Emilia Rhodes at HMH has acquired, at auction, the Prison Healer trilogy, a YA fantasy series by bestselling Australian author Lynette Noni, about a girl who has survived against all odds in a harsh prison by using her wits and keeping her head down, but when a dangerous prisoner arrives with a message for her, Kiva must risk her life for a bigger cause. Publication is set for spring 2021, with books two and three to follow in six-month increments. Danielle Burby at Nelson Literary Agency negotiated the North American deal.
Eileen Rothschild at Wednesday Books has bought, in a two-book deal, Preferably Paired by Christine Riccio (Again but Better). Inspired by The Parent Trap, the YA novel is a dramedy following two sisters navigating their way through a broken family and the highs and lows of impending adulthood. Publication is planned for spring/summer 2021; JL Stermer at New Leaf Literary and Media brokered the deal for North American rights.
Wendy Loggia at Delacorte has acquired, in a two-book preempt, world English rights to Jennifer Lynn Alvarez's YA debut, Gap Mountain. In the vein of Karen McManus and E. Lockhart, the novel features six friends and one secret. When a group of teens accidentally spark an enormous and deadly wildfire, one of them threatens to tell the truth about what happened—and goes missing, and the other five become suspects in her disappearance. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Elizabeth Bewley at Sterling Lord Literistic handled the deal.
Stephanie Stein at HarperCollins has bought, at auction, in a two-book deal, middle grade novel The Insiders by Schneider Family Award winner Mark Oshiro (Anger Is a Gift). The book features a queer boy who, fleeing from bullies, discovers a magical closet that not only provides him sanctuary, but also unites him with two other kids facing persecution at their own schools across the country, helping them find friendship and strength in one another. Publication is slated for fall 2021; DongWon Song at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Christy Ottaviano and Jessica Anderson at Macmillan/Ottaviano have acquired world rights to JR Silver Has Something to Say by Melissa Dassori. The middle grade debut, pitched as a contemporary From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, is about a girl with a magical power: the stories she writes come true. The book is set for 2022; Jennifer Unter at the Unter Agency brokered the deal.
Reka Simonsen at Atheneum has bought North American rights to J. Kasper Kramer's middle grade novel The List of Unspeakable Fears. Set in 1910 New York City, the story follows a 12-year-old girl whose biggest fear is realized when her mother marries a mysterious physician and she finds herself moving to North Brother Island, home to Typhoid Mary and other quarantined patients, where unexplainable things begin to occur. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Yishai Seidman at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner did the deal.
Marisa DiNovis at Knopf has acquired This Is Our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, and Us, edited by Katherine Locke (l.) and Nicole Melleby. The middle grade fiction anthology collects short stories, poetry, and comics about LGBTQIA+ characters and experiences by contributors Locke, Melleby, Eric Bell, Lisa Jenn Bigelow, Ashley Herring Blake, Lisa Bunker, Alex Gino, Justina Ireland, Shing Yin Khor, Mariama Lockington, Marieke Nijkamp, Claribel Ortega, Mark Oshiro, Molly Knox Ostertag, Aida Salazar, and A.J. Sass. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Jim McCarthy negotiated the deal for world rights.
Joanna Cárdenas at Kokila has bought world rights to Fatima's Great Outdoors, a picture book debut by outdoors activist and founder of @BrownPeopleCamping, Ambreen Tariq (l.). Based on the author's childhood, the story follows an immigrant family's first camping trip in the Midwest as they learn to set up their campsite, build a fire, and cook outdoors. Stevie Lewis will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Zoe Sandler at ICM Partners represented the author, and Ed Maxwell at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates represented the illustrator.
Maggie Rosenthal at Viking has acquired, in a two-book preempt, Shelby & Watts by author-illustrator Ashlyn Anstee (Are We There Yeti?). The graphic novel chapter book series is about a fox and a badger who are neighbors and best friends, and share a love of discovery and solving environmental mysteries. The first book, Shelby & Watts: Tidepool Troubles, is due in summer 2021, and the second is planned for spring 2022; Kelly Sonnack at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Mabel Hsu at HarperCollins/Tegen has preempted, in a two-book deal, world rights to Are You a Cheeseburger? by Monica Arnaldo, a picture book about a hungry raccoon who befriends a seed and agrees to plant him under the assumption he will sprout endless cheeseburgers, and instead discovers an unlikely but fulfilling friendship. Publication is set for summer 2021; Alexandra Levick at Writers House handled the deal.
Emma Ledbetter at Abrams has bought world rights to A Year of Everyday Wonders by Cheryl Klein (l.), illustrated by Qin Leng. The book traces a year in the life of a girl and her family via a series of cyclical milestones, from the first wakeup and waffles through the first beach trip and sunburn, to the last snowfall and stories. Publication is scheduled for fall 2020; Brianne Johnson at Writers House represented the author, and Justin Rucker at Shannon Associates represented the illustrator.
Martha Mihalick at Greenwillow has preempted world rights to A Spoonful of Frogs, a picture book about a witch struggling mightily to get the not-so-secret ingredient into her favorite recipe, written by Casey Lyall (Howard Wallace, P.I. series). Caldecott Honor artist Vera Brosgol will illustrate. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Molly Ker Hawn at the Bent Agency represented the author, and Judy Hansen at Hansen Literary represented the illustrator.
Andrea Welch at S&S/Beach Lane has acquired world rights to Dressing Up the Stars, written by Jeanne Walker Harvey (l.) and illustrated by Diana Toledano. The picture book tells the story of iconic designer Edith Head, the first woman to lead a movie studio costume department and winner of a record eight Academy Awards for Best Costume Design. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Deborah Warren at East West Literary Agency represented the author, and Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary represented the illustrator.
Frances Gilbert at Doubleday has bought world rights to T. Rexes Can't Tie Their Shoes by Anna Lazowski (l.), illustrated by Steph Laberis, a silly but reassuring A-Z picture book that shares all the things kids can do but animals can't. Publication is set for summer 2021. The manuscript was originally spotted by Gilbert as part of #PBPitch on Twitter, and was subsequently represented by Moe Ferrara at BookEnds Literary. Anne Moore Armstrong at Bright Agency represents the illustrator.
Yasemin Uçar at Kids Can has acquired world rights to Judith Henderson’s This Is a Dog Book!, a twist on the essential qualities of dog-hood, and a bunny who insists he has what it takes. Julien Chung will illustrate, adapting Henderson's original dog illustrations. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represents the author, and Rubin Pfeffer at Rubin Pfeffer Content represents the illustrator.
Jennifer Newens at West Margin Press has acquired world rights to When My Cousins Come to Town by Angela Shanté (l.), illustrated by Keisha Morris. The picture book is a coming-of-age tale that showcases the dynamics of a girl who lives in the inner city, trying to carve an identity for herself within her large family. Publication is scheduled for May 2021; Stephanie Hansen at Metamorphosis Literary Agency represented the author, and Claire Easton at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Allison Cohen at Running Press has bought, in a preempt, world rights to Battle of the Butts, a debut nonfiction picture book by Jocelyn Rish and illustrated by David Creighton. In this rump-centric romp, readers create their own criteria and rank their favorite (or least favorite) fannies among 10 animal competitors. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Tracy Marchini at BookEnds Literary represented the author, and Sam Groff at Advocate Art represented the illustrator.
Carolyn Yoder at Calkins Creek has acquired world rights to Jack Knight's Brave Flight—How One Gutsy Pilot Saved the U.S. Air Mail Service by Jill Esbaum, illustrated by Stacy Innerst, the story of a harrowing 1921 stunt nobody believed could succeed. Publication is set for fall 2022; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and Susan Cohen at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Alli Brydon at Trigger/Upside Down Books has bought world rights to I'm a Feel-O-Saur! by Lezlie Evans (l.), illustrated by Kate Chappell, a rhyming picture book in which Happy-saurus, Angry-saurus, Scared-o-saurus and other little dinos introduce young readers to the emotional ups and downs of everyday life. Publication is planned for spring 2021; Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis represented the author, and Bethany Sparks at Plum Pudding represented the illustrator.
Marilyn Brigham at Amazon/Two Lions has bought world rights to Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket by Sue Fliess (l.), illustrated by Annabel Tempest. The picture book is about an aspiring space explorer who builds her own rocket, charts a mission to Mars, and makes the unprecedented trip with her crew of pets and stuffed animals. Publication is slated for winter 2021; Jennifer Unter at the Unter Agency represented the author, and James Burns at the Bright Agency represented the artist.
Molly Cusick at Sourcebooks has acquired, in a two-book deal, North American rights to bestselling thriller author Nina Laurin's YA debut, Like Her. The book follows a teen girl whose family moves into a mansion with a tragic history; the girl becomes spellbound by the spirit of a 19th-century socialite who was fatally obsessed with her own image and who now thirsts to enter the digital age of vanity. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Rachel Ekstrom at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management negotiated the deal on behalf of Ruth Pomerance and Adam Wilson at INKubator Enterprises.
Bess Braswell at Inkyard Press has bought world English rights to Luminous by Mara Rutherford (Crown of Coral and Pearl). Connolly Bottum will edit. This YA fantasy follows a young witch who must remain hidden to avoid discovery by other witches who would seek to drain her power. But when her sister is taken by the kingdom's chief warlock, she'll have to step out of the shadows to save her family. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Uwe Stender at TriadaUS brokered the deal.
Whitney Leopard at Random House Graphic has acquired world English rights to Emi Gennis's YA nonfiction graphic novel What to Pack for Certain Death, the story of adventurers throughout history who valiantly tried to explore new places and ended up failing miserably. Publication is planned for 2024; Rhea Lyons at HG Literary represented Gennis.
Alex Borbolla at Atheneum has bought world rights to Spencer Hall's debut YA Kind of Sort of Fine. The book is about two high-school seniors looking to reinvent themselves: Hayley, a former overachiever recovering from a public breakdown, and Lewis, a self-described “fat, funny sidekick” on a mission to become a leading man. But when the two are thrown together in film class, they begin to question their own identities—and who they really want to become. Publication is set for summer 2021; Claire Friedman at InkWell Management handled the deal.
