Matt Martz at Crooked Lane Books has acquired world rights to Lily Sparks's debut YA thriller, Teen Killers Club, in the publisher's first YA acquisition. Falsely convicted of her best friend Rose's brutal murder and facing a lifetime behind bars, 17-year-old goth girl Signal Deere signs on for a secret program in which 18-and-under killers are trained as government assassins at an abandoned sleepaway camp. Signal is determined to escape and find the real killer, but she didn't plan on the sinister technologies that keep the campers confined, and she certainly never planned on falling in love. Sparks is a television writer, whose recent projects include Reign and the Heathers reboot. Publication is planned for 2019; Stacia Decker of Dunow, Carlson & Lerner did the deal.
Arianne Lewin at Putnam has preempted, in a two-book deal, Curses by YA author Lish McBride, author of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer. The new book is a gender-swapped retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” that looks at fairytale gifts and curses—and how the two are sometimes indistinguishable. Publication is set for summer 2020; Jason Anthony at Massie & McQuilkin brokered the deal for world rights.
Phoebe Yeh at Crown has bought Kelly J. Baptist's Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero. Inspired by the award-winning story in Flying Lessons & Other Stories, the middle grade novel follows Isaiah's misadventures as the new man of the family. Publication is slated for summer 2020; Gabrielle Barnes at Diction Media Group handled the deal for world rights.
Mark Siegel at First Second has acquired Call Me Iggy, Jorge Aguirre (l.) and Rafael Rosado's middle grade graphic novel about Iggy, a Colombian-American teen who gets help from his grandparent's ghosts to win over his crush. Publication is scheduled for 2021; Tanya McKinnon at McKinnon McIntyre negotiated the deal for world rights.
Allyn Johnston at S&S/Beach Lane has bought world rights to Roly Poly, a picture book about a polar bear-sibling rivalry by Mem Fox (l.), illustrated by Jane Dyer, who are reuniting for the first time since their bestselling 1993 picture book Time for Bed. Publication is planned for fall 2019; Jenny Darling at Jenny Darling & Associates represented the author, and Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown Ltd. represented the artist.
Rotem Moscovich at Disney-Hyperion has acquired world rights to Audrey Vernick’s picture book Scarlet's Tale, the quirky story of a girl embracing her (very obvious) unique characteristic with the help of some enthusiastic friends. Jarvis will illustrate; publication is set for summer 2020. Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Arabella Stein at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Lynne Polvino at Clarion has bought, in a preempt, world rights to Speak Up, a picture book by Miranda Paul (l.). The picture book encourages kids to take action, from shouting out gratitude to challenging a rule that isn't fair, and shows that, when something really matters, one voice can make a difference. Ebony Glenn will illustrate; publication is slated for spring 2020. The author represented herself and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator in the two-book deal.
Neal Porter at Holiday House/Neal Porter Books has acquired world rights to Just a Story, a picture book written and illustrated by Jeff Mack, in which a young reader comes upon an alluring book. As he reads, he becomes blissfully unaware of increasingly odd and outlandish occurrences looming all around him. Publication is scheduled for fall 2020; Rubin Pfeffer at Rubin Pfeffer Content represented the author-illustrator.
Valerie Wire at Scholastic has bought, in an exclusive submission, North American rights to I Am Doug the Pug, featuring Leslie Mosier's Instagram celebrity Doug the Pug (3.6 million followers). The book, which contains photos, memes, costumes, and more, is planned for publication in fall 2019; Melissa Edwards at Stonesong brokered the deal.
Lee Wade at Random House/Schwartz & Wade has acquired Fern and Henry: Explorers of Stories, written and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin. The book features two animal friends who enter a storybook world to find a new story to tell. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Steven Malk at Writers House negotiated the deal for world rights.
Christianne Jones at Capstone has bought Lance Cottonwood Is Afraid to Fall by Stef Wade, a picture book that follows Lance, a leaf student who is the best in his class, but is afraid of his final exam: falling. Publication is scheduled for fall 2020; Christa Heschke at McIntosh and Otis represented the author in the deal for world rights.
Julie Bliven at Charlesbridge has acquired world rights to Nancy Raines Day's (l.) Baby's Opposites, a picture book that follows baby from morning until bedtime, through a busy day of discovering basic opposites. Rahele Jomepour Bell will illustrate; publication is planned for fall 2020. Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Christy Tugeau Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Tom Peterson at the Creative Company has acquired world rights to Me + Tree by Alexandria Giardino (l.), illustrated by Anna and Elena Balbusso (Make the Earth Your Companion), a picture book about a tree and the girl who see its story as she tells her own story of hope. Publication is set for fall 2020; the author represented herself, and Justin Rucker at Shannon Associates represented the illustrators.
Charlotte Wenger at Page Street Kids has bought world rights to Candy Wellins's (l.) debut picture book, George & Stella, a story that celebrates the love between George and his grandmother and his new baby sister, both named Stella. Charlie Eve Ryan will illustrate. Publication is slated for spring 2020; Erzsi Deak at Hen&ink Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Debra Dorfman at Scholastic has acquired actor and activist Alyssa Milano's debut children's book series, Hope, illustrated by Eric S. Keyes. The series centers on a spunky 11-year-old girl named Hope who seeks to create social change in her community; Samantha Swank will edit. The book will be published on October 1, 2019; Creative Artists Agency represented Milano in the deal for world English rights; the artist was unagented.
