Benjamin Rosenthal at HarperCollins/Tegen has acquired Edgar Award-winning author Mindy McGinnis's YA duology, The Initial Insult and The Last Laugh, which blends retellings of Edgar Allan Poe stories in a contemporary Appalachian Ohio setting. Publication for The Initial Insult is scheduled for winter 2021, and The Last Laugh is slated for winter 2022; Adriann Ranta Zurhellen at Foundry Literary + Media brokered the deal for North American rights.
Catherine Wallace at HarperTeen has bought North American rights to Kathleen Peacock's You Were Never Here, a YA psychological thriller about a 17-year-old girl with an unusual ability who returns to the small town where she was born, only to discover her childhood best friend has gone missing. When another teen is found floating in the river barely alive, Cat must decide whether to use her ability to find out the truth about her missing friend, even if it puts her in a killer's sights—or keep running from a power she can't control. Publication is set for October 2020; Emmanuelle Morgen at Stonesong represented the author.
Jessica Smith at Simon Pulse has acquired world rights to debut author G.F. Miller's Glimpsed. In this YA contemporary romantic comedy, Charity, a teenage fairy godmother who grants the wishes of her classmates, finds out her wish granting rarely ends in Happily Ever After, all while falling for her most reluctant client. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Kim Lionetti at Bookends Literary Agency negotiated the deal.
Mallory Kass at Scholastic Press has bought Sam Subity's middle-grade contemporary fantasy debut, Vale of Secrets, pitched as a modern retelling of the Beowulf epic, in which a 12-year-old Viking girl must face down foes like a ping-pong playing sea monster with a wicked backhand and a dark Valkyrie with killer oven mitts to save her father and her school. Publication is planned for February 2021; Maura Kye-Casella at the Don Congdon Agency handled the deal for world English rights.
Brian Geffen at Henry Holt has acquired, in an exclusive submission, Pawcasso, a middle-grade graphic novel by Remy Lai (Pie in the Sky). Pawcasso is a basket-toting dog who does his family's grocery shopping on his own. When 11-year-old Jo is mistaken for his owner by a group of kids, she goes along with the lie in the hopes of making new friends. Soon the town becomes divided over whether Pawcasso should be allowed to roam free, and Jo worries that her lie will be exposed—and endanger Pawcasso and her new friendships. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret did the deal for world rights.
Lily Kessinger at HMH has acquired North American rights to The Deepest Breath by Meg Grehan, a middle-grade novel-in-verse about Stevie, a girl reckoning with anxiety about the many things she has yet to understand—including her feelings about her friend Chloe. Publication is scheduled for fall 2020; Karyn Fischer at Bookstop Literary brokered the deal on behalf of Little Island Books.
Grace Kendall at FSG has bought North American rights, in a preempt, to Zetta Elliott (l.) and Lyn Miller-Lachmann's Moonwalking, a middle grade novel-in-verse about an unlikely friendship that forms between white, undiagnosed autistic new kid "JJ" Pankowski and "Pie" Velez, an Afro-Latinx science geek by day and graffiti artist by night, when they discover a shared love of punk music and start a band in 1980s Brooklyn. Publication is set for fall 2021; Johanna Castillo at Writers House represented Elliott, and Jacqui Lipton at Storm Literary Agency represented Miller-Lachmann.
Emily Seife at Scholastic Press has bought Mary E. Lambert's middle grade novel Distress Signal, where four classmates are stranded in a desert wilderness after a flash flood separates them from the rest of their grade. Publication is planned for 2020; Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Siobhan Ciminera at Simon Spotlight has acquired, in a multi-book deal, at auction, author-illustrator Maggie P. Chang's debut, Geraldine Pu (and Her Lunchbox, Too!), first in a new series in the Ready-to-Read early reader line. The story follows a confident girl and her beloved lunchbox, the vestibule for her grandmother's delicious lunches, as she uses bravery, ingenuity, and even some stinky tofu in order to right her wrongs and create a sense of openness and community among her classmates. Publication is set for summer 2021, with Elizabeth Barton and Sally Hosokawa editing; Wendi Gu at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates did the deal for world English rights.
Andrea Welch at S&S/Beach Lane has bought world rights to Cougar Crossing!: How Hollywood's Celebrity Cougar Helped Build a Bridge for Wildlife by Meeg Pincus, illustrated by Alexander Vidal. The nonfiction picture book tells the story of P-22, a mountain lion that has inspired the city of Los Angeles to start building the world's largest wildlife crossing. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Jenna Pocius at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary represented the illustrator.
Reka Simonsen at Atheneum has acquired world rights to RESPECT: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul by Carole Boston Weatherford, to be illustrated by Frank Morrison. The picture book honors Aretha's roots, spirituality, influences, leadership, and cultural impact. Publication is scheduled for fall 2020; Rubin Pfeffer at Rubin Pfeffer Content represented the author, and Lori Nowicki at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Talia Benamy at Philomel has bought world rights to 12x12 Picture Book Writing Challenge founder Julie Hedlund's Over, Bear! Under, Where?, a wordplay picture book about unlikely friendship, featuring two friends at a playground and a bear that interrupts their fun—or so they think. Michael Slack will illustrate; a fall 2021 publication is planned. Erzsi Deak at Hen&Ink Literary Studio represented the author, and Lori Nowicki at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Mabel Hsu at HarperCollins/Tegen has acquired world rights to Oona, a picture book by Kelly DiPucchio (l.), illustrated by Raissa Figueroa, based on an original character created by Figueroa, about a mischievous little mermaid who can't quite reach the one treasure she desires. Publication is slated for winter 2021; Steven Malk at Writers House represented the author, and Natascha Morris at BookEnds Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Samantha Swenson at Tundra has bought world rights to Riel Nason's The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt, a picture book about a ghost whose unusual fabric excludes him from typical ghostly fun until one particular Halloween. Byron Eggenschwiler will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for fall 2020; Hilary McMahon at Westwood Creative Artists represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself.
Christopher Robbins at Familius has acquired world rights to Cathy Fishman's (l.) Winter Hike in the City, which uses the numbers one through 10 to highlight the diversity of an inner-city neighborhood by showing holidays such as Hanukkah, Christmas, Mawlid-al-Nabi, Dia de Reyes, and Kwanzaa. Melanie Hall will illustrate. Publication is set for October 2020; Anna Olswanger at Olswanger Literary represented both the author and the illustrator.
Samara Klein at PJ Library has bought world rights to Hanukkah with Friends, written by Chris Barash (l.); Maya Shleifer will illustrate. In the branches of a tree lives a bird; in the trunk of the same tree lives a squirrel; and underneath the tree lives a mouse. These three woodland animals share a home, a friendship, and a Hanukkah celebration. Publication is planned for November 2020; the author represented herself, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the artist.
Phoebe Yeh at Crown has bought world rights to two YA novels-in-verse by Mahogany L. Browne. Her debut, Chlorine Sky, is about an African-American teen dealing with fractured friendships, first romances, and her own empowering coming-of-age. Publication for the first book is planned for spring 2021; Charlotte Sheedy at Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency brokered the deal.
Liesa Abrams at Simon Pulse has acquired Leah Scheier's The Last Words We Said, a YA contemporary novel in the vein of We Were Liars set in an Orthodox Jewish community, about four best friends and what happens when one of them disappears and they all blame themselves. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Rena Rossner at the Deborah Harris Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Kate Prosswimmer at S&S/McElderry has acquired In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens. Pitched as A Gentleman's Guide to Vice & Virtue meets Pirates of the Caribbean, this high seas fantasy features a prince with secret magic who is kidnapped during his coming-of-age tour and must rely on a mysterious young man to save him. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Eva Scalzo at Speilburg Literary Agency did the deal.
Becky Monds at Thomas Nelson has bought world rights, in an exclusive submission, to The Ashes of Cruiser Island by Court Stevens. The YA novel features Ben, bent on proving the innocence of his childhood friend, Frankie, who was charged with murdering her best friend and who stands to be executed under the Accelerated Death Penalty Act of 2020. The book is set for fall 2021; Kelly Sonnack at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the deal.
