Andrew Eliopulos at HarperCollins/Quill Tree has acquired, in an exclusive submission, Act Cool by Tobly McSmith. In the YA novel, a transgender teen is accepted into a prestigious performing arts high school in New York, but when he is cast in a role that hits too close to home—the part of a trans teen whose family is intent on conversion therapy—he must learn how to be true to himself, apart from any role. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Tina Dubois at ICM Partners brokered the two-book deal for world rights.
Miriam Weinberg at Tor Teen has bought Charlie Jane Anders's debut YA sci-fi novel, Victories Greater Than Death, first in a trilogy. Tina has always known her destiny is outside the norm—after all, she is the human clone of the most brilliant alien commander in all the galaxies. But she is tired of waiting for her life to begin. And then it does—and maybe Tina should have been more prepared. Publication is set for spring 2021, 2022, and 2023, respectively; Russell Galen at Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency did the deal for North American rights.
T.S. Ferguson at Little, Brown/Patterson has signed Valeria Wicker (author-illustrator of The Ugly Doodles) to illustrate Eleanor Rigby, a YA graphic novel written by James Patterson, in which a teen girl runs away to Seattle to find her missing sister and must tell stories on the street to survive. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Adria Goetz at Martin Literary Management negotiated the deal for world rights.
Rose Pleuler at HarperAlley has acquired world rights to debut author-illustrator Cait May and debut author Trevor Bream's Another Kind, a YA graphic novel, plus a second untitled graphic novel. While six cryptid kids search for a new place to call home, something sinister lurks in the shadows. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Claire Draper at the Bent Agency negotiated the deal.
Jessica Garrison at Dial has acquired, in a preempt, world rights to Zack Loran Clark's solo debut, The Lock-Eater. In the vein of Diana Wynne Jones, this middle-grade adventure brings together a girl with an uncanny talent and a "gearling" who yearns for greater things on a dangerous journey that will take all they have just to survive, and explores questions of friendship, sexual identity, and moral ambiguity. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency brokered the deal.
Mary Kate Castellani at Bloomsbury has bought The Somewhere Else by Megan Frazer Blakemore (Water Castle) in her fantasy debut. This feminist middle grade retelling of "Sleeping Beauty" features a princess who, when she discovers that her curse allows her to call a boy from our world into hers, takes control of her own destiny and challenges the definitions of heroism. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties did the deal for world rights.
Bethany Buck at Pixel+Ink has acquired Erin Soderberg Downing's When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie—as well as another in the Great Peach Experiment series—a middle grade novel about a family reconnecting as they take a road trip in a newly acquired food truck. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Michael Bourret at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal for world rights.
Janine O'Malley at FSG has bought Between the Lighthouse and You, a debut middle grade novel by Michelle Lee, about a girl who goes looking for answers about her missing mother on an island that receives yearly messages from the dead, and a boy whose family maintains the island's lighthouse, fighting to protect his town's traditions. Publication is set for fall 2021; Taylor Martindale Kean at Full Circle Literary brokered the deal for world English rights.
Alex Arnold at Quirk has acquired world rights to The Wild World Handbook by Andrea Debbink (Spark and Think for Yourself), an illustrated middle grade guide to nature exploration and environmental stewardship. With creative activities to engage with the natural world, ways to protect it, and stories of both famous and little-known adventurers, scientists, and artists who did just that, the book aims to empower the next generation of young activists and nature lovers. Publication is planned for April 2021, to tie in with Earth Day; Reiko Davis at DeFiore and Company handled the two-book deal.
While at Simon & Schuster, Liz Kossnar bought Dragons Are the Worst, a picture book by Alex Willan; Kendra Levin will edit. Gilbert the goblin does not understand why everyone is so afraid of dragons; after all, goblins are scary too—they know spells, and can fly, sort of. Surely they deserve a quest or two of their own, don't they? Publication is set for fall 2021; Lori Kilkelly at LK Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Kate O'Sullivan at HMH has acquired world rights to Ancestory by Hannah Salyer. Focusing on ancient wall art from around the world, the nonfiction picture book asks who created it and why—while the exact answers may be out of reach, the investigation is half the fun. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions brokered the deal.
Antonia Markiet at HarperCollins has bought, at auction, What Would You Do in a Book About You?, written by Jean Reidy and illustrated by Joey Chou, and two additional picture books by the author-illustrator team. What Would You Do in a Book About You? empowers children to be the authors of their own stories, embracing all the possibilities that life—or imagination—puts in front of them. Publication is slated to begin in spring 2021; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Neal Porter at Holiday House/Porter has acquired world rights to I Don't Care by Julie Fogliano (l.), a picture book about two friends comparing all of the things that do (and do not) matter when it comes to true friendship. It will be jointly illustrated by Caldecott Honorees Molly Idle (c.) and Juana Martinez-Neal (r.). Publication is set for fall 2022; Steven Malk at Writers House represented Fogliano and Idle, and Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary represented Martinez-Neal.
