Emily Settle at Feiwel and Friends has acquired The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh (Rebel Seoul), a YA fantasy pitched as a feminist retelling of the Korean folktale "The Tale of Shim Cheong," with echoes of Miyazaki. In a town where a girl is sacrificed every year to the sea to stop torrential rains, one brave teen dives in herself to protect a loved one and discovers a spirit kingdom in need of saving. Publication is planned for winter 2022; Patricia Nelson at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Dana Leydig at Viking has bought Right Where I Left You, plus a second YA novel by Julian Winters (Running with Lions). The novel follows Isaac Martin during the summer before his freshman year of college, as he navigates social anxieties of flirting with old crushes who might become new boyfriends, family disconnects, and the looming dread of being separated from his best friend as they enter the next chapter in their lives. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Thao Le at Sandra Dijkstra & Associates brokered the deal for world English rights.
Anna Bloom at Scholastic has bought, in a four-book deal, Jason June's Mermicorn Island series. The chapter books follow the underwater adventures of a mermicorn and his friends as they unlock the power of magic seashells. Publication will begin in spring 2021; Brent Taylor at Triada US negotiated the deal for world rights.
Andrew DeYoung has acquired world rights to Rochelle Melander's (l.) Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers, and Revolutionaries Who Changed the World Through Writing. This middle-grade anthology of biographies features authors and poets, social activists and politicians, explorers and journalists, and more. It focuses on inspiring kids through these stories; writing tips and prompts encourage them to enact change in their own lives and communities. Melina Ontiveros will illustrate; publication is set for spring 2021. The author represented herself, and Kate Kendrick at Astound represented the illustrator.
Alexandra Cooper at Harper Collins has acquired world rights to Not So Small by Pat Zietlow Miller (l.), illustrated by Paola Escobar. This picture book takes cues from nature to demonstrate how even those who feel too small to get noticed can create something world-changing by coming together. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Amy Kitcherside at Pickled Ink represented the illustrator.
Claire Stetzer at Bloomsbury has bought world rights to Jessica Kulekjian's (l.) fiction debut, First Notes of Spring, a picture book about a badger who is excluded from the band that wakes up spring each year, and decides to march to the beat of her own drum. Jennifer Bower will illustrate. Publication is planned for winter 2022; Tracy Marchini and James McGowan at BookEnds represented the author, and Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Alexa Pastor at Atheneum has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to Caroline Kusin Pritchard's (l.) debut picture book, Gitty and Kvetch, an odd couple story full of Yiddish words and humor about an optimistic girl and her curmudgeonly bird friend who discover that sometimes the perfect day comes from embracing the imperfect. Ariel Landy will illustrate. Publication is slated for summer 2021; Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown represented the author, and James Burns at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Valerie Garfield at Little Simon has bought world rights to Cari Meister's (l.) Rocking Bed of Dreams, illustrated by Diana Toledano. In this aquatic board book, a parent waits for their little one to drift off to sleep with a lullaby full of sweet dreams of exploring the wonders of the sea. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; the author represented herself, and Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary represented the illustrator.
Hannah Milton and Lisa Yoskowitz at Little, Brown have acquired national speaker and former NBA cheerleader Erika J. Kendrick's Squad Goals. The middle grade novel is about 12-year-old Magic Poindexter's summer at Planet Pom Poms, where she hopes to make new friends, find her self-confidence, and finally live up to her family's cheerleading legacy. Publication is planned for spring 2021; Marcy Posner at Folio Literary Management brokered the deal for world rights.
Marisa DiNovis at Knopf has bought, in a six-figure, two-book preempt, Meesh the Bad Demon, the start of a debut middle grade graphic novel series by Michelle Lam (the Succubishez webcomic), who has more than 400,000 followers on Instagram. Pitched as Bone meets Zita the Spacegirl and Roller Girl, the story follows young demon Meesh as she goes on an adventure to save the Underworld, making surprising new friends, defeating bullies, and realizing the secret to real power is loving yourself. Publication is set for summer 2022 and summer 2023, respectively; Chelsea Eberly at Greenhouse Literary did the deal for North American rights.
Emily Easton at Crown has acquired world rights to Melissa Savage's Karma Moon—Ghost Hunter, a middle grade adventure about a girl who must battle her anxiety, interpret the signs of the universe, and get footage of a real ghost for her father's ghost-hunting television series. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Laurie McLean at Fuse Literary negotiated the deal.
Alice Jerman at HarperCollins has bought world English rights to Rina Heisel's middle-grade debut, Journey Beyond the Burrow. As a young mouse, Tobin knows that following the rules keeps the Great Burrow safe. But when a pair of monstrous arachnids kidnap his baby brother, he knows he must go after them, even if it means breaking a few rules. Publication is slated for summer 2021; Marlo Berliner at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency brokered the deal.
