Christy Ottaviano at Macmillan/Ottaviano has acquired world rights to two YA novels by April Henry. The first book, Playing with Fire, is a teen-vs.-nature thriller inspired by Oregon's Eagle Creek Fire, scheduled for 2020. The second book, Eyes of the Forest, is a mystery with a triple twist pitched as Games of Thrones meets Misery, scheduled for 2021. Wendy Schmalz at the Wendy Schmalz Agency negotiated the deal.
Matt Ringler at Scholastic has bought Elsie Chapman's YA fantasy Caster, a Chinese-inspired Fight Club with magic. On an earth already at the brink of environmental disaster due to the overuse of magic, 16-year-old spell caster Aza Wu navigates through an illegal underground battle-magic tournament while evading local gangs and police scouts to save her family from ruin. Publication is set for fall 2019; Victoria Marini at Irene Goodman Agency did the deal for world rights.
Wesley Adams at Farrar, Straus and Giroux has acquired Amanda McCrina's YA debut in a two-book preempt. Traitor is a WWII historical thriller that explores the lesser-known Polish-Ukrainian conflict through two intricately connected timelines. Publication is planned for fall 2020; Jennie Kendrick at Red Fox Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Taylor Norman at Chronicle has bought House Arrest author K.A. Holt's two new middle grade novels in verse. In the first, Benbee, a group of remedial language arts students make a deal that for every 10 minutes spent reading, their teacher will spend equal time playing their favorite online game—until school administrators find out about the deal, and it's up to this unlikely bunch to save their teacher. The first book is set to publish in fall 2020; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the deal for world rights.
Eric Geron at Disney Press has signed Kamilla Benko, author of the Unicorn Quest trilogy, to write an original middle grade novel bridging the epic adventure of Frozen with the upcoming Walt Disney Animation Studios film Frozen 2. Publication is set for fall 2019; Stephen Barbara at InkWell Management brokered the deal. Disney retains world rights.
Caroline Abbey at Random House has bought Bernice Buttman, Model Citizen author Niki Lenz's new middle grade contemporary novel, Team Gravy. Grace and her father Davy are Team Gravy, and don't need anyone except themselves. But when her pastor dad's church deacons issue an ultimatum—get married in six months or find a new job—Grace tries to keep potential stepmoms from ruining Team Gravy, in a reverse Parent Trapsituation. Publication is set for summer 2020; Kate Testerman at KT Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Liz Szabla at Feiwel and Friends has preempted North American rights to indie film writer/director James Bird's debut middle grade novel, The Flutter-By Girl. Collin, a prime target for bullies because of his OCD quirk of counting letters in spoken words, is sent to live on a reservation with his biological mother, whom he has never met. There, his own oddity is matched by a girl who lives in a treehouse and believes she is slowly turning into a butterfly. Drawn into a friendship with her, Collin slowly opens heart and mind to his Native family and to accepting himself. The book is planned for spring 2020; Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio brokered the deal.
Alison Deering at Capstone has acquired world English rights to Nina Chapman's debut middle grade novel, Micah Mckinney and the Boys of Summer. It's a coming-of-age story about 12-year-old Micah, who hopes to reinvent herself the summer before seventh grade so she can forget about what happened in the past—about losing her mother and her best friend, and about the disaster she became in sixth grade. Publication is scheduled for January 2020; Elizabeth Bennett at Transatlantic Literary Agency did the deal.
Courtney Fahy at Yellow Jacket has bought world rights to Suzanne Jurmain's Murder on the Baltimore Express: The True Story of How Abraham Lincoln Almost Didn't Get to Be President. The middle grade nonfiction novel is about the plot to murder Abraham Lincoln in Baltimore as he was heading to Washington for his first inauguration. Publication is set for fall 2020; Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis represented the author.
Celia Lee at Scholastic has acquired world rights to Sibert Medalist Larry Dane Brimner's three-book early reader series, Ace, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita. Ace likes to race, and she likes to win; she is one cool-headed heroine, ready to solve the problems tossed her way. Publication is scheduled for 2021; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Charlotte Sheedy at Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Stacey Barney at Putnam has bought world rights to Lynn Plourde's new picture book, Goop-Zee-Googy, illustrated by Mike Lowery. “Goop-zee-googy” means “peek-a-boo” in Monster language—but a boy doesn't know that when a monster shows up outside his window wanting to play. Can they overcome the language barrier and become friends, or is the monster just too scary? Publication is planned for February 2020; Susan Cohen at Writers House represented the author, and Steven Malk at Writers House represented the artist.
Kandace Coston at Lee & Low has acquired world rights to Kelly J. Baptist's debut picture book, The Electric Slide and Kai. The contemporary story follows Kai, an African-American boy who wants to prove that he can bust a move like everyone else in his family at his aunt's wedding. The manuscript won the Honor award in the Lee & Low Books 2017 New Voices Award writing contest. Darnell Johnson will illustrate; publication is slated for spring 2020. The author represented herself; Aurora Meyer at Astound represented the illustrator.
Kristine Enderle at Magination Press has bought world rights to Rainbow: A First Book of Pride by Michael Genhart, illustrated by Anne Passchier, a primer for young readers on what each color of the rainbow means, an ode to rainbow families, and an affirming display of a parent's love for their child and a child's love for their parents. Publication is scheduled for May 2019; the author represented himself, and Robbin Brosterman at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Asia Citro at Innovation Press has acquired world rights to Your Name Is a Song, a picture book by Mommy's Khimarauthor Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow (l.). Saddened by her classmates' and teacher's mispronunciations of her name, a girl is empowered by her discovery that names are like songs when she and her mom celebrate the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names. Luisa Uribe will illustrate; publication is set for summer 2020. Essie White at Storm Literary Agency represented the author, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Christy Cox at Little Bigfoot has bought world English rights to The Shed by Robert Broder, illustrated by Carrie O'Neill. The book tells the story of a father and daughter working together to build a shed. Publication is planned for fall 2020; the author was unagented, and Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 represented the illustrator.