Stephanie Lurie at Disney/Rick Riordan Presents has acquired, in an exclusive submission, bestselling and PW Flying Start author Roseanne A. Brown's debut middle grade fantasy, Serwa Boateng's Guide to Vampire Hunting, and an untitled sequel. In this Ghanaian folklore-inspired tale, 12-year-old Serwa Boateng is uprooted from her vampire hunting life after her childhood home is attacked by shapeshifting vampires masked as fireflies. When she's transported to the care of an aunt in Maryland and forced to attend a "normal" school for the first time, Serwa finds that vampire hunting and seventh-grade don't quite mix. Publication is set for 2022 and 2023; Quressa Robinson at Nelson Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
Mora Couch at Holiday House has acquired, in a preempt, YA fantasy Vial of Tears by Cristin Bishara, inspired by her family stories and by her grandfather's collection of numismatic antiquities, unearthed in the mountains of Lebanon. An ancient coin transports Lebanese American sisters Sam and Rima to the Phoenician underworld, where they are caught in the machinations of deities, shapeshifters, and ghouls—and where the only escape may be to kill the god of death himself. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Minju Chang at BookStop Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Sylvan Creekmore at Wednesday Books has bought, in an exclusive submission, Off the Record by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich. The novel follows two boys in America's biggest boy band who fall for each other while on their first sold-out European tour, and are forced to keep their relationship a secret by their record label, but slowly realize those in charge have no intention of letting them announce their relationship to the world—ever. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Moe Ferrara at BookEnds Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Elise Howard and Krestyna Lypen at Algonquin have bought, at auction, world rights to Enduring Freedom, a YA novel by Trent Reedy (l.) and Jawad Arash. The dual storyline follows a young National Guard recruit living in Iowa and a Muslim teen living in Kabul under Taliban rule, as the events surrounding 9/11 unfold in two very different worlds. Publication is scheduled for summer 2021; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency handled the deal.
Lily Kessinger at HMH has acquired, in a preempt, The Sapling's Curse, a YA graphic novel written by debut author James Persichetti and illustrated by L. Biehler. In this inclusive twist on the legend of Arthur, knights Lancelot and Tristan set out on a quest to find the missing magician Merlin, but instead discover an unexpected romance. Publication is set for 2023, with a second book scheduled for 2025. Danielle Burby at Nelson Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Whitney Leopard at Random House Graphic has acquired Reimena Yee's middle-grade graphic novel, My Aunt Is a Monster, about blind orphan Safia, who dreams of being an adventurer. When it's discovered that Safia has a living relative, the reclusive Lady Walteranne Whimsy, Safia is whisked away to a new home and a new adventure she never knew was possible. Publication is planned for 2022; Jennifer Linnan at Linnan Literary Management did the deal for world rights.
Liesa Abrams at Aladdin has bought, in a six-figure preempt, world rights to Sort of Super, plus an untitled sequel by Eric Gapstur. The middle grade graphic novel is about a boy whose accidental superpowers become the first clue in solving his mother's disappearance. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Uwe Stender and Brent Taylor at Triada US brokered the deal.
Susan Rich at Little, Brown has bought Maira Kalman's Darling Baby, a picture book adaptation of the journal Kalman kept the first summer she spent with her newborn granddaughter, brimming with love and Kalman-esque observations. Publication is scheduled for summer 2021; Charlotte Sheedy at Charlotte Sheedy Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Paulsen has acquired world rights to The Light in Me Sees the Light in You, written and illustrated by Lori Nichols (Maple). The picture book pays tribute to the power of friendship and the bonds that endure even after a loved one is gone. Publication is set for spring 2021; Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary & Media represented the author-illustrator.
Alex Arnold at Quirk has bought author-illustrator Natalie Nelson's Dog's First Baby and Cat's First Baby, narrations from the canine and feline perspective on the arrival of a small and suspicious stranger who, it turns out, just might become a forever friend. Publication is planned for fall 2021 and spring 2022, respectively; Molly O'Neill at Root Literary brokered the two-book deal for world rights.
Jessica Garrison at Dial has acquired Drop: An Adventure Through the Water Cycle by Emily Kate Moon. For readers of conversational nonfiction like I'm Trying to Love Spiders and Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years, the book is filled with amusing asides and kid-enticing facts. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Jennifer Weltz at Jean V. Naggar Literary handled the deal for world English rights.
Margaret Anastas has bought world rights to I Am Smart, I Am Blessed, I Can Do Anything! by Alissa Holder (l.) and Zulekha Holder-Young (c.), illustrated by Nneka Myers, the first title scheduled for publication on Anastas's new Flamingo Books list at Penguin. The picture book is based on the real story of a boy whose self-motivational words went viral. Publication is slated for fall 2020; Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the authors, and Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary represented the artist.
