Phoebe Yeh at Crown has acquired, at auction, Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman by Kristen R. Lee, plus another YA novel, in a six-figure deal. Pitched as Dear White People meets the college admissions scandal, the debut novel follows freshman Savannah F. Howard as she enrolls at the Ivy League—and mostly white—Wooddale University, and confronts racism and white privilege head-on. Publication for the first book is set for spring 2022, with a second, standalone novel to follow in spring 2023; Molly O'Neill at Root Literary negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Catherine Wallace at HarperTeen has bought Jordyn Taylor's second YA novel, Don't Breathe a Word. The dual-timeline narrative is set at an elite boarding school in which a secret society covers up the truth about a student who died in a Cold War-era fallout shelter during a fascist psychological experiment, and the girl who uncovers the lies decades later. Publication is slated for summer 2021; Danielle Burby at Nelson Literary Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.
Nicole Ellul at Simon & Schuster has acquired Isabel Strychacz's YA debut, Starling. The speculative romance is set in a small town where the extraordinary happens every day, and where two sisters attempt to protect the mysterious stranger who literally fell from the stars—and into their backyard—from those who seek to harm him. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Taylor Martindale Kean at Full Circle Literary did the deal for North American rights.
Emily Daluga at Amulet has acquired Stalking Shadows by Cyla Panin in her YA debut. The first novel is a gothic, feminist fantasy retelling of "Beauty and the Beast." To protect her sister, Marie laces perfumes with honeysuckle to mark victims for Ama to hunt when she transforms into a beast at night. But when a child in their town is killed, Marie is forced to acknowledge that she might be losing control of Ama—and must instead find a cure for this curse. Publication is planned for fall 2021, with a second untitled YA novel to follow; Chloe Seager at Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Alexandra Cooper at HarperCollins/Quill Tree has bought, in a six-figure preempt, Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca. The middle grade novel-in-verse is about the 13-year-old daughter of Indian immigrants torn between the worlds of her parents and her school, her immigrant community and 1980s pop culture—until her mother falls ill, and she’s torn in a different way. Publication is slated for winter 2021; Brent Taylor at Triada US brokered the two-book deal for world English rights.
Yasemin Uçar at Kids Can has acquired, with Debbie Rogosin editing, the middle-grade graphic novel memoir Yellow Singing Sail by Yinfan Huang. Set in China during the "one-child policy" era, the memoir details the author's adolescence as an only child and the struggle to forge an artistic identity and find friendship, made even more challenging by a move from a small town to a big city. Publication is set for spring 2023; Sean McCarthy at Sean McCarthy Literary handled the deal for world rights.
Tricia Lin at Random House has bought Shelter by Christie Matheson (Tap the Magic Tree; Plant the Tiny Seed). The middle grade debut, which considers homelessness, family, and evergreen fifth-grade struggles through one child’s lens, chronicles one poignant day in the life of 10-year-old Maya, and follows her journey in discovering that having a house isn't the only way to have a home. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Stacey Glick at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal for world rights.
Virginia Duncan at Greenwillow has acquired, in a two-book, mid-six-figure deal, The Leopard Behind the Moon by Mayonn Paasewe-Valchev. The magic-infused middle grade debut, written by a former child refugee, is a tale of friendship and acceptance as told in the African oral tradition. Publication is planned for 2021; Sara Megibow at kt literary did the deal for world rights.
Emma Ledbetter at Abrams has bought Playdate by Frank W. Dormer (Firefighter Duckies), a young graphic novel introducing four friends—a duck, a snake, a bear, and a land-based narwhal—as they figure out the ups and downs of friendship and problem-solving at the playground. Publication is set for fall 2021; Emily Mitchell at Wernick & Pratt brokered the deal for world rights.
Rotem Moscovich at Knopf has acquired Hot Dog by Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Honoree Doug Salati (Lawrence in the Fall). In this picture book, a dog in the city finds a much-needed escape to the beach—and ultimately comes to better appreciate his home. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Erica Rand Silverman at Stimola Literary Studio negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Christy Ottaviano at Macmillan/Ottaviano has bought world rights to Dreki by Mary Logue. The middle grade novel follows a boy, his grandfather, and a baby dragon as they set off on an international adventure from Minnesota to Iceland. Publication is scheduled for 2022; Jennifer Flannery at Flannery Literary handled the deal for world rights.
Liz Bicknell at Candlewick has acquired world rights to We, the Curious Ones by Marion Dane Bauer (l.), illustrated by Hari Panischer (c.) and Deepti Nair (r.). The picture book in poetry features humankind's understanding of the Earth's place in the universe and the stories we tell ourselves that have carried us along throughout history with comfort and pride. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Rubin Pfeffer at Rubin Pfeffer Content represented the author, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the artists.
Ann Kelley at Random House Studio has bought world rights to The Bees of Notre Dame by Meghan P. Browne (l.), illustrated by E.B. Goodale (Here and Now). This picture book follows the resilient honeybee colonies that survived the 2019 fire at the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris. Publication is slated for fall 2023; Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Literary Group represented the author, and Lori Kilkelly at LK Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Carolyn Yoder of Calkins Creek has acquired Mr. McCloskey's Marvelous Mallards: The Making of Make Way for Ducklings, written by Emma Bland Smith (l.) and illustrated by Becca Stadtlander. This picture book biography tells the true story of how Caldecott Medalist Robert McCloskey lived with a studio filled of ducks in order to get his illustrations just right. Publication is set for 2022; Essie White at Storm Literary Agency represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Asia Citro at the Innovation Press has bought world rights to Seeds of Promise, a picture book written by Sana Rafi (l.) and illustrated by Renia Metallinou. When Maya, a Muslim child, moves to a different country, she feels lonely and lost—until she realizes she must plant the seeds her grandmother gave her to bring about change. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; the author represented herself, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Marisa DiNovis at Knopf has acquired, in a preempt, Before Takeoff by Adi Alsaid (Let's Get Lost). Pitched as The Sun Is Also a Star meets Jumanji, the YA novel follows James and Michelle, who meet in the Atlanta airport and, on a dare, press a mysterious green button that unleashes a blizzard of chaos through the terminals. Publication of the first book is scheduled for fall 2021; Peter Knapp at Park & Fine Literary and Media brokered the two-book deal for world English rights.
