Kate Prosswimmer at S&S/McElderry has acquired Lies Like Poison by Chelsea Pitcher (This Lie Will Kill You), in which Belladonna is charged with a murder she plotted to commit—before she ultimately backed out. Now, she must team up with her conspirators, whom she's not sure she can trust, to uncover the truth and clear her name in a high-stakes whodunit for fans of Riverdale and Kara Thomas's The Cheerleaders. Publication is slated for fall 2020; Mandy Hubbard at Emerald City Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Kelsy Thompson at Flux has bought Down with This Ship by YA debut author Katie Kingman, pitched as Eliza and Her Monsters meets Geekerella. When Kole's fanfiction blog for a popular sci-fi TV show goes viral and puts her in the middle of online ship wars, her blog is taken hostage. She must come to terms with internet fame and conquer her insecurities to win it back. Publication is planned for winter 2021; Rachel Brooks at BookEnds did the deal for world English rights.
Taylor Norman at Chronicle has acquired The Middle Kid, written and illustrated by Steven Weinberg, illustrator of the AstroNuts series. The full-color early reader relays a day in the life of a middle kid, and all the challenges and advantages of a life in between older and younger siblings. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Marcia Wernick at Wernick & Pratt Agency negotiated the deal.
Arthur Levine at Levine Querido has bought world rights to Coretta Scott King award-winning author Sundee T. Frazier's first historical middle grade novel, Melvin the Mighty Takes the Stage, inspired by her African-American family flouting restrictive covenants and integrating a white neighborhood in Spokane, Wash. In 1955, as the civil rights movement in the South “takes the stage” on a national level, 13-year-old Melvin Robinson, whose stutter has returned days before he begins high school, is becoming aware of the need for change in his Northwestern hometown. Publication is set for fall 2021; Regina Brooks at Serendipity Literary Agency brokered the deal.
Dana Carey at Random House/Lamb has acquired Everything Starts with Nothing by Mae Respicio (The House That Lou Built). The middle-grade story is about Alex, a quirky boy from Silicon Valley who helps his father take over his grandparents' struggling Filipino market, only to find himself at odds with his father's alpha-male expectations. As Alex launches a successful slime-selling operation, he discovers the importance of staying true to yourself and that success can take many forms. Publication is slated for summer 2021; Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary handled the two-book deal for world English rights.
Andrea Colvin at Little, Brown has bought Ira Marcks's debut middle-grade graphic novel, Shark Summer, about a girl who is stuck spending the summer on Martha's Vineyard when she'd rather be anywhere else, and then a Hollywood director descends on the island to film an action film involving a mechanical shark. Publication is planned for spring 2022; the author was unagented.
Tamar Brazis at Viking has acquired Chris Browne's As Strong as Stone, a picture book about a girl who must find the cure for her father's illness, venturing where others dare not go. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties sold world English rights.
Louise May at Lee and Low Books has bought Copycat: Nature-Inspired Design, written and illustrated by Christy Hale. It's a collection of haiku, illustrations, and photographs that show how designers, architects, engineers, and other inventors solve human challenges by emulating designs and ideas found in nature. Publication is set for spring 2021; Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio negotiated the deal for world rights.
Nick Healy at Capstone has acquired world rights to Gifts of the Magpie, a picture book by scrap artist Sam Hundley that celebrates happy mistakes and found art. Big-hearted Magpie just wants to help his animal friends, but his confusion over homographs causes him to get things wrong—until Magpie's friends realize they can turn his blunders into wonders. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Kristen Mohn will edit. The author-illustrator was unagented.
Emma Ledbetter at Abrams has bought world rights to The Little Things by Christian Trimmer, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita. The day after a storm, a girl sets off a chain reaction of small acts of selflessness that change an entire community. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Brenda Bowen at the Book Group represented the author, and Charlotte Sheedy at Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Ann Kelley at Random House/Schwartz & Wade has acquired world rights to Meghan P. Browne's Indelible Ann, illustrated by Carlynn Whitt. The book portrays the life of the late governor of Texas, Ann Richards, who was inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt and was in turn the inspiration for Hillary Rodham Clinton and many other women in politics today. Publication is set for summer 2021; Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media Group represented the author, and Steven Chudney at the Chudney Agency represented the illustrator.
Holly West at Feiwel and Friends has bought world rights to Frankenslime by Joy Keller (l.), illustrated by Ashley Belote. In this picture book, a girl scientist experiments to make bold and wonderful slimes and ends up creating a slime creature. Publication is planned for summer 2021; Mary Cummings at Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises represented the author, and Moe Ferrara at BookEnds represented the illustrator.