Karen Boss at Charlesbridge has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to the picture book Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun's Thanksgiving Story, written by Danielle Hill (Wampanoag) (top l.), Anthony Perry (Chickasaw) (top r.), and Alexis Bunten (Yup'ik/Unangan) (bottom l.), and illustrated by Garry Meeches Sr. (Anishinaabe) (bottom r.). The book offers readers the "first" Thanksgiving story from an Indigenous perspective. Guided by the advice of Weeâchumun (corn), the Wampanoag people helped the Pilgrims survive their first winter. Publication is set for fall 2021 to mark the 400th anniversary of the famous harvest meal; Andrea Cascardi at Transatlantic Agency did the deal.
Maria Modugno at Random House Studio has bought world rights to Rosa's Song by Helena Ku Rhee, a picture book about a friendship that develops in an apartment house full of newly arrived immigrants. Pascal Campion will illustrate; publication is planned for summer 2022. Emma Patterson at Brandt & Hochman Literary Agency represented the author, and Justin Rucker at Shannon Associates represented the illustrator.
Antonia Markiet at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to Still Mine, written by debut author Jayne Pillemer (l.), illustrated by Sheryl Murray. The picture book is about the endurance of love after loss, and the comfort that comes from the memories that you keep with you always. Publication is scheduled for winter 2022; the author represented herself, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Holly West at Feiwel and Friends has bought world rights to Valenslime by Joy Keller (l.), illustrated by Ashley Belote. In this picture book, a girl scientist has lots of friends, but her slime creation has only her—until a Valentine's Day experiment yields an explosion of little Valenslime pals. Publication is slated for winter 2022; Mary Cummings at Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises represented the author, and Moe Ferrara at BookEnds represented the illustrator.
Clarissa Wong at HarperCollins has acquired, in a preempt, world rights to Black Gold by debut author Laura Obuobi, illustrated by London Ladd. The picture book is a poetic celebration of Black children, a reminder that they are beautiful, powerful, and limitless. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Maria Vicente at P.S. Literary represented the author, and Lori Nowicki at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Andrea Tompa at Candlewick has bought world rights to Once Upon a Time: How Christo and Jeanne-Claude Took the Ordinary and Made It Extraordinary, written by G. Neri and illustrated by Elizabeth Haidle. Publication for the picture book biography, for which the author was able to interview Christo shortly before his death, is planned for 2023. Edward Necarsulmer IV at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary represented the author, and Abigail Samoun at Red Fox Literary represented the illustrator.
Elizabeth Lee at FSG has acquired world rights to Suma Subramaniam's (l.) debut nonfiction picture book, She Sang for India: How M.S. Subbulakshmi Used Her Voice for Change, illustrated by Shreya Gupta. This biography tells the story of M.S. Subbulakshmi, a famous Carnatic singer and the first Indian musician to perform at the United Nations. Publication is set for winter 2022; Miranda Paul at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and Andrea Morrison at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Meredith Mundy at Abrams has bought world rights to Code Breaker, Spy Hunter by Laurie Wallmark (l.) (Hedy Lamarr's Double Life), illustrated by Brooke Smart. The picture book biography highlights the achievements of Elizebeth Friedman, who smashed Nazi spy rings, took down gangsters, and created the CIA's first cryptology unit. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Liza Fleissig at Liza Royce Agency represented the author, and Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary represented the illustrator.
Clarissa Wong at HarperCollins has acquired, in a preempt, The Silence That Binds Us, a debut YA novel by Joanna Ho. After her popular older brother's death by suicide, racist accusations are hurled against 16-year-old May, her Chinese American parents, and other Asian families for putting too much "pressure" on their kids. May attempts to challenge the racism and ugly stereotypes through her writing, only to realize that she still has much to learn and that the consequences of speaking truth to power run much deeper than she could have foreseen. Publication is set for summer 2022; Caryn Wiseman at Andrea Brown Literary did the deal for world rights.
Rosemary Brosnan at HarperCollins/Quill Tree has bought, at auction, Anica Mrose Rissi's Hide and Don't Seek, an original, contemporary collection of scary stories for middle grade readers that run the gamut from truly terrifying to wickedly funny, including a hide-and-seek game that won't end, a doppelganger doll that feels right at home, and a summer camp where a strange illness might not be food poisoning. Publication is slated for summer 2021; Michael Bourret at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal for world rights.
