Krista Marino at Delacorte has acquired North American rights to You'll Be the Death of Me and a second untitled YA novel by Karen M. McManus, author of the bestselling One of Us Is Lying. Pitched as Ferris Bueller's Day Off meets a murder mystery, and told in alternating POVs, You'll Be the Death of Me tells the story of three friends who skip school and witness a crime they can only solve by facing what they've been hiding from one another—and themselves. The two titles are slated for fall 2021 and fall 2022, respectively; Rosemary Stimola and Allison Remcheck of the Stimola Literary Studio did the deal.
John Morgan at Macmillan/Imprint has bought In the Ravenous Dark by AdriAnne Strickland, writing as A.M. Strickland. The dark fantasy with LGBTQIA+ relationships features a teen girl whose blood magic abilities put her at the center of a kingdom in turmoil—and bound to an undead guardian meant to control her power. Publication is planned for summer 2021; Hannah Bowman at Liza Dawson Associates brokered the deal for world rights.
Jessica Garrison at Dial has acquired world English rights to Amy Reed's YA psychological thriller Tell Me My Name, a near-future, gender-flipped, feminist retelling of The Great Gatsby for fans of E. Lockhart and Nova Ren Suma. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Michael Bourret at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal.
Andrea Colvin at Little, Brown has bought, at auction, Jonah Newman's debut, a semi-autobiographical YA graphic novel, Out of Left Field, in which a gay teen boy, determined to excel at baseball but decidedly more at home in a history book, discovers his true self. Publication is set for summer 2023; Chad Luibl at Janklow & Nesbit handled the deal for world rights.
Amanda Maciel and David Levithan at Scholastic have acquired, at auction, in a six-figure deal, Tami Charles's young adult verse novel, Muted. Inspired by the #MeToo movement and by Charles's experience as a member of an all-girl R&B singing group, Muted is an exploration of the dark side of the music industry, the business of exploitation, and how a girl's dreams can be used against her—and what it takes to fight back. Publication is slated for 2021; Lara Perkins at Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Grace Kendall at FSG has bought, at auction, Carnegie Medal nominee Megan Shepherd's middle-grade novel Dog Star. Set during the Space Race and inspired by the true story of Laika, the first canine astronaut, the book follows a stray dog from the streets of Moscow as she trains for a dangerous mission to outer space, and the researcher's daughter who will do anything to keep her here on Earth. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Josh Adams at Adams Literary did the deal for North American rights.
Emily Feinberg at Roaring Brook has acquired world rights to Marina Cohen's latest middle-grade novel, Shadow Graves. Pitched as The Village meets Tuck Everlasting, the story follows 12-year-old Arlo, his mother, and younger sister, Lola, who stumble upon an old logging town in the New Hampshire mountains where something terrifying lurks in the surrounding woods. Publication is set for fall 2021; John Cusick at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management brokered the deal.
Samantha Gentry at Little, Brown has bought world rights to Jaime Berry's Hope Springs, a middle-grade novel about one girl who is desperate to find the perfect home as she moves from one town to the next with her grandmother. Publication is scheduled for summer 2021; Kaitlyn Johnson at Corvisiero Agency negotiated the deal.
Kiara Valdez at First Second has acquired, in a preempt, Magnolia Porter Siddell (l.) and Maddi Gonzalez's Tiffany's Griffon, a middle-grade graphic novel about a girl whose favorite fantasy book series comes to life, leading her to lie about her identity in order to steal the destiny of the Chosen One from a popular girl in her grade. Publication is slated for 2022; Susan Graham at Einstein Literary Management did the deal for world rights.
Sally Morgridge at Holiday House has bought world rights to Everywhere Blue by Joanne Rossmassler Fritz. The debut novel in verse is about a 12-year-old girl with an undiagnosed anxiety disorder who loves music, math, and everything in its place. When her older brother disappears from his college campus, her family starts slipping away from her. Publication is set for summer 2021; Barbara Krasner of Olswanger Literary brokered the deal.