Emily Easton at Crown has acquired world rights to Jodie Patterson's (l.) Born Ready, illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow, the story of a transgender child's journey to acceptance based on the real experience of Jodie's son Penelope. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Emma Parry at Janklow & Nesbit Associates negotiated the deal for the author, and Lori Nowicki at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Margaret Ferguson at Holiday House/Ferguson has bought world rights to Look and Listen by Dianne White (l.), about the sights, sounds, and colors in a garden. Amy Schimler-Safford will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022; Jennifer Rofé at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Marietta B. Zacker at Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Nancy Mercado at Dial has acquired world rights to Shirley Chisholm Is a Verb by Veronica Chambers (l.), illustrated by Rachelle Baker. This picture book biography celebrates the contributions of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman in Congress who eventually sought the Democratic U.S. presidential nomination, and highlights the many verbs Shirley embodied throughout her life. Publication is set for summer 2020; Kimberly Witherspoon at InkWell Management represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Carol Hinz at Lerner/Millbrook has bought world rights to Trailblazer: Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer by Cherokee author Traci Sorell (l.). This nonfiction picture book tells the story of Mary Golda Ross, including her work as an engineer with the top-secret Skunk Works group at Lockheed Martin, and highlights how Cherokee values shaped her life and work. Natasha Donovan, a member of the Métis Nation, will illustrate. Publication is planned for spring 2021; Emily Mitchell at Wernick & Pratt Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Charlotte Wenger, formerly at Page Street Kids, has acquired world right to The Little Blue Cottage author Kelly Jordan's (l.) Chase the Moon, illustrated by Sally Walker; Courtney Burke will edit. The nonfiction picture book is about a baby loggerhead turtle making the dangerous journey from nest to sea. Publication is slated for winter 2021; Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Jennifer Rofé of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Andrew DeYoung at Beaming Books has bought world rights to John Coy's So Big and So Small, a picture book in which a boy ponders the magnitude of things around him, the feeling of being both big and small at the same time, and his place in the scale of the universe. Steph Lew will illustrate, and publication is planned for fall 2020. Andrea Cascardi at the Transatlantic Agency represented the author, and Kate Kendrick at Astound represented the illustrator.
Grace Kendall at FSG has acquired, at auction, world English rights to Niki Nakayama: A Chef's Tale in 13 Bites by Jamie Michalak (l.) and Debbi Michiko Florence (c.), to be illustrated by Yuko Jones. The picture-book biography spans the Japanese-American chef's rise to fame—from overcoming gender bias in Japanese haute cuisine to opening her Michelin-starred restaurant. Publication is set for winter 2021; Victoria Wells Arms at Wells Arms Literary/HG Literary represented Michalak, Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary represented Florence, and Christy Ewers at CAT Agency represented Jones.
Vicki Lame at Wednesday Books has acquired world rights to Erin Hahn’s (You'd Be Mine) third and fourth books, starting with YA novel Never Saw You Coming. Raised by extra conservative parents, 18-year-old Meg just found out that her entire childhood was a lie. Instead of taking a gap year before college to find herself, she ends up traveling north to meet the family she never knew existed. While there, she meets 19-year-old former pastor's kid Micah, who has his own complicated relationship with the church. Publication is set for spring 2021; Kate McKean of the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency did the deal.
Alessandra Balzer at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has bought, at auction, The Black Flamingo by acclaimed U.K. poet and performer Dean Atta. The book is a coming-of-age verse novel about identity and the power of drag. Publication is scheduled for spring 2020; Susannah Palfrey at Hachette Children's Book Group brokered the deal for North American rights (primary agent is Becky Thomas at Johnson & Alcock).
Georgia McBride at Month9Books has acquired Joshua David Bellin's (Survival Colony 9) Scarred City, in which a 17-year-old's hunt for her missing family lands her under the command of a ruthless leader, until a boy who claims he has no memory offers to take her to a city where they might both find answers—if she is willing to risk it all. Publication is slated for 2021; Liza Fleissig at Liza Royce Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Kelsey Horton at Delacorte has bought Todd Strasser’s (The Wave) new novel The Starless Night, in which a group of seventh graders are brought together—and then torn apart—by an after-school club that plays a video game based on WWII. The students learn an unforgettable lesson about hate speech and empathy. Publication is planned for spring 2021; Stephen Barbara at InkWell Management handled the deal for world rights, excluding Germany.
Karen Wojtyla at S&S/McElderry acquired North American rights to Aimee Carter's middle grade fantasy The Curse of the Phoenix. After the sudden death of their mother, chronically ill Zac and his 12-year-old twin sister, Lu, are sent to stay with relatives in England, where they learn they’re guardians of the Wildelands, a sanctuary full of dangerous mythical creatures—and discover a deadly curse the twins must find a way to break before tragedy strikes again. Publication is set for spring 2021; Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio brokered the deal.
Calista Brill at First Second has bought Eisner nominee and Raised on Ritalin author Tyler Page's memoir-inflected middle grade graphic novel, Button Pusher, about a boy diagnosed with ADHD. Publication is slated for 2021; Britt Siess at Martin Literary & Media Management represented the creator for world rights.
Kieran Viola at Disney-Hyperion has acquired Stephanie Kate Strohm's Out of Water, a middle-grade novel about a mermaid princess who must spend a week with her estranged mother, the queen, on land, where she discovers she has a disturbing and sometimes useful ability to read others' minds. Also acquired was a second, to-be-determined middle-grade novel. Publication of the first book is scheduled for summer 2021; Molly Ker Hawn at the Bent Agency did the deal for world rights.
