Carolina Ortiz at HarperCollins has acquired L.L. McKinney's Escaping Mr. Rochester, a YA reimagining of Charlotte Bronte's classic novel that asks: what if the real villain of Jane Eyre was actually Mr. Rochester? In this queer romance, Jane Eyre and Bertha Mason—Mr. Rochester's wife, whom he's imprisoned within the house for years—must save each other from the horrifying machinations of Mr. Rochester. Publication is planned for winter 2022; Victoria Marini at Irene Goodman Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Andrea Colvin at Little, Brown has bought world rights to Kindra Neely's YA graphic novel memoir, Numb to This, about surviving the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College on October 1, 2015, her long path back to hope, and the decision to finally speak out about her experience. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; the author was unagented.
Katherine Tegen at HarperCollins/Tegen has acquired Anybody Here Seen Frenchie? by Leslie Connor, National Book Award finalist for The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle. The middle-grade book is about an unusual friendship between a sensitive, eccentric girl and the nonverbal boy she looks out for, until she makes a mistake and her friend goes missing; it explores how communication occurs through something much greater than spoken words. Publication is set for winter 2022; Miriam Altshuler at DeFiore and Company brokered the two-book deal for North American rights.
Connie Hsu at Roaring Brook has bought Alyssa Bermudez's debut middle grade graphic novel memoir, Big Apple Diaries, in a three-book deal. Based on her middle school diaries from the year leading up to 9/11 and its aftermath, the book is a coming-of-age story about growing up in New York City, as Alyssa faces all of the changes at home, at school, and within herself that this life-altering year brings. The book is slated for fall 2021, with an untitled second book to follow in fall 2022, and a third in fall 2023; Claire Easton at Painted Words did the deal for world rights.
Kendra Levin, while at Viking, acquired world rights to Midnight at the Barclay Hotel by middle-grade author Fleur Bradley, pitched as in the tradition of The Westing Game with a touch of Clue. Aneeka Kalia will edit. Five murder suspects are invited to the haunted Barclay Hotel, and it's up to the tag-along kids JJ and Penny—and a ghost—to figure out who committed the crime. Xavier Bonet will illustrate. Publication is planned for fall 2020; Laurel Symonds at the Bent Agency represented the author, and Hannah Whitty at Plum Pudding Illustration represented the illustrator.
Monica Perez at Charlesbridge has bought North American rights, at auction, to Dutch author-illustrator Annet Scaap's Of Salt and Shore (previously Lampie and the Children of the Sea). Pitched as a middle-grade version of The Hazel Wood, this dark fairytale adventure features mermaids, pirates, and one girl who must fight for her freedom and right to be different. Publication is scheduled for fall 2020; Allison Hellegers at Stimola Literary Studio negotiated the deal on behalf of Pushkin Press in the U.K.
Alyson Heller at Aladdin has bought world rights to the first four books in a chapter book series called Astrid the Astronaut by Rie Neal (author of the Major Eights series under pen name Melody Reed). The books feature nine-year-old Astrid, whose dream is to become the first hard-of-hearing astronaut. To achieve her goal, the first thing she'll have to do is win the most Astro Missions of anyone in her afterschool space club so that she can get the ultimate prize... a free trip to Space Camp USA. The author is a nationally certified audiologist with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The first book is set for summer 2022; Carrie Pestritto at the Laura Dail Literary Agency represented the author.
Jonathan Westmark at Albert Whitman has acquired, in a two-book deal, a chapter book series called The Wish Library by Christine Evans (Evelyn the Adventurous Entomologist). It features third grader Raven and her friends as they discover the Wish Library, where the mysterious Librarian promises to help solve problems with a simple wish. Publication of the two first titles is slated for spring 2021; Elizabeth Bennett at Transatlantic Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Kate O'Sullivan at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has bought world rights to author-illustrator Russ Willms's Sleigh Pullers Wanted, a holiday tale in which readers learn how Santa ultimately hires reindeer to pull his sleigh after trying out animals of all shapes and sizes for the job. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Elizabeth Bennett at Transatlantic Literary Agency handled the deal.