Kat Brzozowski at Feiwel and Friends has bought What About Katia? by debut author Juliana Goodman, plus a second standalone YA novel. After a Black teen girl's older sister is killed by a white cop who claims she was breaking into his house, she sets out to uncover what really happened by finding the only other witness who was there that night: her sister's boyfriend, who has gone missing. Publication is set for winter 2022; Patricia Nelson at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Jenny Bak at Viking has acquired, at auction, From Little Tokyo, with Love by Sarah Kuhn (I Love You So Mochi). The contemporary YA novel follows an orphaned, half-Japanese teen who doesn't believe in fairy tales until she learns her presumed-dead mother is not only alive but is a famous movie star, and teams up with a charming young actor on a romp through L.A. to find the truth about her past. Publication is planned for summer 2021; Diana Fox at Fox Literary sold world English rights.
Mari Kesselring and Kelsy Thompson at Flux have bought Claire Winn's YA sci-fi debut, City of Shattered Light, a high-stakes adventure pitched as a queer, female-led Guardians of the Galaxy meets Escape from New York. Heiress Asa flees her controlling father to prevent her sister's mind from being wiped—but must ally with Riven, a gunslinging smuggler bent on clawing her way up the criminal hierarchy, to outwit a monstrous AI and save Asa's sister and their city. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Cortney Radocaj at Belcastro Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Andrew Eliopulos at HarperCollins/Quill Tree has acquired The Legend of Brightblade by Ethan M. Aldridge. In the full-color middle-grade graphic novel, a young prince skilled in bardic magic sneaks out of the palace to become a storied hero like his mother—only to learn that being a real hero is harder than the stories make it seem. Publication is scheduled for winter 2022; Stephen Barbara at Inkwell Management handled the deal for North American rights.
Elise Howard at Algonquin has bought North American rights to the middle grade novel The Tiltersmith by adult and children's novelist Amy Herrick. Four young people in modern-day Brooklyn find themselves caught up in an ancient story: spring equinox has arrived but winter refuses to let go, resulting in a battle filled with myth and nature, fairy tales and science. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Victoria Wells Arms at Wells Arms Literary/HG Literary negotiated the deal.
Janine O'Malley at FSG has acquired Stardust and Other Stuff by Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo (Ruby in the Sky). The novel explores the meeting of science and faith as two 11-year-old girls, Calliope Scott and Rosine Kanambe, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, set out on a journey to summit the notoriously dangerous Stardust Mountain in search of the legendary magic they believe will fix their broken families. The author works with refugees through Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services in New Haven, Conn. Publication is set for winter 2022; Stacey Glick at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret did the deal for North American rights.
Mark Siegel at First Second has bought, at auction, Weirdo, a middle-grade graphic memoir written by Tony Weaver Jr. and with art by Jessica (c.) and Jacinta Wibowo (r.). Kiara Valdez will also be editing. The story follows Tony, a Black preteen who loves anime and writing but struggles with depression, self-acceptance, and fitting in. Publication is planned for 2022; Jennifer Gates and Erica Bauman at Aevitas Creative Management represented Weaver, and Britt Siess at Martin Literary & Media Management represented the Wibowos in the deal for world rights.
Neal Porter at Holiday House/Neal Porter Books has acquired The Adventures of Robo-Kid by Diane deGroat. The picture book blends two parallel stories, one in the real world and one inside a comic book, intersecting when the real-life kid and the comic book superhero find they need each other's help. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Liz Nealon at Great Dog Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Frances Gilbert at Doubleday has bought Let's Taco About How Great You Are, written and illustrated by Bob Holt. The picture book features silly word plays and puns based on food to celebrate kids at key milestones in their lives, or any time a kid just needs a boost. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Rachel Orr at Prospect Agency sold world rights.
Megan Tingley at Little, Brown has acquired world rights to a second picture book by lead singer of the rock band Old 97's and solo artist Rhett Miller (l.), titled The Baby Changing Station, illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat. The sibling book is about the arrival of a baby brother. Publication is set for summer 2022; Jennifer Gates at Aevitas Creative Management represented the author, and Jodi Reamer at Writers House represented the artist.
Rotem Moscovich at Knopf has bought, at auction, world rights to Kate Hannigan's Blips on a Screen, illustrated by Zachariah OHora. This picture book biography centers Ralph Baer, who escaped Nazi Germany as a teen and came to America where he later invented TV video gaming. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Jennifer Mattson at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Sean McCarthy at Sean McCarthy Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Casey Kemp at Bala Kids has acquired world rights to Don't Eat the Bugs, written by Berthe Jansen (l.) and illustrated by Victoria Coles. In this rhyming picture book, children are encouraged to demonstrate compassion for bugs and learn that even the smallest lives have significance. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; the author represented herself, and Essie White at Storm Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Jason Gardner at New World Library has bought world rights to Healing Breath by William Meyer, illustrated by Brittany Jacobs. The guided meditation aims to help young readers connect with the earth, and the animals and people who live on it. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Clelia Gore and Adria Goetz at Martin Literary Management did the deal.