Reka Simonsen at Atheneum has acquired The Night Ride by J. Anderson Coats (R Is for Rebel and The Green Children of Woolpit). This middle-grade fantasy tells the story of a girl who loves horses and dreams of working with them, maybe even owning one, never mind that this is financially impossible. When she becomes embroiled in an illegal midnight racing club, the opportunity she's long hoped for just might be at hand, if she can survive it. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency sold world rights.
Joni Sussman at Kar-Ben has acquired world rights to When Lightnin' Struck, a middle-grade novel by Betsy Rosenthal. It's not every day that a boy's father is killed by lightning and his mother gets thrown in jail for drunken behavior, but that's James's lot in life. In his small Texas town, James is treated as a pariah at school, taunted as being cursed because of his family's bad luck, but has found a friend in a fellow outcast, a Russian immigrant boy. As their unlikely friendship deepens, family secrets are revealed, and James discovers what just might be his true purpose in life. Publication is set for spring 2022; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary did the deal.
Greg Hunter at Lerner/Graphic Universe has bought world rights to Strikers, written by Kiel Phegley (l.) and illustrated by Jacques Khouri. This middle grade graphic novel, set in Flint, Mich., in the 1980s, follows a hockey team with a losing record as its members find their reasons to play. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Jennifer Unter at the Unter Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself.
Christy Ottaviano at Macmillan/Ottaviano has acquired world rights to Chloe and the Crow, the picture book debut by bestselling author Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors), illustrated by Bonnie Lui. This friendship story celebrates the power of kindness, friendship, and very large hats. Publication is slated for 2022; Christopher Schelling at Selectric Artists represented the author, and Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 represented the artist.
Emma Ledbetter at Abrams bought world rights to Ali Bahrampour's Monsters in the Fog, in which a donkey, ascending a mountain to bring a friend a gift, is bamboozled by monstrous shapes in the fog but learns that every silhouette isn't always what it seems. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio brokered the deal.
Kelly Barrales-Saylor at Sourcebooks eXplore has acquired, in a preempt, world rights to Tracy C. Gold's Trick or Treat Bugs to Eat, plus a follow-up. The picture book follows a very hungry bat who flies out on Halloween night in search of tasty bugs to eat. The first book is scheduled for 2021; Carrie Pestritto at the Laura Dail Literary Agency represented the author.
Laura Godwin at Godwin Books has bought world rights to Dane Liu's (l.) debut picture book Friends Are Friends, Forever, which celebrates Lunar New Year, the tradition of Chinese paper cutting, and sharing the magic of friendship across continents. Lynn Scurfield will illustrate. Publication is set for fall 2021; Wendi Gu at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates represented the author, and the illustrator was unagented.
Michelle Bisson at Capstone has bought world rights to First Day at Unicorn School by debut author Jess Hernandez, illustrated by Mariano Epelbaum. This picture book tells the story of Milly, who is thrilled to be accepted into unicorn school. Except she has a secret—she's a donkey in a party hat. And yet it turns out she really might fit in. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Rena Rossner at the Deborah Harris Agency represented the author, and Kate Kendrick at Astound represented the illustrator.
Courtney Fahy at Little Bee Books has bought world rights to Susannah Aziz's debut picture book Halal Hot Dogs, illustrated by Parwinder Singh, a story about an Arab-Muslim family who takes turns picking out a special Jummah treat. When it's Musa's turn to pick, he always picks his favorite: halal hot dogs. Publication is planned for summer 2021; Adria Goetz at Martin Literary Management represented the author, and Amanda Hendon at Advocate represented the illustrator.
Barb McNally at Sleeping Bear has acquired world rights to The Lady of the Library, written by Angie Karcher (l.). When their library is scheduled for demolition, the ghostly lady who haunts the library teams up with a girl to save it. Rachel Sanson will illustrate; publication is set for spring 2021. Victoria Selvaggio at the Storm Literary Agency represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Alexis Orgera and Chad Reynolds at Penny Candy Books have bought world rights to Between Two Worlds: The Art and Life of Amrita Sher-Gil by Meera Sriram (l.). This picture book biography follows the titular Indian-Hungarian painter, who blended Eastern and Western traditions to paint that which was not previously seen in fine art—the workers, the forgotten, and, most especially, the sadness that the women around her carried. Ruchi Bakshi Sharma will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Tracy Marchini at BookEnds Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Erin Clarke at Knopf has acquired world rights to Unbound: The Life and Art of Judith Scott by Joyce Scott (l.) with Brie Spangler (c.) and Melissa Sweet, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, a picture book biography about artist Judith Scott, who was born with Down syndrome and profound deafness and institutionalized for most of her life until her twin sister Joyce reunited with her and enrolled her at an art center for people with disabilities. Publication is slated for February 2021; Stacey Glick at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret represented Joyce Scott, Mackenzie Brady Watson at Stuart Krichevsky represented Brie Spangler, and Melissa Sweet represented herself.