Eileen Rothschild at Wednesday Books has bought, in a six-figure preempt for North American rights, Romina Garber's Wolves of No World. Inspired by mythology from Garber's native Argentina, the story weaves together contemporary issues with fantastical elements to explore the immigrant identity and what it means to be “illegal.” When her mother is arrested by ICE, a 16-year-old girl who thinks she's hiding in Miami because she's an illegal immigrant discovers it's not just her U.S. residency that's illegal—it's her entire existence. Publication is planned for spring/summer 2020; Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the two-book deal.
Emily Meehan and Hannah Allaman at Disney-Hyperion have preempted world rights to YouTube art guru and Mastering Manga creator Mark Crilley's graphic novel Two Artists, which follows two friends on the bumpy road to adulthood, as they discover how their art shapes their friendship, and their friendship shapes their art—and the rest of their lives. The first book is slated for publication in spring 2020; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency brokered the six-figure, two-book deal.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Paulsen has acquired, in a preempt, two middle grade novels by Ann Braden, whose debut novel was The Benefits of Being an Octopus. The first book, The Flight of the Puffin, follows four kids in different parts of the country and explores political divides, gender boxes, and how one tiny action by a stranger can send out ripples you'd never expect. Publication is set for spring 2021; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
Phoebe Yeh at Crown has bought world rights to Wade Hudson's Mansfield: Growing Up in the Jim Crow South. The co-editor of We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices shares a middle grade memoir of his formative years in segregated Mansfield, La., and coming of age during the Civil Rights Movement. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; the author was unagented.
Erica Finkel at Abrams/Amulet has acquired Cory Putman Oakes's new middle grade novel, The Second Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer Street. It was pitched as You've Got Mail meets The Haunted Mansion, in which two girls working at rival haunted hotels—one living, one a ghost—form an unlikely friendship. Publication is planned for fall 2020; Sarah LaPolla at Bradford Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Julie Bliven at Charlesbridge has bought Rebecca Caprara's middle grade novel-in-verse, Worst-Case Collin. After a fluke accident rocks his family, 12-year-old Collin tries to prepare for every worst-case scenario possible. But when his father’s hoarding disorder spirals out of control, Collin realizes life doesn’t always come with an easy escape plan. Publication is slated for spring 2020; Christa Heschke at McIntosh and Otis handled the two-book deal for world rights.
Heather Alexander at Audible Originals has acquired Jeff Hirsch's middle grade debut, Sovereign. Pitched as equal parts Hatchet and The Martian, the book is about a boy separated from his deep space explorer parents when a meteor shower nearly destroys their ship, and strands him alone in a hostile alien world. Publication is expected in February 2019; Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties brokered the deal for world audio rights.
Allyn Johnston at S&S/Beach Lane has bought world rights to Sign Off by Stephen Savage. The wordless picture book, about the nighttime adventures of a group of road sign characters, will be published in summer 2019; a companion book, set for summer 2020, was also part of the deal. Brenda Bowen at Sanford J. Greenburger represented the author-artist.
Ann Kelley at Random House/Schwartz & Wade has acquired at auction Erin McGill's If You Want a Friend in Washington, a nonfiction picture book about all the creatures large and small—from a hippo named Billy to a guinea pig named Admiral Dewey—that have passed through the White House doors. Publication is set for fall 2020; Julie Stevenson at Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents negotiated the deal for world rights.
Kait Feldmann at Scholastic/Levine has bought world rights to children's publishing director at Workman Traci Todd's (l.) untitled picture book biography about Jackie Ormes, the first nationally recognized African-American woman cartoonist (among many other professions), who blazed a path of social change with courage, fresh views, and good humor. Shannon Wright will illustrate; publication is scheduled for 2020. Steven Malk at Writers House represented the author, and Hannah Mann at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Erika Turner at HMH/Versify has bought world rights to Vivian McInerny's debut, The Hole Story, illustrated by Ken Lamug. In the picture book, a girl discovers a hole in her pocket and imagines all the possibilities it presents. Publication is planned for spring 2021; Andrea Cascardi at Transatlantic Agency represented the artist, and the author represented herself.
Jessica Garrison at Dial has acquired world rights to Deborah Underwood's (l.) picture book, Every Little Letter, about the walls we build to keep others away, and what happens when curious children find ways to tear them down and befriend each other. Debut artist Joy Hwang Ruiz will illustrate; publication is slated for summer 2020. Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Molly O'Neill at Root Literary represented the illustrator.
Amy Novesky at Creative Editions has bought world rights to Virginia Was a Spy, a picture book by Catherine Urdahl, illustrated by Gary Kelley, about American World War II heroine Virginia Hall. Publication is scheduled for fall 2020; the author and the illustrator represented themselves.
Michelle Branson at Gibbs Smith has acquired world rights to author Kate Coombs's (l.) first two titles in the Baby Lit Little Poet board book series: Emily Dickinson: In Emily's Garden and William Shakespeare: I Love You. Carme Lemniscates will illustrate; publication is set for spring 2019. The author was unagented, and Adriana Dominguez at Full Circle Literary represented the artist.