Samantha Swenson at Tundra has acquired world rights to Anne Hunter's Baby Mouse Talks and a second untitled picture book. A quiet baby mouse who, after a first word, then a second, never stops talking, leads mama mouse on a quest for a moment of quiet. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022 and 2023, respectively; Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio negotiated the two-book deal.
Liza Baker at Scholastic has acquired world rights to Save Me a Seat co-author Gita Varadarajan's (l.) picture book debut My Bindi, illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan (Rapunzel). In this story about embracing who we are and where we come from, a Hindu girl discovers the magic, power, and history of wearing a bindi for the first time. Publication is set for spring 2022; Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties represented the author, and Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary represented the illustrator.
Nicole Fiorica at McElderry Books has bought world rights to journalist Julia Lyon's (l.) debut nonfiction picture book, A Dinosaur Named Ruth, about a girl who discovered dinosaur bones in her backyard and, after years of persistence, helped unearth one of the most exciting paleontological discoveries of our time. Alexandra Bye will illustrate; publication is slated for summer 2021. Lara Perkins at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Kate Kendrick at Astound US represented the illustrator.
Wendy McClure at Albert Whitman has acquired world rights to Beatrix Potter, Scientist, a picture-book biography about the British author's early passions for mycology, zoology, and scientific illustration, by Lindsay H. Metcalf (l.), author of the forthcoming Farmers Unite! Junyi Wu (Scary Stories for Young Foxes) will illustrate; publication is planned for fall 2020. Emily Mitchell at Wernick & Pratt Agency represented the author, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Carol Hinz at Millbrook Press has bought world rights to Strainers, Pliers, and Jackhammers by Sara Levine (l.). The nonfiction picture book explores the many shapes of bird beaks—and the reasons for those shapes. Kate Slater will illustrate with mixed media collages; publication is scheduled for spring 2021. Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Kathleen Keenan at Kids Can Press has acquired world rights to Jessica Kulekjian's (l.) Mighty, in the Kingdom of Trees, a picture book that follows the backwards movement of a tree's life cycle from mature giant to seed, illustrated by Madeline Kloepper. Publication is set for fall 2021; Tracy Marchini and James McGowan at BookEnds represented the author, and Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management represented the illustrator.
Charlotte Wenger, formerly at Page Street Kids, has bought world English rights to Clovis the Bull and His China Shop by Katelyn Aronson (l.), illustrated by Eve Farb. Courtney Burke will edit. When a former football-playing bull inherits his granny's china shop, he struggles to control his temper, especially when a herd of hecklers reawakens his urge to charge. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Andrew Arnold at HarperAlley has acquired world rights to Northranger, a YA graphic novel written by Rey Terciero and illustrated by Bre Indigo. The story follows Cade Muñoz, a 16-year-old who loses himself in horror movies to escape reality until the summer he's forced to confront the feelings he's hiding from, both romantic and familial. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Brent Taylor at Triada US represented the author and the artist in the deal.
Chris Hernandez at Razorbill has bought, at auction, two books in a new middle grade graphic novel series called Agent Nine: It's Mission Time! by James Burks, creator of the Bird & Squirrel series. This story follows Nine, a wild jungle cat and secret agent who is as skilled at getting out of trouble as she is at getting herself into it. But when a villain bent on melting the polar icecaps overtakes headquarters, Nine is the only one standing in the way. Publication for the first book is set for spring 2021; Kelly Sonnack at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Anna Bloom at Scholastic has bought, in a three-book deal, Melissa Cristina Márquez's Wild Survival! middle-grade series based on the author's real wildlife encounters. The series follows a girl on adventures around the globe with wild and misunderstood animals while documenting her family's TV show. Publication for the first book is scheduled for spring 2021; Alexandra Weiss at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Erica Finkel at Abrams has acquired North American rights to The Republic of Birds, a middle grade novel by Jessica Miller (Elizabeth and Zenobia). In the Russian-inspired land of Tsaretsvo, a civil war has divided the human kingdom from the Republic of Birds. When Olga's younger sister is kidnapped, she must venture into the strange and dangerous Republic to rescue her. Publication is slated for fall 2020; Catherine Drayton at InkWell Management did the deal for North American rights.
Susan Dobinick at Bloomsbury has bought world rights to Zahra Marwan's picture book debut, Home. The story is a memoir recounting the author and her family's immigration from Kuwait, where most of them were considered stateless, to Albuquerque, where they made a new home. Publication is set for spring 2021; the author represented herself.