Whitney Leopard at Random House Graphic has acquired Kay (Kay D) Davault's debut graphic novel, Journey to Stars, about a young frog named Tad and his task of returning the fallen Star King back to space. Publication is planned for 2023; Britt Siess at Martin Literary & Media Management represented the creator for world English rights.
Rachel Poloski at Little, Brown has bought Waffles and Pancake, a four-book early graphic novel series by Drew Brockington, author of the CatStronauts series. The books will follow future CatStronaut Waffles and his younger sister, Pancake, as young kittens discovering their love for space, adventure, and tuna fish. Publication of the first book is scheduled for fall 2021; Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties negotiated the deal for world rights.
Joanna Cárdenas at Kokila has acquired, at auction, in a three-book deal, world rights to J.D. and the Great Barber Battle by John Dillard (l.) (the "Barberpreneur"), illustrated by Akeem S. Roberts. This first title in the chapter book series follows a boy who turns a tragic home haircut into a thriving barber business, becoming the best and youngest barber of Meridian, Miss., in a citywide competition. Publication is slated for spring 2021, with subsequent books to follow each season; Christina Morgan at Serendipity Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself in the deal.
Jocelyn Schmidt at Philomel has bought What We’ll Build, the latest picture book by Oliver Jeffers, author of Here We Are and Lost and Found; Ken Wright will edit. Written and illustrated by Oliver for his young daughter, the picture book features a father and a daughter who set about laying the foundations for their life together, building memories to cherish, a home to keep them safe, and love to keep them warm. Global publication is set for October 6; Carla Alonzi at HarperCollins Children’s Books U.K. handled the deal.
Mabel Hsu at HarperCollins/Tegen has acquired, in a four-house auction, author-illustrator Marc Majewski's Does Earth Feel?, a picture book that asks 14 questions to encourage active thinking about our planet. Publication is planned for winter 2021, and a second untitled picture book is planned for fall 2022; Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions brokered the deal for world rights.
Allyn Johnston at Beach Lane has bought, at auction, world rights to illustrator Erin McGuire's debut picture book as author-illustrator. The Spy in the Museum tells the true story of WWII French heroine Rose Valland, a woman who helped save countless artworks from the Nazis in Paris and was one of the members of the team that inspired the film Monuments Men. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Susan Cohen at Writers House negotiated the deal.
Tara Weikum at HarperCollins has acquired North American rights to NBA and Newbery Honor author Thanhhà Lại's (l.) first picture book, Hundred Years of Happiness, illustrated by Quang and Lien (r.). The book is about An and her grandfather as they try to untangle her grandmother's memories with songs, stories, and photographs, but only when they sprout seeds of a squash called quả gấc and make a dish called xôi gấc does she finally remember her past. Publication is set for winter 2022; Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio represented the author, and Doreen Thorogood at Good Illustration represented the illustrators.
Andrea Tompa at Candlewick has bought world rights to Poo-Dunit? A Forest Floor Mystery by Katelyn Aronson (l.), illustrated by Stephanie Laberis. The picture book follows a mouse as she wakes one morning to find an unwelcome pile of poo outside her home and determines to find the culprit. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Barb McNally at Sleeping Bear has acquired world rights to Stompin' at the Savoy: How Chick Webb Became the King of Drums by Moira Rose Donohue (l.), illustrated by Laura Freeman. The picture book biography is about an American jazz and swing music drummer who, though he was short in stature from a childhood injury, challenged the King of Swing, Benny Goodman, to a battle of the bands and won, earning the nickname the King of Drums. Publication is slated for January 2021; Jennifer Unter at the Unter Agency represented the author, and Janet DeCarlo at Storybook Arts represented the illustrator.
Nina Gruener at Cameron Kids has bought world rights to Little Sapling by Jan Hughes (l.), illustrated by Ruth Hengeveld, a picture book about a little tree who can't wait to grow tall and strong like her mother. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; the author and the illustrator represented themselves.