Sydnee Monday at Kokila has bought world rights to A Blue Kind of Day, a picture book debut by Australian psychologist Rachel Tomlinson (l.). The story follows a boy who is learning how to navigate the physical symptoms of depression, and his family who is learning how best to hold space for him. Tori-Jay Mordey will illustrate. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Stacey Glick at Dystel, Goderich and Bourret represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Courtney Code at Abrams has bought world rights to Before Music by Annette Bay Pimentel (l.), which explores how people have, throughout time and across the world, used natural materials they find around them to make music. Madison Safer will illustrate in her debut; publication is scheduled for spring 2022. Kathleen Rushall at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Lara Perkins at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Megan Ilnitzki at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to One Wish by M.O. Yuksel (l.), a picture book biography about Fatima al-Fihri, the ninth-century Muslim woman who pioneered the world's oldest university—which is still operating today. Mariam Quraishi will illustrate; publication is set for winter 2022. Jenna Pocius at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Lilly Ghahremani at Full Circle Literary represented the artist.
Courtney Burke at Page Street Kids has bought Sita's Hurly Burly Hullabaloo, a picture book by Tina Athaide (l.), illustrated by Asa Gilland, which centers on a girl whose endless energy helps her have fun but whose inability to sit still gets her in trouble—until her grandfather reveals he has his own "hurly-burly hullabaloo" and they work together to help Sita find her balance. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Andrea Cascardi at Transatlantic Agency represented the author, and Susan McCabe at Lilla Rogers represented the artist.
Wendy McClure at Albert Whitman has bought world rights to Dylan's Dragon by Annie Silvestro, which follows overscheduled Dylan and his new friend Dragon as they try to play together. But it's tough to find time in between baseball practice, piano lessons, karate class, homework… The picture book is a reminder that sometimes it's better to cut back, and do less to live more. Ben Whitehouse will illustrate; publication is set for April 2021. Liza Pulitzer Voges at Eden Street represented the author, and Frederica Dawson at the Bright Agency represented the artist.
Allison Moore at Bloomsbury has acquired author, playwright, and "Modern Love" contributor David Valdes's Spin Me Right Round. Pitched as an #OwnVoices twist on Back to the Future, the YA novel follows an out-and-proud Latinx teen who accidentally time-travels to his parents' era and makes it his mission to save a closeted classmate from a tragic end. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Annie Bomke at Annie Bomke Literary Agency handled the two-book deal for world rights.
Katherine Harrison at Knopf has bought Elizabeth Lim's YA fantasy duology Six Crimson Cranes, a reimagining of the Wild Swans fairytale, and a third untitled work. Set in the same world as Spin the Dawn, Six Crimson Cranes centers an exiled princess who must unweave the curse that turned her brothers into cranes, assisted by her spurned betrothed, a mercurial dragon, and a paper bird brought to life by her own magic. Publication of the first book is scheduled for summer 2021; Gina Maccoby at Gina Maccoby Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Tiffany Liao at Holt has acquired, in an exclusive submission, Lesley Livingston's Queen Among the Dead, a YA fantasy inspired by the legend of the first true queen of ancient Eire and the mysterious sacred sites of Newgrange and the Hill of Tara. Favored by the Wolf Goddess, Neve is a renegade Celtic princess who defies destiny to seize the throne of kings with the aid of shapeshifting druid-turned-thief Ronan and a band of berserker women warriors. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Jess Regel at Foundry Literary + Media brokered the deal for North American rights.
Liza Kaplan at Philomel has bought The Wolves Are Watching, a YA novel by Natalie Lund (We Speak in Storms and The Sky Above Us). Luce sees golden eyes in the woods on the night a toddler goes missing. With her small town quick to apportion blame, Luce follows a wolf into the forest and discovers the mysterious history of the town, the magical animal-women who were forced into hiding many years before, and the unsettling truth that this has happened before. Publication is set for spring 2022; Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary did the deal for North American rights.
