elevator on their way to a party on the top floor. Publication is scheduled for spring 2020; the author represented herself, and Tracy Marchini at BookEnds represented the illustrator.
Sarah Shumway at Bloomsbury has bought world rights to Adam Lehrhaupt's (l.) picture book, Sloth Went, about a young sloth who heeds the call of adventure (and nature) to boldly and ever so slowly descend from his tree for a special reason. Animator Benson Shum will illustrate; publication is slated for spring 2020. Alexandra Penfold at Upstart Crow Literary represented the author, and Teresa Kietlinski represented the illustrator.
Eliza Berkowitz at Sterling Children's Books has acquired world rights to Invent-a-Pet by Vicky Fang (l.), illustrated by Tidawan Thaipinnarong. Pitched as Dear Zoo meets Ada Twist, Scientist, the STEM-based picture book introduces basic coding concepts as a girl programs a mysterious machine in a quest to develop the perfect pet. Publication is set for spring 2020; Rachael Stein will edit. Elizabeth Bennett at Transatlantic Literary Agency represented the author, and Gary Swift at Lemonade Illustration Agency represented the illustrator.
Stephanie Stein at HarperTeen has acquired Star Daughter and an untitled YA novel by Shveta Thakrar. The contemporary YA fantasy inspired by Hindu mythology follows a half-mortal/half-star girl who must win a celestial competition to save her human father's life. Publication is planned for summer 2020; Beth Phelan at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Gina Gagliano at Random House Graphic has bought Jessi Zabarsky's YA graphic novel Witchlight. After a tempestuous first meeting, Sanja and Lelek begin to travel together and uncover the magical secrets in Lelek's past—but as the two girls grow closer, does the past have all the answers they need to build a future together? Publication is slated for 2020; Judy Hansen at Hansen Literary sold world rights.
Katherine Harrison at Knopf has acquired Suzanne Daniel's debut novel, A Girl in Three Parts, in which a girl grapples with questions of identity, loyalty, and family against the backdrop of the women's liberation movement in 1970s Australia. Publication is scheduled for spring 2020; Catherine Drayton at InkWell Management brokered the deal for North American and Australian rights.
Ann Rider at HMH has bought The Rembrandt Conspiracy by Deron Hicks, a middle grade mystery. Arthur, the son of an art conservator, and his friend Camille suspect that plans are afoot to steal some of the most important portraits in the entire world. The problem is that no one believes them. Publication is set for fall 2020; Steven Chudney at the Chudney Agency handled the deal for world English rights.
Jenne Abramowitz at Scholastic has acquired world rights to The Oglethorpe Effect by Keith Calabrese, a middle grade novel about human connection, filled with cardamom shortages, artificial intelligence, a very angry clown, and coincidences that really aren't. Publication is planned for 2020; Emily Mitchell at Wernick & Pratt represented the author.
Amy Fitzgerald at Lerner/Carolrhoda has bought Elizabeth Atkinson's middle grade novel Fly Back, Agnes Moon. Reeling from her parents' divorce and her best friend's sudden abandonment, 12-year-old Agnes invents a new identity for herself—new name, new background, new confidence—until some unlikely friends make her rethink who she really wants to be. Publication is scheduled for spring 2020; Susie Cohen at PearlCo Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Nancy Inteli at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Loren Long (Otis; Love), a take on the classic Christmas poem. Publication is slated for fall 2020; Steven Malk at Writers House brokered the deal on behalf of the illustrator.
Tracy Mack at Scholastic Press has bought, in an exclusive submission, two picture books by debut author-illustrator Sam Wedelich. The first book is a retelling of “Chicken Little,” in which the heroine, Chicken, is the voice of reason and scientific inquiry when her panicked pals insist the sky is falling. The first book is set for 2020, to be followed by a second, currently untitled project in 2021; Molly O'Neill at Root Literary did the two-book deal for world rights.
Yasemin Uçar at Kids Can has acquired illustrator Charlene Chua's author-illustrator debut, Hug, a picture book about a girl who finds herself giving hug after hug after hug until, all of a sudden, she's had enough. Publication is planned for fall 2020; Tracy Marchini at BookEnds negotiated the deal for world rights.
Asia Citro at Innovation Press has bought debut author-illustrator and SCBWI's Don Freeman work-in-progress grant recipient Jaimie Whitbread's debut picture book, A Tiger Without Stripes, a modern fable that explores the universal struggle of self-acceptance. Publication is scheduled for spring 2020; Jamie Weiss Chilton at Andrea Brown Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Kate Fletcher at Candlewick has acquired Hope Lim's (l.) new picture book, I Am a Bird, a story about overcoming a fear of the unknown and discovering an unexpected kindred spirit, told through the changing perspective of a girl towards a stranger she passes every day on her ride to school. Hyewon Yum will illustrate; publication is slated for fall 2020. Tanusri Prasanna at Foundry Literary + Media represented the author, and Sean McCarthy at Sean McCarthy Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Carol Hinz at Lerner has bought world rights to Dictionary for a Better World, co-written by Irene Latham (l.) and Charles Waters (Can I Touch Your Hair?), and illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini. The power of words is celebrated in A–Z entries that include poetry, memoir, and action steps to empower, educate, and inspire readers to make the world a better place. The book is set for spring 2020; Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio represented the co-authors, and the illustrator represented herself.
Meredith Mundy and Suzy Capozzi at Sterling Children's Books have acquired world rights to Tammi Sauer's (l.) Mary Had a Little Plan, about an irrepressible girl who transforms a rundown lot in her neighborhood, with the power of love and imagination and a little help from some nursery rhyme friends; and Mary Had a Little Jam, in which the girl convinces her friends to be in a jam band, but the music is cacophonous and she has to figure out how to help them make music together. Vanessa Brantley-Newton will illustrate; publication is planned for fall 2021 and fall 2022, respectively. Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Lori Nowicki at Painted Words represented the illustrator in the two-book deal.