Susan Van Metre at Walker Books U.S. and Denise Johnstone-Burt at Walker Books U.K. have jointly acquired, in a preempt, world rights to All Our Hidden Gifts, the YA debut from journalist and podcaster Caroline O'Donoghue. The first book in a series, All Our Hidden Gifts follows misfit Maeve Chambers, who finds herself struggling to fit in since she separated herself from her best friend. When she finds a pack of tarot cards and begins to give scarily accurate readings to her classmates, she realizes she's found her gift at last—until a reading for her ex-best-friend goes very wrong. The author of the adult novel Promising Young Women, O'Donoghue has a regular column in the Times Ireland. The U.S. publication date has not yet been set; Bryony Woods at Diamond Kahn & Woods Literary Agency negotiated the two-book deal.
Natashya Wilson at Inkyard has bought, at auction, popular BookTuber Francina Simone's YA contemporary novel, Smash It!, an original Othelloretelling with a comedic twist, featuring themes of sexuality and sisterhood. In the book, after a teen decides to set aside her self-doubts and go for her dreams, she winds up with a part in her school musical and the interest of her two best friends. Publication is slated for fall 2020; Devin Ross at New Leaf Literary & Media did the two-book deal for North American rights.
Laura Schreiber at Disney-Hyperion has acquired Brandy Colbert's The Voting Booth, pitched as an all-in-one-day love story in the tradition of The Sun Is Also a Star. The novel is about two first-time teen voters who meet at their polling place and overcome obstacle after obstacle to cast a ballot in a critical election. Publication is scheduled for summer 2020; Tina Dubois at ICM Partners sold world rights.
Alexandra Hightower at Delacorte has bought at auction Comes and Goes, a contemporary YA by debut author Louisa Onomé. After an act of vandalism throws 16-year-old Nelo's community into the spotlight, she faces changing friendships, new romance, and a fight against the outside forces determined to "fix up" the neighborhood she's loved all her life. Publication is planned for spring 2021. Claire Friedman negotiated the U.S. deal for world rights, excluding Canada; Canadian rights were preempted by Suzanne Sutherland at Harper Canada.
Stephanie Stein at HarperTeen preempted North American rights to Ciara Smyth's The Falling in Love Montage. The YA contemporary romance follows 17-year-old Saoirse Clarke, who is looking for anything but a relationship after an epic breakup with her girlfriend—until she meets Ruby, who convinces her to embark on a summer of carefree, no-strings-attached dates inspired by the montages in Ruby's favorite rom-coms. Publication is set for summer 2020; Allison Hellegers at Rights People brokered the deal for two books on behalf of Alice Williams at Alice Williams Literary in the U.K.
Jen Besser at Roaring Brook has acquired, at auction, debut author Cory Anderson's YA novel, What Beauty There Is, about a boy trying to save his brother by finding the drug money that sent his father to prison, and the girl who risks everything to protect the brothers from her father, a merciless killer stalking the same money. Publication is slated for fall 2020; Lindsay Davis Auld at Writers House negotiated the two-book deal for North American rights.
Anne Heltzel at Amulet has bought Lana Popović's Blood Countess, a historical horror novel based on Elizabeth Bathory, the real-life inspiration for Countess Dracula. In the novel, a midwife's daughter possesses uncanny healing powers that catch the eye of the Countess, prompting a mutual fascination that spirals to dark obsession. Publication is scheduled for fall 2020; Taylor Haggerty at Root Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Ashley Hearn at Page Street has acquired Jamie Pacton's debut novel The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly, along with a second standalone. Pitched as Moxie meets A Knight's Tale, the book stars 17-year-old “serving wench” Kit, who hopes to dismantle the gender restrictions on becoming a knight at her uncle's cheesy medieval-themed restaurant, earning the promotion she needs to afford her dream college. Publication is planned for spring 2020; Kate Testerman at KT Literary brokered the two-book deal for world rights.
Holly West at Swoon Reads has bought Aiden Thomas's YA novel Cemetery Boys, pitched as The Outsiders meets The Road to El Dorado and Coco. A Latinx trans teen boy, hoping to release his cousin's spirit and prove himself as a brujo, accidentally summons the wrong ghost and ends up falling in love with him. Publication is set for spring 2020; Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary Agency handled the deal for world rights.