Meghan Maria McCullough at Levine Querido has acquired world rights to What the Jaguar Told Her by debut author Alexandra V. Méndez. The middle grade magical realist novel follows Mexican American Jade O'Callaghan, who comes to terms with her identity in the American South with the help of an elderly storyteller named Itztli, who has the power to transform into a jaguar. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; the author represented herself in the deal.
Erica Finkel at Abrams has bought world rights to Dinged by Tommy Greenwald (Game Changer). Part of a sports-themed series, this middle-grade novel follows Caleb Springer, high school freshman and quarterback sensation, whose football career is taking off just as his father, ex-NFL star Sammy Springer, begins to show signs of mental deterioration. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Brianne Johnson at Writers House brokered the deal.
Deeba Zargarpur at Simon & Schuster has acquired, in a two-book deal, The Monster in the Bathhouse, author-illustrator Sina Merabian's U.S. debut. Set in an Iranian bathhouse, this story follows a group of children who are convinced that there is a monster—a Div—wreaking havoc on the eve of Nowruz, and must uncover the truth before the bathhouse closes for New Year celebrations. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Tracy Marchini at BookEnds Literary represented the creator for world rights.
Harriet Low at HMH has bought world rights to Knock Those Doors Down!: The True Story of Dr. Sadie Alexander by Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman, co-founder of the Sadie Collective. This picture book biography, about the first Black person to receive a PhD in economics in the U.S. and the first Black woman to practice law in Pennsylvania, reveals how Dr. Alexander's love for her community blossomed into a love of economics. Publication is set for spring 2023; Leila Campoli at Stonesong represented the author.
Rick Rinehart at Rowman & Littlefield has acquired author-illustrator Misha Blaise's picture book debut, This Book Is Made of Clouds, an invitation for young readers to explore how they are connected to nature, the universe, and all of humanity. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Jennifer Weltz at the Jean V. Naggar Agency negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Kallie George at Greystone Kids has bought world rights to Still This Love Goes On and On, a picture book based on the song by the same name, written by Buffy Sainte-Marie (l.), Academy Award-winning Cree singer-songwriter, and illustrated by Cree-Métis author-illustrator Julie Flett. The joyful song celebrates tradition, seasons, place, and community. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Gilles Paquin at Paquin Entertainment Group represented Sainte-Marie; Flett represented herself.
Lee Wade at Random House Studio has acquired world rights to As Night Falls by Donna Jo Napoli (l.) and illustrated by Felicita Sala, a bedtime picture book where nature goes nuts at night—spiders strike and chew, bats loop and swoop, and nimble weasels snatch. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Brenda Bowen at the Book Group represented the author, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the illustrator.
Tara Walker at Tundra has bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to Night Lunch by Eric Fan (co-creator of The Barnabus Project and The Night Gardener), illustrated by Dena Seiferling (King Mouse). The picture book is about a Victorian-inspired evening food cart and its animal owner and patrons. Publication is set for fall 2022; Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the author, and Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative Artists represented the illustrator.
Emma Ledbetter at Abrams has acquired world rights to Feathers Together, the third picture book collaboration between author Caron Levis and illustrator Charles Santoso (This Way, Charlie; Ida, Always), about the unbreakable bond between two storks facing an unexpected separation, inspired by a real-life animal friendship. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Emily Mitchell at Wernick & Pratt represented the author, and Justin Rucker at Shannon Associates represented the illustrator.
Kate DePalma at Barefoot Books has bought world rights to To Carnival!: A Celebration in Saint Lucia by Baptiste Paul (The Field), illustrated by Jana Glatt. This picture book follows young Melba, who has missed her ride to her island nation's annual Carnival parade, and all the friends who join her for her journey on foot to the festivities. Publication is slated for spring 2021; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Suzy Capozzi at Sterling has acquired Rock Star Recess, a debut picture book co-written by Emily Mullock and Patrick Baggatta, and illustrated by Mullock. A trio of tenacious elementary school kids accept a challenge to take recess to a whole new level. Their band has a publicist, security detail, and has already experienced one very busy autograph session. Now what did they forget? Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 represented the author and illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Mabel Hsu at HarperCollins/Tegen has bought North American rights to If You're a Kid Like Gavin by Stonewall Award-winning author Kyle Lukoff (l.) and trans rights activist Gavin Grimm (c.), illustrated by J Yang (r.). The picture book biography follows Gavin in his fight against his school administration when he was banned from using the boys' restroom, eventually taking his case to the Supreme Court. Publication is set for summer 2022; Saba Sulaiman at Talcott Notch Literary Services represented the authors, and the illustrator was unagented.