Hannah Allaman at Disney-Hyperion has acquired Don't Date Rosa Santosauthor Nina Moreno's new novel, Our Way Back to Always. Pitched as When Harry Met Sally by way of Sarah Dessen, the contemporary YA romance follows two next-door neighbors and ex-best friends—gamer, fanfic-writer Luisa and drummer, golden boy Sam—whose paths collide during senior year of high school when they rediscover their childhood bucket list and set out to complete it before graduation. Publication is planned for spring 2021; Laura Crockett negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Eliza Swift at Sourcebooks Fire has bought Cole Nagamatsu's debut, We Were Restless Things, a YA contemporary fantasy in the vein of Maggie Stiefvater and Neil Gaiman. When a boy drowns in the forest, miles away from any body of water, a group of friends attempts to unravel the truth behind his death, only to discover that the woods are awake and watching. Publication is set for fall 2020; Erica Bauman at Aevitas Creative Management did the two-book deal for world rights.
Mallory Kass at Scholastic has acquired, in an exclusive submission, Skeleton Tree author Kim Ventrella's new middle grade novel, Hello Future Me. Pitched as Flora & Ulysses meets Bruce Coville's Magic Shop series, the book follows a girl who uses items from a magical junk shop to try to stop her parents' divorce, including an enchanted laptop that allows her to instant message with her past and future selves. Publication is slated for summer 2020; Brianne Johnson at Writers House brokered the deal for North American English rights.
Pam Gruber at Little, Brown has bought Grace and Fury author Tracy Banghart's A Season of Sinister Dreams, in which two girls—one an unwilling prophet, the other a vengeful imposter—fight each other for the future of their kingdom, leaving heartbreak, death, and destruction in their wake. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Linda Epstein at Emerald City Literary Agency negotiated the exclusive deal for world rights.
Kelsy Thompson at Flux has acquired world rights to Laura Rueckert's debut novel, A Dragonbird in the Fern, pitched as a sex-positive, feminist YA fantasy featuring a queen protagonist who struggles with dyslexia. After the assassination of her older sister Scilla, Jiara chooses to take her sister's place as the bride to the young king of a distant country, while racing to catch her sister's killer before Scilla's vengeful ghost murders their family. Publication is planned for fall 2020; the author represented herself.
Amy Fitzgerald at Lerner/Carolrhoda has bought G.D. Falksen's YA novel The Secret Life of Kitty Granger, in which a working-class autistic girl becomes involved in undercover government espionage in 1960s London. Publication is scheduled for fall 2020; Jennifer Unter at the Unter Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Chris Hernandez, while at HarperCollins, acquired at auction author-illustrator Gonzalo Alvarez's debut, The Legend of Polloman, with Andrew Arnold at HarperAlley taking over as editor. The middle-grade graphic novel follows the journey of a timid boy named Emmanuel who stumbles into a war-torn Aztec underworld where dangerous Legends come to life. There, he must discover the meaning of sacrifice to undertake a mystic quest as the Sun Warrior, and bring peace to the living and the dead. Publication for book one is set for fall 2021, with book two following in fall 2022; Marietta Zacker at Gallt & Zacker handled the deal for North American English rights.
Joy Peskin at Farrar, Straus and Giroux has bought world rights to Ami Polonsky's Spin with Me, a middle grade novel about two seventh-graders—one female, one gender non-binary—spinning through their first semester while navigating their attraction to each other. Publication is scheduled for fall 2020; Wendy Schmalz at Wendy Schmalz Agency negotiated the deal.
Nick Thomas at Levine Querido has acquired The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas, written by María García Esperón (l.) and illustrated by Amanda Mijangos, translated by Pura Belpré Honor-winning author David Bowles. Originally published in Spanish in Mexico by Ediciones El Naranjo, this illustrated collection for young middle grade readers gathers together stories from cultures across the Americas, from the tip of Argentina to Alaska. The book will publish in fall 2020; Paulina Delgado at Ediciones El Naranjo represented the author and illustrator for world English and U.S./Canadian Spanish rights, and the translator represented himself.
Julia Maguire at Knopf has bought world rights to a middle grade novel by Annie's Life in Lists author Kristin Mahoney. In The Planner, Elfie Oster's grand life plans are turned upside down when she is expelled from her new school on the first day of orientation. Publication is planned for summer 2021; Sarah Burnes at the Gernert Company represented the author.