Krista Vitola at Simon & Schuster has acquired Edgar Award-nominated author Erin Bowman's middle grade debut, Piper, Invisible, pitched as The Umbrella Academy for younger audiences with a dash of The Secret Garden. The novel is about a girl sent to live with her estranged mother at the mysterious Mallory Estate, where she meets a group of magically inclined children and uncovers a garden holding an elixir that can save her ailing father—that is, if she can best the three trials that guard the drink. The novel is scheduled for summer 2020; Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Michelle Bisson at Capstone has bought world rights to Dalya and the Magic Ink Bottle, a debut middle-grade novel by J.M. Evenson. Part Back to the Future, with a nod to The Wizard of Oz, the story centers on 10-year-old Dalya, who accompanies her father to Istanbul to sell the family's ancestral home. Dalya has no idea that she'll learn about friendship and family, or that she'll find a magic ink bottle whose jinn sends her back into the past as a cat. Publication is slated for fall 2020; Moe Ferrara at Book Ends Literary represented the author.
Filip Sablik at BOOM! Studios has acquired, for the KaBOOM! imprint, three books by cartoonist Art Baltazar, beginning with a graphic novel titled Drew and Jot: Dueling Doodles. The book is about two fifth graders who become best friends through their mutual love of drawing superhero comics and who make their imaginations come alive on the pages of their sketchbooks. Baltazar is the creative force behind Tiny Titans, as well as the artist of the DC Super-Pets series for children, among others. Publication is planned for fall 2019; the author represented himself in the deal for world rights.
Liza Baker at Orchard has bought, in a 10-house auction, Mike Lowery's Everything Awesome About Dinosaurs, the first in a heavily illustrated three-book nonfiction series featuring facts, jokes, and anything else you want to know about dinosaurs. Publication is slated for fall 2019, with a sharks installment to follow in fall 2020 and a to-be-decided third book in fall 2021. Steven Malk at Writers House brokered the deal for world rights.
Mary Kate Castellani at Bloomsbury has acquired, in a preempt, Moana art director Andy Harkness's Wolfboy, and an untitled second project. The humorous picture book introduces Wolfboy as he experiences a universal feeling that will resonate with readers everywhere: being “hangry.” Publication is scheduled for winter 2021; Adah Nuchi and Rena Rossner at the Deborah Harris Agency handled the deal for world rights all languages, excluding Dutch.
Andrea Spooner at Little, Brown has bought Happy Dreams, Little Bunny by author-illustrator Leah Hong. The picture book debut features a restless bunny at bedtime who, with a little help from his mother, eases himself to sleep by exploring the fantastical space between storytelling and dreaming. Publication is set for winter 2021; Kirsten Hall at the Catbird Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Ann Kelley at Random House/Schwartz & Wade has acquired author-illustrator Andrea Zuill's Regina, a picture book about an intrepid little dinosaur who is testing boundaries and seeking independence. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Erzsi Deak at Hen&Ink did the deal for world rights.
Alessandra Balzer at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has bought world rights to National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi's (l.) debut picture book, illustrated by Loveis Wise. The People Remember is an epic narrative that captures the breadth and depth of the African-American experience while incorporating the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Steven Malk at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Julie Matysik at Running Press Kids has acquired world rights to Lil Miss Hot Mess's debut picture book, The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish, an empowering take on "The Wheels on the Bus" that celebrates drag culture, with support from Drag Queen Story Hour. The book will be illustrated by Olga de Dios Ruiz. Publication is scheduled for May 2020; Lindsay Edgecombe at Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Lauri Hornik at Dial has bought, at auction, Lisa Wheeler's Someone Has to Build the Dream, a picture book that reveals and celebrates the physical labor that makes our world and its wonders possible, giving transparency to the people, effort, and equipment that are otherwise invisible. Loren Long will illustrate; publication is slated for spring 2021. Steven Malk represented both the author and the illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Christian Trimmer and Julia Sooy at Holt have acquired Stacy McAnulty's (l.) Mars! Earthlings Welcome, illustrated by Stevie Lewis, a picture book introduction to Mars as told by Mars. Publication is set for fall 2020; Lori Kilkelly at LK Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself in the deal for world rights.
Julie Bliven at Charlesbridge has bought world rights to JaNay Brown-Wood's Shhh! The Baby’s Asleep, a picture book that follows a diverse cast of family members around the house as they try not to wake their sleeping baby. Elissambura will illustrate; publication is planned for spring 2021. Amanda Hendon at Advocate Art represented the illustrator.
Annie Nybo and Christina Pulles at Albert Whitman have acquired world rights to Playing Wicked by Alex R. Kahler, illustrated by Ben Whitehouse, in which young Dante loves playing make-believe, but doesn’t always want to be the dashing prince—sometimes he likes being the fabulous Wicked Queen. Publication is scheduled for spring 2020; Brent Taylor at Triada US represented the author, and Frederica Dawson at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Kate Farrell at Holt has bought world rights to The Great Big Poop Party by Samantha Berger, illustrated by debut artist Manny Galán, a picture book about a kid who insists on a poop-themed birthday party. Publication is planned for fall 2020; Brenda Bowen at Sanford J. Greenburger represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself.