Michelle Frey and Christopher Myers at Make Me a World have acquired, at auction, Lucha by Tehlor Kay Mejia, author of the We Set the Dark on Fire duology. The YA fantasy novel follows Lucha Moya, a bounty hunter living on the border of an ancient, mythical forest—the only source of a highly addictive drug that's destroying her community and her family. As the first member of her community in a generation to possess magic, she vows to defeat the evil that surrounds her. Publication is set for fall 2022; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret brokered the two-book deal for world rights.
Marisa DiNovis at Knopf has bought, in a two-book, six-figure preempt, This Rebel Heart by Sydney Taylor Honor-winning author Katherine Locke (The Girl with the Red Balloon). The fabulist YA novel follows a Jewish teen finding her voice during the student-led 1956 Hungarian Revolution, and explores whether failed revolutions matter—and whether you should fight for a country that doesn't love you back. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022, with a second YA novel to follow; Lara Perkins at Andrea Brown Literary did the deal for world rights.
Hannah Milton at Little, Brown/Poppy has acquired It's All in How You Fall, the next YA contemporary romance by Sarah Henning (Throw Like a Girl). After an injury ends her career, a near-elite competitive gymnast develops a major (and majorly inconvenient) crush on her older brother's best friend after he promises to help her find a new signature sport—and, in return, she offers to set him up with her former teammate. Publication is planned for winter 2022; Whitney Ross at Irene Goodman Literary negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Trisha de Guzman at FSG has bought, in a preempt, children's book editor Deeba Zargarpur's debut novel, The Song We Lost, a magic-infused contemporary YA about an Afghan-Uzbek immigrant family's secrets, and the teen girl who comes face to face with the literal ghosts of their past. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Elana Roth Parker at Laura Dail Literary brokered the deal for world English rights.
Alice Jerman at HarperTeen has acquired Being Mary Bennet, plus an untitled standalone, by JC Peterson. This YA romantic comedy debut follows a girl who discovers she is the Mary Bennet of her own life, and resolves to become the main character of her story. Publication is scheduled for winter 2022; Amy Elizabeth Bishop at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret handled the two-book deal for North American rights.
Kelsey Murphy at Philomel has bought world English rights to Catch the Light by debut author Kate Sweeney. This contemporary YA romance follows a high school junior after she is forced to move from Los Angeles to upstate New York nine months after the death of her father. While wrestling with complicated feelings about her father, she meets a boy who shares her passion for photography and helps her come to terms with the fact that living in the present might mean letting go of the past. Publication is set for fall 2021; Melanie Castillo and Taylor Haggerty at Root Literary negotiated the two-book deal.
Tiffany Liao at Holt has acquired, at auction, The Marvellers, a middle-grade debut by Dhonielle Clayton, first in a fantasy series set in a magic school in the sky where students from around the world come together to practice their cultural marvels. Ella Durand, the first Conjuror to attend the Arcanum Training Institute, must overcome anti-Conjuror prejudice to track down a missing teacher and protect the school from a magical threat. Publication is planned for winter 2022; Victoria Marini at Irene Goodman Literary did the two-book deal, in association with Molly Ker Hawn at the Bent Agency, for world English rights.
Stephanie Lurie at Disney-Hyperion/Rick Riordan Presents has bought, in an exclusive submission, world English rights to the third and final book in Kwame Mbalia's bestselling Tristan Strong series. The novel opens in New Orleans, where Tristan and friends old and new from African and African-American folklore discover a sinister set of forces luring the peaceful spirits away from the city, threatening to leave a trail of destruction and mayhem along the Mississippi River. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary & Media now represents the deal, originally brokered by Victoria Marini at Irene Goodman Literary on behalf of Cake Literary. Patrice Caldwell at Howard Morhaim Literary represents Mbalia.
Laura Schreiber at Little, Brown/Patterson has acquired, in a six-figure preempt, world English rights to Freewater by Amina Luqman Dawson. Inspired by formerly enslaved people who escaped to the Great Dismal Swamp during the 19th century, this middle grade debut follows a brother and sister who discover the secret community of Freewater after fleeing from a plantation, as well as a freeborn girl who has only known life in Freewater. They unite to protect their community from the encroaching dangers of the outside world and save the ones they love. Publication is tentatively scheduled for fall 2021; Emily van Beek at Folio Literary Management negotiated the deal.
Andrew Arnold at HarperAlley has bought, at auction, three standalone contemporary middle-grade graphic novels by Johnnie Christmas, cartoonist and co-creator of the Angel Catbird graphic novel series with Margaret Atwood. Publication will begin in summer 2022; Judy Hansen at Hansen Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Rachel Poloski at Little, Brown has acquired The Secret Garden on 81st Street, a middle-grade graphic novel modern retelling of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett with text by Ivy Noelle Weir (l.), illustrated by Amber Padilla. Entitled loner Mary Lennox moves to her uncle's house in New York after losing her parents in a car accident and makes friends who help her restore her uncle's abandoned rooftop garden and teach her to grieve and grow. Publication is set for September 2021. Anjali Singh at Ayesha Pande Literary represented the author, and Dara Hyde at Hill Nadell Literary represents the illustrator, who was unagented at the time of the deal.
Kate O'Sullivan at HMH has bought I'm Up! and I'm Still Up! by Sibert Honor-winning author-illustrator Antoinette Portis, two board book odes to the day and night about waking up (and staying up), and the daily routines we establish with the ones we love. Publication for both books is slated for fall 2021; Deborah Warren at East West Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Lee Wade at Random House Studio has acquired, in a preempt, Once Upon a Forest by Pam Fong, a wordless picture book in which an eager marmot and a resourceful bird discover the heart-wrenching remnants of a forest fire and work to help the forest heal. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Abigail Frank at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates represented Fong for world rights.
Andrew Wooldridge at Orca has bought world rights to Masks Are For... by author-illustrator Marla Lesage (AWOL). The picture book is meant to help kids overcome any fear or awkwardness they might feel about wearing a mask. Publication is scheduled for winter 2021; Elizabeth Bennett at Transatlantic Agency brokered the deal.
Kelsey Skea at Amazon/Two Lions has acquired The Best Gift for Bear by Jennifer A. Bell in her authorial debut. The picture book features a thoughtful hedgehog who wants to give the perfect gift to her friend Bear. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary did the deal for world rights.
Andrea Tompa and Melanie Cordova at Candlewick have bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to Rajani LaRocca's (l.) Masala Chai, Fast and Slow, illustrated by Neha Rawat Battish. Although Aarav is always in a hurry and his grandfather likes to take things slow, they find a way to make masala chai together every day. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Brent Taylor at Triada US represented the author, and Amanda Hendon at Advocate Art USA represented the illustrator.
Anne Schwartz at Random House/Schwartz has acquired, at auction, North American rights for If You Get Lost by Nikki Loftin (l.) (Wish Girl), illustrated by Deborah Marcero (In a Jar). This picture book debut from the author tells the story of a stuffed bunny who falls from a car window at the start of her family's camping trip, and begins a magical adventure through the forest to find her way back. Publication is set for summer 2023. Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown represented the author, and Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary represented the illustrator.
Margaret Ferguson at Holiday House/Ferguson has bought world rights to The Sharing Book by Dianne White (l.), which follows a child throughout a day on a camping trip and explores the opportunities that arise for sharing with others, from meals to fun, from stories to hugs. Simone Shin is set to illustrate. Publication is slated for summer 2023; Jennifer Rofé at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, and Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary represented the illustrator.
Sarah Shumway at Bloomsbury has acquired world rights to Amah Faraway, written by Margaret Chiu Greanias (l.) and illustrated by Tracy Subisak, a picture book in modified reverse poem structure about a Taiwanese American girl who goes to visit her Amah in Taiwan. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Sean McCarthy at Sean McCarthy Literary represented the author, and Lori Kilkelly at LK Literary represented the illustrator.
Wendy McClure at Albert Whitman has bought world rights to debut picture book She Stitched the Stars: The Story of Ellen Harding Baker's “Solar System” Quilt by Jennifer Harris (l.), which imagines the origins of the scientific quilt now held by the National Museum of American History. Louise Pigott will illustrate; publication is planned for fall 2021. Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative Artists represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Mallory Loehr at Random House has acquired world rights to The Tale of the Mandarin Duck: A Modern Fable by actor and singer Bette Midler (l.), with photographs by Michiko Kakutani (c.) and illustrations by Joana Avillez (r.). Inspired by the real-life, rainbow-colored mandarin duck that appeared in New York City's Central Park in 2018, the fable imbues the duck with the magical effect of rousing onlookers to make personal connections with one another over shared experience. Publication is set for February 2021; Jonathan Ehrlich at Grubman, Shire, Meiselas & Sacks represented Midler, Kim Schefler at Levine Plotkin & Menin represented Kakutani, and Kate Mack at Aevitas Creative Management represented Avillez.
Trisha de Guzman at FSG has bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to cultural critic Mathew Rodriguez's debut YA graphic novel, Carlos Alejos Has to Lose His Chichos, with Charlot Kristensen illustrating, about a queer Puerto Rican teen of size as he grapples with body image, friendship, and his burgeoning sexuality in suburban New Jersey. Publication is slated for winter 2023; Melissa Edwards at Stonesong Literary represented the author, and Thao Le at Sandra Djikstra Literary represented the artist.
Alexandra Hightower at Little, Brown has acquired The Truth About White Lies by educator Olivia A. Cole (A Conspiracy of Stars). The YA contemporary novel follows Shania, a 17-year-old white girl who moves to the gentrifying town of Blue Rock and reckons with both the subtle and overt racism in her new town, including her role in it. The story looks at both historical and present-day effects of white supremacy, as well as the danger in silence. Publication is planned for winter 2022; Regina Brooks at Serendipity Literary negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Talia Benamy at Philomel has bought, in a preempt, world rights to Cramm This Book by The Cramm founder Olivia Seltzer, a Gen Z guide to the stories behind the stories in the news today, providing context aimed at informing teens about the issues and preparing them to get engaged and take action. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Seth Fishman at the Gernert Company brokered the deal.