Taylor Norman at Chronicle has acquired, in an exclusive submission, North American English rights to Printz Honor author Garret Weyr's Harvey and the Collection of Impossible Things, a middle grade novel in which a cat named Harvey hunts for food in a city where hunger and danger lurk on every corner. Along the way, Harvey meets three sparrows, a wise dog, a huge rat, and a woman who smells like vanilla and mint. Is Harvey brave enough to stay with her, or is having his own human just one more impossible thing? Publication is scheduled for 2022; Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties did the deal.
Clarissa Wong at HarperCollins has bought, at auction, world rights to a middle-grade graphic novel by author-illustrator team Keith and Larissa Marantz, entitled Blake Laser. Set in the 24th century, the book features the eponymous 12-year-old inventor—along with her parents and annoying older brother—who must stop aliens from stealing the sun's energy, which would lead to the total destruction of Earth within 48 hours. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Rachel Orr at Prospect Agency represented both the author and the illustrator.
Katherine Harrison at Knopf has won, at auction, world rights to Karla Arenas Valenti's Lotería—a middle grade novel in the magical realist tradition, in which Life and Death play a game of chance with a girl's destiny, drawing her into a world of legends come-to-life, and exploring questions of fate and free will. The first book will be published in fall 2021; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency negotiated the two-book deal.
Siobhan Ciminera at Simon Spotlight has acquired, in a two-book deal, author-illustrator Priscilla Burris's Sabrina Sue, the first book in a new series in the Ready-to-Read beginning reader line. Lisa Rao will edit. The series follows an adventure-seeking barnyard chicken as she decides to write her own destiny and follow her dreams to the sea. Publication for the first book is planned for summer 2021; Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Martha Mihalick at Greenwillow bought, in a multiple-bid scenario, author-illustrator Sophie Gilmore's Terrific and a second untitled book. Terrific is the comically dark tale about a group of animal friends trying to settle on something terrific to do together, until Snake joins the fray and reveals his suspicious idea of something terrific. Publication is set for spring 2021; Jennifer Rofé at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
Ardi Alspach at Sterling Children's has acquired world rights to Bindu's Bindis by Supriya Kelkar (The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh) (l.). The picture book is about a girl who loves to match her bindis to her nani's; the girl and her nani work together to embrace their sparkle when they stand out from the crowd. Parvati Pillai will illustrate. Publication is set for March 2021; Kathleen Rushall at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Tamar Mays at HarperCollins has bought world rights to Capybara Is Friends with Everybody, written and illustrated by Maddie Frost. Capybara is very proud of having 4,382 friends, so he is thrown when he meets a sloth who doesn't respond to his overtures. Publication is scheduled for winter 2022; Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency negotiated the deal.
Erin Stein at Imprint has acquired North American rights, at auction, to Sarah Dvojack's Rosie the Riveter, a picture book that illustrates how an iconic image has evolved and inspired generations of women to make history. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency represented the author.
Lee Wade at Random House/Schwartz & Wade has bought world rights to If You Found a Leaf by Aimee Sicuro. Featuring illustrations with real leaves, this picture book explores the many creative and imaginative ways to look at leaves. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Andrea Morrison at Writers House represented the author-illustrator in the deal.
Christy Ottaviano at Macmillan/Ottaviano has acquired world rights to The Beep Beep Bicycle, written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by G. Brian Karas. The picture book is about an anxious young city bike's first experiences taking riders wherever they need to go, in a celebration of urban living. The book is set for 2022; Elizabeth Kaplan at the Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency represented the author, and Brenda Bowen at the Book Group represented the illustrator.
Sarah Rockett at Sleeping Bear Press has bought world rights to Don't Call Me Fuzzybutt! by Robin Newman (l.), illustrated by Hungarian artist Susan Batori. In this picture book, Bear isn't the only one who turns grizzly and says some-not-so-nice words that shouldn't be repeated when Woodpecker's carpentry work keeps Bear from getting his 243.5 days of much-needed sleep. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Liza Fleissig at the Liza Royce Agency represented the author, and Doreen Thorogood at the Good Illustration Agency represented the illustrator.
Julie Bliven at Charlesbridge has acquired world rights to Summertime Sleepers: Animals That
Hibernate Estivate, a nonfiction picture book by Melissa Stewart (l.) (Seashells: More Than a Home) that looks at ways animals cope with hot, dry weather by estivating—the summer equivalent of hibernating. Sarah S. Brannen will illustrate. Publication is slated for spring 2021; the author was unagented, and Steven Chudney of the Chudney Agency represented the illustrator.
Luana Horry at HarperCollins has bought world rights to Shutdown, a biographical picture book cowritten by Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO creator Tamara Pizzoli (l.) and Yolanda Gladden (c.), illustrated by Keisha Morris. Based on Gladden's childhood, the picture book tells the story of the five-year shutdown of Black schools in Farmville, Va., following the landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in 1954. Publication is set for winter 2022; Pizzoli and Gladden represented themselves, and Claire Easton at Painted Words represented the illustrator.