Patty Rice at Andrews McMeel has signed poet Colby Cedar Smith's debut novel Call Me Athena: Girl from Detroit, a YA historical novel-in-verse about a tight-knit Greek family in Michigan in the 1930s and the struggles faced by one strong-willed young woman, whose ambitions and dreams were ahead of her time. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Allison Hellegers at Stimola Literary Studio negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Kristen Pettit at HarperCollins has acquired My Fine Fellow by Jennieke Cohen (Dangerous Alliance). A gender-flipped Pygmalion, the YA historical novel is set in an alternate London in the 1800s where two young female Culinarians recruit a street vendor to teach him to become a gastronomic star for the upper crust. Publication is scheduled for January 2022; Jennifer Unter at the Unter Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.
Maggie Lehrman at Abrams has bought, in an exclusive submission, world English rights to Lia and Beckett's Abracadabra by Amy Noelle Parks (The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss). This YA romantic comedy, set in a magic-themed resort town, is a Romeo and Juliet love story, with illusions instead of duels and a happy ending instead of death. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Elizabeth Bennett at Transatlantic Agency handled the deal.
Julie Rosenberg at Razorbill has acquired North American rights to The Coldest Touch by Isabel Sterling (These Witches Don't Burn). The contemporary fantasy follows Elise, a mortal girl who feels the death of anyone she touches, and Claire, the vampire assigned to recruit her for the Order, as they team up to stop a paranormal killer and realize they might be falling in love. Publication is set for fall 2021; Kathleen Rushall at Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the deal.
Antonia Markiet and Megan Ilnitzki at HarperCollins have preempted Jacquetta Nammar Feldman's debut middle grade novel, Wishing Upon the Same Stars. The novel follows a seventh-grade Arab-American girl whose notions of home and heritage are redefined after moving to Texas and becoming best friends with the Jewish Israeli girl next door. Publication is slated for winter 2022; Peter Knapp at Park & Fine Literary and Media did the two-book deal for world English rights.
Mabel Hsu at HarperCollins/Tegen has bought, in an exclusive submission, Katrina Moore (l.) and Zoe Si's Teeny Houdini series, pitched as Junie B. Jones meets Dory Fantasmagory. The chapter books follow Bessie Lee, the teeniest girl in her first-grade class, and the disaster that follows when her magic tricks go awry. The first two books are scheduled for winter 2022; Andrea Morrison at Writers House represented the author and the illustrator represented herself in the three-book deal for world rights.
Neal Porter at Holiday House/Neal Porter Books has acquired world rights to A Seed, a nonfiction picture book by Sibert Honor author-illustrator Antoinette Portis, marking their eighth collaboration together. The book follows the life cycle of a sunflower plant. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Deborah Warren at East West Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Stephanie Pitts at Putnam has bought Andrew Prahin's picture book Ship in a Bottle, in which a mouse, who lives in constant fear of the cat, sets off in a ship in a bottle to search for a new home and a better life. Publication is set for summer 2021; Paul Rodeen at Rodeen Literary Management negotiated the deal for world rights.
Courtney Code at Abrams has acquired world English rights to Jennifer Thermes's Horse Power: How Horses Changed the World, a picture book that explores the ways in which the everyday horse inspired invention and innovation around the world for thousands of years, and changed the course of human history. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Marietta B. Zacker at Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency brokered the deal.
Ann Kelley at Random House Studio has bought, at auction, world rights to The Notebook Keeper by Stephen Briseño, illustrated by Magdalena Mora. Inspired by true events, the picture book follows Noemi and her Mamá who, denied entry at the U.S. border, must wait and find the refugee in charge of "the notebook," an unofficial ledger of those waiting to cross into the U.S. As time goes on and hope dwindles, Noemi discovers the power of spreading kindness in such a dark place. Publication is planned for summer 2022; Natalie Lakosil at the Bradford Literary Agency represented the author, and Steven Malk at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Paulsen has acquired world rights to The Storyteller by Lindsay Bonilla, illustrated by Noar Lee Naggan, featuring a boy whose grandmother showers him with love, encouragement, and a world of stories, all of which stand him in good stead when it's time for her to depart and he is left to tell his own stories—and hers. Publication is set for fall 2022; Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis represented the author, and Rena Rossner at the Deborah Harris Agency represented the illustrator.
Chris Krones at HMH has bought world rights to Let's All Be Kind, written by Karen Beaumont and illustrated by David Catrow (creators of I Like Myself and I Ain't Gonna Paint No More). The rhyming picture book serves as a call for kindness. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; the author represented herself, and Wendi Gu at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates represented the illustrator.
Peggy Schaefer at WorthyKids has acquired world rights to A Flood of Kindness by Ellen Leventhal (l.), illustrated by Blythe Russo. The picture book features a girl who struggles with feelings of anger and sadness when her home is destroyed in a flood, until she finds hope in the healing power of kindness. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Mary Cummings at Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises represented the author, and Molly O'Neill at Root Literary represented the illustrator.