Caitlyn Averett at Little, Brown/Patterson has acquired, in a preempt, world English rights to Nura and the Immortal Palace, plus an untitled sequel by debut author Maeeda Khan, writing as M.T. Khan. Set in a rural industrial town in Pakistan, the middle grade fantasy follows 12-year-old Nura, whose life is upended after the mines where she works collapse and she's swept away to a luxury jinn hotel. But there are dark secrets buried underneath all that glitter and gold, and if Nura can't find a way to escape, she and the other missing children may be bound to the hotel forever. Publication is set for summer 2022; Melanie Castillo at Root Literary did the two-book, six-figure deal.
Maria Barbo at HarperCollins/Tegen has bought Dear Friends and an untitled middle grade novel by Lisa Greenwald (the Pink & Green, Friendship List, and TBH series). In Dear Friends, a girl attempts to get over the worst BFF break-up ever by revisiting her top five friendships to see if she can learn from past mistakes. Publication is slated for winter 2022; Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media Group negotiated the deal for world rights.
Julia Sooy at Holt has acquired The Great PGP by Nora Raleigh Baskin (l.) (Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story) and Gae Polisner (The Memory of Things). The environmental farce begins when soon-to-be-seventh grader Jeremy JB Barnes, forced to join his mother aboard a research ship, mistakenly invites 12-year-old Sidney Miller, newbie podcaster, rather than Dr. Sidney Miller, world-renowned marine biologist, to an emergency Global Summit—and Sidney, hoping to avoid summer camp, accepts. Publication is planned for winter 2022; Katelyn Detweiler at Jill Grinberg Literary Management represented Baskin, and Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret represented Polisner in the deal for world rights.
Emma Ledbetter at Abrams has bought To See Clearly: A Portrait of David Hockney by Evan Turk. This picture book biography explores the life and work of the colorful, openly gay painter who has become one of the most influential artists of our time. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Brenda Bowen at the Book Group brokered the deal for world rights.
Dana Chidiac at Dial has acquired world rights to Nana, Nenek, and Nina, written and illustrated by debut author Liza Ferneyhough. Nina is off to visit her grandmothers, who live in Malaysia and England respectively; while their food, clothes, and neighborhoods look quite different, they both love her exactly the same. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Kurestin Armada at Root Literary represented the author-illustrator.
Clarissa Wong at HarperCollins has acquired, at auction, Angela Pham Krans's (l.) debut picture book Finding Papa, illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist Thi Bui. Based on the author's own experience, the story follows young Mai and her mother's perilous journey from Vietnam to America to find Papa—who left ahead of them to start a better life for their family. Publication is planned for winter 2023; Katherine Wessbecher at Bradford Literary represented the author, and Julie Stevenson at Massie & McQuilkin represented the illustrator.
Connie Hsu at Roaring Brook has bought world rights to Molly on the Moon, written by Hugo Award-winning speculative fiction author Mary Robinette Kowal (l.), illustrated by Diana Mayo. This debut picture book follows a family moving into a new lunar module home, where toys may be scarce, but imagination and kindness abound. Publication is set for winter 2022; Seth Fishman at the Gernert Company represented the author, and Christine Isteed at Artist Partners represented the illustrator.
Andrea Tompa at Candlewick has bought world rights to A Life of Service: The Story of Tammy Duckworth by Christina Soontornvat (l.), illustrated by Dow Phumiruk, a picture book biography about the Thai-American senator's tireless service and determination to keep fighting for others. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Deborah Warren at East West Literary represented the illustrator.
Kelly Barrales-Saylor at Sourcebooks eXplore has acquired world rights to Lobstah Gahden, co-authored by E.G. Keller (l.) (illustrator of A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo) and Alli Brydon; Keller will also illustrate. In this picture book, lobster neighbors and rivals Walter and Milton must work together to figure out who is dumping garbage in their underwater yards, so that they can compete in the "Most Beautiful Yard" contest. Publication is set for spring 2021; Lori Nowicki and Claire Easton at Painted Words negotiated the deal.
Andrea Hall at Albert Whitman has bought world rights to Saturday at the Food Pantry by Diane O'Neill (l.), illustrated by Brizida Magro. The picture book follows Molly and her mother as they visit a food pantry for the first time and realize everyone needs help sometimes. Publication is slated for fall 2021; the author is unagented, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Kristine Enderle at Magination Press has acquired world rights to When Nana Dances, written by Jane Yolen (l.) and her granddaughter Maddison Stemple-Piatt (c.), illustrated by Priscilla Burris (r.). The picture book centers the relationship between children and their grandmothers and how expression through dance is sometimes at the core of the bond. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown represented the authors, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.