Andrea Spooner at Little, Brown has acquired world rights to I'll Meet You in Your Dreams by Jessica Young, illustrated by Rafael López (Just Ask; The Day You Begin). The story celebrates the continually evolving relationship and bond of love between parent and child that transcends boundaries of space and time. Publication is planned for spring 2021; Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel and Adriana Dominguez at Full Circle Literary represented the artist.
Tamar Brazis at Viking has bought world English rights to Larissa Theule's (l.) Kafka and the Doll, illustrated by Rebecca Green, based on the true story of how Kafka responded to a girl's sadness over losing her doll by writing and delivering letters on behalf of the doll. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Linda Pratt at Wernick & Pratt Agency represented the author, and Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 represented the illustrator.
Kallie George at Greystone Kids has acquired world rights to Little Narwhal by Tiffany Stone (l.), author of Tallulah Plays the Tuba. Ashlyn Anstee will illustrate the picture book, which is based on the true story of a little narwhal adopted by a pod of beluga whales. Publication is slated for 2021; Hilary McMahon at Westwood Creative Artists represented the author, and Kelly Sonnack at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Kate Fletcher at Candlewick has bought world rights to Hat Cat by Troy Wilson (Little Read Reading Hood and the Misread Wolf). The picture book celebrates the friendship that develops between an elderly man and an abandoned kitten, and how the relationship endures even when tested by absence—and squirrels. Eve Coy will illustrate; publication is set for fall 2021. Hilary McMahon at Westwood Creative Artists represented the author, and Charlie Bowden at Pickled Ink represented the illustrator.
Emma Ledbetter at Abrams has acquired world rights to The Sweetest Scoop: Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Revolution by Lisa Robinson (Pirates Don't Go to Kindergarten), illustrated by Stacy Innerst (Ruth Bader Ginsburg). The nonfiction picture book tells the story of the rocky road to success of Ben and Jerry, the political activists and entrepreneurs who started Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media Group represented the author, and Susan Cohen at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Julia McCarthy at Atheneum has bought world rights to Philip Hoelzel's (l.) debut, Planting Hope, a picture book biography of acclaimed photographer Sebastião Salgado and the quest to reforest his childhood home in Brazil. Renato Alarcão will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for summer 2021, to coincide with an exhibition of Salgado's latest project, a series of photographs of the Brazilian Amazon forest and its inhabitants. Miranda Paul at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Paulsen has acquired world rights to Nick Solis's debut, Bordertown, illustrated by 2018 Original Art honoree (Dilys Evans Founder's Award) Luisa Uribe, a bilingual mirror picture book celebrating the things that matter to children on two sides of a border. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Erzsi Deak at Hen&ink Literary Studio represented the author, and James Burns at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Jennifer Greene at Clarion has bought world rights to Quiet Down, Loud Town! by Alastair Heim (l.), illustrated by Matt Hunt, a read-aloud for very young readers in which grumpy Mr. Elephant just wants some peace and quiet—that is, until he gets it. Publication is set for fall 2020; Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Arabella Stein at Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Tara Walker at Tundra has acquired world rights to This Is Ruby, written by Sara O'Leary (l.) and illustrated by Alea Marley. Ruby is a curious girl who might grow up to become an archaeologist one day, or an astronaut, or an engineer, or a bear-tamer; there are so many things she wants to do and make and be. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Asia Citro at The Innovation Press has bought world rights to Olive's Fast Train, written by Kaye Baillie (l.) and illustrated by Tanja Stephani. The nonfiction picture book tells the story of Olive Dennis, the first female civil engineer employed by the B&O Railroad, who designed the Cincinnatian luxury passenger train and changed rail travel forever. Publication is planned for spring 2021; Essie White at Storm Literary Agency represented the author, and Chloe Morgan at Plum Pudding represented the illustrator.
Marilyn Brigham at Amazon/Two Lions has acquired world rights to Laura Purdie Salas's (l.) picture book Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata, about a kitten who is sensitive to sensory stimulation and becomes overwhelmed when she attends kittygarten for the first time. Publication is slated for fall 2020; the author represented herself, and Mela Bolinao at MB Artists represented the illustrator.