Ruth Linka at Orca has acquired world rights in a two-book deal to author-illustrator Russ Willms's Elephants Don't Belong in Trees, about an elephant who makes his home in a tree, much to his neighbor's chagrin; and Quiet Please!, about a giraffe who just wants to find a quiet place to read. Publication is set for spring 2021 and spring 2022, respectively; Elizabeth Bennett at Transatlantic Agency represented the author.
Emily Feinberg at Roaring Brook has bought, in a preempt, Mags DeRoma's Awake, a picture book debut about a child who is just about to fall asleep, when... SPIDER. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Hannah Mann at Writers House negotiated the deal for world rights.
Tamar Brazis at Viking has acquired world rights to Cats Can by Roseanne Greenfield Thong (l.), illustrated by Ebony Glenn. The picture book is about all the hilarious, cuddly, and exasperating things we love to hate about cats, whose antics bear a surprising resemblance to that of toddlers. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary Agency represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Christina Pulles at Albert Whitman has bought world rights to 16 Words author Lisa Rogers's (l.) Hound Won't Go, a picture book about a stubborn dog who will not budge, no matter how many tricks his poor owner tries—until he feels a raindrop. Meg Ishihara will illustrate; publication is planned for spring 2020. Erzsi Deak at Hen&ink Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Kate Fletcher at Candlewick has acquired Hope Lim's (l.) picture book Mommy's Hometown, illustrated by Jaime Kim. During a visit to his mother's hometown, a boy's initial disappointment gives way to delight as he relives her childhood tales and discovers the beauty in what remains. Publication is set for fall 2022; Tanusri Prasanna at Foundry Literary + Media represented the author, and Claire Easton at Painted Words represented the artist.
Joni Sussman at Kar-Ben has acquired world rights to The Three Latkes by Eric A. Kimmel. During Hanukkah, three latkes fight over who's the tastiest—until the cat decides. Feronia Parker-Thomas will illustrate; publication is scheduled for fall 2021. Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Robbin Brosterman at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Marilyn Brigham at Amazon/Two Lions has bought world rights to debut author Frank Tupta's (l.) How to Build a Haunted House, illustrated by Kyle Beckett. The picture book is a rhyming Halloween romp in which creatures of all types work together to build a haunted house for a vampire family in need of a home. Publication is set for fall 2020; the author represented himself, and James Burns at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Kristine Enderle at Magination Press has acquired world English rights to You'll Find Me by Amanda Rawson Hall (l.), a picture book meant to guide young readers through the grief that accompanies loss. Joanne Lew-Vriethoff will illustrate; publication is scheduled for fall 2020. Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown represented the author, and Mela Bolinao at MB Artists represented the illustrator.
Melissa Kim at Islandport has bought world rights to Anna Redding's (l.) nonfiction picture book, Chowder Rules: The True Story of an Epic Food Fight, about the showdown between Maine and Manhattan over the correct way to make the beloved dish, illustrated by Vita Lane. Publication is planned for fall 2020; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Alyssa Mito Pusey at Charlesbridge has acquired world rights to Sara Levine's (l.) Bedtime for a Scientist, a picture book about a young scientist who sorts his stuffed animals using empathy and math smarts. Marta Álvarez Miguéns will illustrate; publication is slated for fall 2020, as part of the new Storytelling Math series. The author represented herself, and Emily Coggins at Astound represented the illustrator.
Karen Chaplin at HarperCollins has bought world rights to Bartali's Bicycle, a debut picture book biography written by Megan Hoyt and illustrated by Italian artist Iacopo Bruno. In Italy during World War II, while pretending to train for his next big race, 1938 Tour de France winner Gino Bartali hid new identity papers in the hollow bars of his bicycle and delivered them to more than 800 Jewish men, women, and children who were hiding from the Nazis throughout Italy. Publication is slated for early 2021; Deborah Warren at East West Literary Agency represented the author, and Bruno represented himself.
Hannah Allaman at Disney-Hyperion has acquired Don't Date Rosa Santos author Nina Moreno's new novel, Our Way Back to Always. Pitched as When Harry Met Sally by way of Sarah Dessen, the contemporary YA romance follows two next-door neighbors and ex-best friends—gamer, fanfic-writer Luisa and drummer, golden boy Sam—whose paths collide during senior year of high school when they rediscover their childhood bucket list and set out to complete it before graduation. Publication is planned for spring 2021; Laura Crockett negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Correction: In the original version of this article, the photos of Hope Lim and Jaime Kim were erroneously reversed.