Kelly Delaney at Knopf has acquired, in a preempt, All the Things I've Kept from Myself by Karina Manta. This YA memoir tells of the champion figure skater's experiences as a professional athlete, coming out as bisexual in a hyper-feminine sport, and her continually evolving body image. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Jess Regel at Foundry Literary + Media brokered the deal for North American rights.
Kristen Pettit at HarperCollins has bought, in a two-book deal, North American rights to Girl on the Line by Daily Kos publisher Faith Gardner (The Second Life of Ava Rivers). Drawn from the author's own experiences, the novel is about a teenager diagnosed with bipolar II who, in the wake of her suicide attempt, volunteers at a hotline and finds her world opening up in new ways—to new love, friendships, and a gradual acceptance of her past actions. Publication is set for winter 2021; Claire Anderson-Wheeler at Regal Hoffmann and Associates negotiated the deal.
Calista Brill at First Second has acquired, at auction, Victoria Ying's YA contemporary graphic novel, Hungry Ghost. The book follows Valerie Chu as she grows up with an eating disorder in her Chinese-American family, navigates great loss, and ultimately comes to terms with how sometimes those you love most can hurt you most. Publication is slated for 2023; Jennifer Azantian at Azantian Literary Agency did the deal for world English rights.
Mekisha Telfer at Roaring Brook has bought Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA candidate Emma Kress's debut contemporary YA novel, Dangerous Play, in the vein of Moxie and Sadie. In the novel, a girls' field hockey team uncovers rape culture at their school and channels their anger into vigilante justice after one of their captains is sexually assaulted. Publication is planned for spring 2021; Roseanne Wells at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency brokered the deal for North American rights.
Shana Corey at Random House has acquired the first two books in Chris Grabenstein's new middle grade series, Dog Squad, about a stray who helps the world's most famous canine crusaders rescue dogs in peril. Publication is scheduled for summer 2021 and summer 2022, respectively; Eric Myers at Myers Literary Management negotiated the deal for world rights.
Ariane Szu-Tu at National Geographic Kids has bought Pirate Queens: Dauntless Women Who Dared to Rule the High Seas by Leigh Lewis, a middle grade nonfiction title that combines verse poetry, illustrations, and nonfiction to explore important and often unheralded women throughout history who were powerful pirates in their own right. Publication is set for winter 2021; Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown Ltd. handled the deal for world rights.
Amanda Shih at Scholastic has acquired North American rights to Living Ghosts of Native America, written by Dan C. Jones, illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre. This middle grade collection of American Indian ghost stories and folklore includes retellings by tribal elders relevant to struggles that kids face today, as well as material about the cultural significance of specific stories and storytelling methods. Publication is slated for 2021; Kevin Mulroy at Potomac Global Media brokered the deal for the author and the illustrator.
Tom Peterson and Kate Riggs at the Creative Company have bought world rights to James Christopher Carroll's Mother Winter, a picture book that celebrates the arrival of Mother Winter and the beauty of the changing seasons. Publication is planned for October 2021; Anna Olswanger at Olswanger Literary represented the author-illustrator.
Kaylan Adair at Candlewick has acquired A Lion Story by Kara Kramer (Atticus Cat-icus illustrator) in her debut as author-illustrator. The picture book is about a boy who asks his father to tell him a story, but then interjects until the two decide to create the tale together—with help from the reader. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Grace Kendall at FSG has bought world rights to Audrey Ades's I, Too, Am Mozart, a picture book biography of child musical prodigy Maria Anna "Nannerl" Mozart. The book explores her collaborative relationship with her younger brother, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and details how her performances and compositions challenged the gender norms of her day. Publication is set for fall 2022; Suzy Evans at Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency did the deal.