Nancy Mercado at Dial has bought world rights to Flora la Fresca, first in a young middle grade series by Veronica Chambers (l.), illustrated by Sujean Rim, in a two-book deal. When fearless and fun-loving Flora Bayano's best friend Clara breaks the news that she's moving, the girls set out to find Flora a new BFF, only to discover that replacing one friend with another is more complicated than it seems. Publication is planned for 2021; Kimberly Witherspoon at InkWell Management represented the author, and Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties represented the illustrator.
Michelle Nagler at Random House has acquired Shark and Bot by Brian Yanish, a young graphic novel chapter book series about an unlikely friendship between a shark and a robot; one loves the water, and one short circuits if water gets anywhere near him. It launches in fall 2020 with two titles; Jennifer Unter at the Unter Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Arthur Levine at Levine Querido has bought world English rights to the picture book Bye, Penguin! by Seou Lee. Originally published in South Korea by BookGoodCome, it's the story of a penguin set adrift into an unexpected romp around the world. The book will publish in fall 2020; Marco Rodino at the Marco Rodino Agency brokered the deal.
Eliza Leahy at Capstone has acquired Bright Dreams: The Brilliant Ideas of Nikola Tesla, a picture book biography by Tracy Dockray. Covering Tesla's early years to his eventual success in the world of electricity, the book showcases his journey of discovery and perseverance with collage-style illustrations and informative sidebars. Publication is set for fall 2020; Brianne Johnson at Writers House represented the author-illustrator in the deal for world English rights.
Liz Szabla at Feiwel and Friends has bought world rights to Watch Me by parenting influencer Doyin Richards (l.), illustrated by Pura Belpré Honor recipient Joe Cepeda, a picture book about the challenges of immigrating to America and the many contributions that immigrants make. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Fran Black at Arts Counsel represented the author, and Jennifer Rofé at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Deirdre Jones at Little, Brown has acquired Bill and Claire Wurtzel's Foodie Faces, a photographic picture book of happy, sad, silly, mad, and more funny faces made of kid-friendly foods, and a tribute to healthy emotions and healthy eating. Publication is scheduled for summer 2020; Peter Rubie at FinePrint Literary Management negotiated the deal for world rights.
Allison Cohen at Running Press Kids has bought world rights to How to Find a Fox, written by Kate Gardner, with photographs by Ossi Saarinen, celebrating one of the planet's most graceful and enchanting creatures: the fox. Publication is planned for spring 2021; Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the author, and Elizabeth Bewley at Sterling Lord Literistic represented the photographer.
Rachel Matson at Scholastic has acquired world rights to Wendy Wan-Long Shang's (l.) picture book debut The Rice in the Pot Goes Round and Round, illustrated by Lorian Tu, a twist on “The Wheels on the Bus” that celebrates the food, laughter, and love of a multi-generational family meal. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Tracey Adams at Adams Literary represented the author, and Molly O'Neill at Root Literary represented the illustrator.
Carol Hinz at Lerner/Carolrhoda has bought world rights to Rissy No Kissies by Katey Howes, with Shaina Olmanson set to edit. Through the character of a lovebird who doesn't like kisses, the book explores the concepts of body autonomy and consent with the message that your body and your heart are yours—and you choose how to share and show love. Jess Engle will illustrate in her picture book debut. Publication is set for spring 2021; Essie White at Storm Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Andrea Hall at Albert Whitman has acquired world rights to Karen Rostoker-Gruber’s (l.) picture book, A Crowded Farmhouse Folktale, to be illustrated by Kristina Swarner. The book is based on the public domain folktale “It Could Always Be Worse.” In this time of never enough, we all need to be reminded to be grateful for what we have. Publication is slated for fall 2020; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Naomi Krueger at Beaming Books has bought world rights to Amy B. Mucha's (l.) debut picture book A Girl's Bill of Rights. Power, confidence, freedom, consent: this picture book aims to help girls everywhere to stand up, speak out, and declare their rights. Addy Rivera Sonda will illustrate; Publication is planned for September 2020. Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown represented the author, and Kate Kendrick at Astound represented the illustrator.
Alexis Orgera and Chad Reynolds at Penelope Editions have acquired The Year of the Buttered Cat by Susan Haas (l.), written with Lexi Haas. This middle grade novel is about a girl with severe cerebral palsy on the eve of a brain surgery that may give her the ability to speak—or may take away her sense of self. Publication is set for spring 2021; Mary Cummings at Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises negotiated the deal for world rights.
Marilyn Brigham at Amazon Crossing Kids has bought world English rights to French author Sandra le Guen's (l.) The Refuge, illustrated by Stéphane Nicolet, to be translated by Daniel Hahn. The picture book follows a girl and her new refugee classmate, who bond over their mutual love of astronomy and who ultimately find refuge in each other. Publication is slated for summer 2020; Stephanie Barrouillet at S.B. Rights Agency represented French publisher Editions Les P'tits Bérets, and the translator represented himself.