Samantha Swenson at Tundra has acquired North American rights to Viewfinder, the debut wordless graphic novel by Christine Chung (l.) and Salwa Majoka, about a young female astronaut who follows a mysterious map to a now-abandoned earth. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Peter Ryan at Stimola Literary Studio represented both illustrators.
Whitney Leopard at Random House Graphic has bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to Jose Pimienta's debut middle-grade graphic novel Twin Cities. Twins Luis Fernando and Luisa Teresa have always been together, but when Luisa gets an opportunity to go to a different school across the border from their Mexican town, these twins will suddenly find themselves having to face school alone for the first time. Publication is planned for 2022; Elizabeth Bennett at the Transatlantic Agency brokered the deal.
Renee Kelly at Penguin Workshop has acquired, in a four-book deal, world English rights to Cathy Hapka (l.) and Ellen Vandenberg's (c.) Astronaut Girl, an early chapter book series pitched as The Magic School Bus meets Girls Who Code. It follows Val and her neighbor Wallace as they explore space and storytelling together through imaginative adventures. Gillian Reid will illustrate. The first book is set for fall 2020; Jordan Hamessley at New Leaf Literary represented the authors, and Christy Tugeau Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Maria Modugno at Random House has bought, in a two-book deal, Matt Myers's Dino-Gro, a picture book about Cole and his tiny new dinosaur toy that's meant to grow in water—but then Dino-Gro reaches a size that prevents him from staying in the house. Publication is slated for summer 2021; Steven Malk at Writers House negotiated the deal for world rights.
Neal Porter at Holiday House/Porter has acquired, at auction, author-illustrator Suzanne Kaufman's picture book A Friend for Ghost, about a lonely ghost finding friendship in an unlikely place. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022; Alexandra Penfold at Upstart Crow Literary handled the deal for world rights.
Kate Harrison at Dial has bought, at auction, world rights to Michael Slack's Kitties on Dinosaurs. In this tale, three determined kittens attempt their greatest climbing feat: to scale the dinosaurs on Dinosaur Island. Publication is planned for fall 2020; Lori Nowicki at Painted Words did the two-book deal.
Maggie Rosenthal at Viking has acquired world rights to Amy and AJ Young's debut picture book, Mustache Duckstache, in which mustachioed animals vie for the title of finest mustache in the land. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Melissa Nasson at Rubin Pfeffer Content brokered the deal.
Andrea Hall at Albert Whitman has bought world rights to Alexandra Alessandri's (l.) debut picture book Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela!, illustrated by Addy Rivera Sonda. Ava Gabriela is excited to visit her extended family in Colombia, but being around unfamiliar relatives has her shy and quiet. She'll have to find a way to speak up and join in the family celebration. Publication is set for fall 2020; Deborah Warren at East West Literary represented the author, and Emily Coggins at Astound US represented the illustrator.
Naomi Krueger at Beaming Books has acquired world rights to Carol Gordon Ekster's (l.) Some Daddies, a picture book showing the many ways a father can look, both inside and out. Javiera Maclean Alvarez will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; the author represented herself, and Sam Groff at Advocate Art represented the illustrator in the deal.
Christina Pulles at Albert Whitman has bought world rights to It's a Pumpkin, written by Wendy McClure (l.). In the book, a group of forest animals find a large orange object in the woods and bond while deciding how to use it. Kate Kronreif will illustrate. Publication is planned for fall 2020; the author represented herself, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the artist.
Kelly Barrales-Saylor has acquired world rights, in a two-book deal, to I Can Code: If/Then and I Can Code: And/Or by Vicky Fang (l.), author of the forthcoming Invent-a-Pet and Layla and the Bots. Jade Orlando will illustrate. The board book series aims to introduce basic coding concepts to toddlers through everyday situations. Publication is set for fall 2020; Elizabeth Bennett at Transatlantic Literary Agency represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at Bright Agency represented the illustrator.