Zareen Jaffery, while at Simon & Schuster, bought world rights to Abdul's Story, a picture book written by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow (l.) and illustrated by Tiffany Rose, for Salaam Reads. Catherine Laudone will edit. Abdul has many great stories in his head but he struggles in school and is too ashamed of his writing to put these stories on paper—until an author visits his class and gives him a new perspective. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Essie White at Storm Literary Agency represented the author, and Erzsi Deak at Hen&ink represented the illustrator.
Simon Boughton at Norton Young Readers has acquired world rights to The Upside-Down Book of Sloths by Elizabeth Shreeve (Out of the Blue). The playful nonfiction roundup compares modern sloths with their unexpected and amazing prehistoric relatives. Steve Jenkins will illustrate. The book is scheduled for publication in winter 2022; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and the artist represented himself.
Janine O'Malley at FSG has acquired world rights to Season of Light by Jess Redman (The Miraculous) (l.) in her picture book debut. Illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki, the story follows several families through their Christmas Eve acts of service and celebration with the message that the bright wonder of the Christmas season can last all year long. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties represented the author, and James Burns at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Courtney Burke at Page Street Kids has bought world rights to Princesses Can Fix It! by literary agent Tracy Marchini (Chicken Wants a Nap) (l.); Julia Christians will illustrate. A STEM-focused take on The Twelve Dancing Princesses, the story follows three princesses who use the six simple machines in their nighttime secret workshop to solve the king's alligator problem and prove that proper princesses can build, invent, and experiment after all. Publication is set for spring 2021; Jenna Pocius at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Susan McCabe at Lilla Rogers Studio represented the illustrator.
Rachael Stein, formerly at Sterling, has acquired world rights to The Little Spacecraft That Could by Joyce Lapin (l.), illustrated by Simona Ceccarelli. Eve Adler will edit. The book traces the New Horizons spacecraft's historic journey to Pluto and Arrokoth. Publication is planned for spring 2021; John Rudolph at Dystel, Goderich and Bourret represented the author, and Andrea Cascardi at Transatlantic Agency represented the illustrator.
Andrea Hall at Albert Whitman has bought world rights to Norene Paulson's (l.) picture book What's Silly Hair Day with No Hair? about a girl with alopecia who decides to make School Spirit Week inclusive for everyone. Camila Carrossine will illustrate. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Naomi Davis at Bookends Literary Agency represented the author, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Sarah Rockett at Sleeping Bear Press has acquired world rights to Alexandra Alessandri's (l.) bilingual picture book Isabel and Her Colores Go to School, illustrated by Courtney Dawson. Isabel doesn't speak much English, preferring the colors and comfort of Spanish, yet she still finds creative ways to communicate when words won't work. Publication is set for fall 2021; Deborah Warren at East West Literary represented the author, and Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 represented the illustrator.
Marissa Moss at Creston Books has bought world rights to A Queen to the Rescue: The Story of Henrietta Szold by Nancy Churnin (l.), illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg. The picture book biography is about the septuagenarian who saved thousands of children from Nazi Europe and founded Hadassah, the first charitable organization created and run by women. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Anna Olswanger at Olswanger Literary represented the illustrator.
Carolyn Yoder at Boyds Mills & Kane/Calkins Creek has acquired world rights to Born Hungry, written by Alex Prud'homme. Born Hungry captures the passion of Julia Child as it follows her evolution from a girl born hungry to one of America's most celebrated chefs and food writers. Sarah Green will illustrate. Publication is planned for spring 2022; the author was unagented, and Anne Moore Armstrong represented the artist.
Andrew DeYoung at Beaming Books has bought world rights to Prima Gina, Ballerina by Kelly Mangan (l.). The picture book tells the story of a plus-sized, ballet-loving girl who wows the crowd at a talent show with her ballet moves, inspiring kids to be their best selves without fear or embarrassment. Anuki Lopez will illustrate. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Erica Christensen at Metamorphosis Literary Agency represented the author, and Sam Groff at Advocate Art represented the illustrator.