Stacey Barney at Putnam has preempted world rights to the Beasts of Prey trilogy by debut author Ayana Gray. Combining monsters, mythos, and #BlackGirlMagic, the adventure follows two Black teenagers who must trek into a magical jungle to hunt down the ancient creature menacing their home—before they become the hunted. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Peter Knapp at Park & Fine Literary and Media negotiated the deal.
Alessandra Balzer at Balzer + Bray has acquired, at auction, Lulu & Milagro's Search for Clarity, a debut YA novel by Angela Velez. Pitched as a Latinx Booksmart, it follows two sisters—one vying for a prestigious internship and the other reeling from a dramatic breakup—as they become begrudging partners on their school's cross-country field trip to college campuses. Over the course of one week, they'll uncover family secrets, confront weighty expectations for their futures, and maybe even discover the true meaning of sisterhood. Publication is set for winter 2022; Taylor Haggerty at Root Literary did the two-book deal for world English rights.
Alexandra Hightower at Little, Brown/Poppy has bought, in a seven-house auction, Lane Clarke's debut novel Love Times Infinity. This contemporary YA novel follows 16-year-old Michie, a girl busy with big dreams for college, as well as the biggest crush on the school's new basketball superstar—but when her estranged mother suddenly reappears, Michie faces important questions about the chances she's willing to take on herself and her future. Publication is planned for summer 2022; Peter Knapp at Park & Fine Literary brokered the two-book deal for world English rights.
Karen Greenberg at Knopf has acquired illustrated YA novel Berliners by Sydney Taylor Medalist Vesper Stamper (What the Night Sings). The book is pitched as Steinbeck's East of Eden meets Nielsen's A Night Divided, in which the construction of the Berlin Wall curiously mirrors the division between twin brothers who find themselves on opposite sides. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Lori Kilkelly negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Calista Brill at First Second has bought, in a preempt, YA graphic novel Belle of the Ball by Mari Costa, author-illustrator of web comics Peritale and Life of Melody. This comedic, lesbian love-triangle story between a wallflower, a star athlete, and a head cheerleader is set amidst the trials and tribulations of high school and the many social pressures therein. Publication is set for fall 2023; Peter Ryan at Stimola Literary Studio did the two-book deal for world rights.
Whitney Leopard at Random House Graphic has acquired, in a three-book deal, world rights to Jarrett Williams's middle-grade graphic novel series, Harper Sharp. A boy named Harper is determined to help solve the mysteries that happen around his school and neighborhood. Publication is scheduled for 2022; the creator was unagented.
Kristen Pettit at HarperCollins has bought Sincerely, Emerson by Emerson Weber. Based on a true story, this nonfiction picture book follows 11-year-old Emerson Weber as she writes a letter of thanks to her postman, Doug, and creates a nationwide outpouring of love. Publication is planned for winter 2021; Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio brokered the deal for North American rights.
Mora Couch at Holiday House has acquired world English and Chinese rights to Catherine Bakewell's We Are the Song, a middle-grade fantasy about a world where music is magic, and a 12-year-old singer, Elissa, has the power to tear down walls, heal wounds, and cure hunger with her voice. Now a goddess has given Elissa her biggest assignment yet: end a war. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Jordan Hamessley at New Leaf Literary represented the author.
Sylvie Frank at S&S/Wiseman has bought the tentatively titled Leaving Cuba, a middle-grade novel by Alexandra Diaz (Santiago's Road Home). Based on the author's family history, it tells the story of Victoria's privileged and idyllic life in Cuba, which abruptly ends when Fidel Castro's communist regime comes to power. Fleeing to Miami with just five dollars, Victoria and her family struggle to survive their new life in exile, facing racial and cultural prejudices, worry for those left behind in Cuba, and the search for a new home. Publication is set for summer 2022; Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary handled the deal for world rights.
Donna Bray at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has acquired, at auction, North American rights to Misty Wilson and David Wilson's Play Like a Girl, about Misty's real-life experiences as the only girl on her middle-school football team, a story of teamwork, friendship, romance, and touchdowns. Publication is tentatively scheduled for spring 2022; Daniel Lazar at Writers House negotiated the two-book deal.
Erica Finkel at Abrams has bought the first three books in Kathryn Holmes's series Class Critters, starting with Tally Tuttle Turns into a Turtle. The chapter book series features students from a second-grade class who each turn into a different animal for a day. Publication for the first book is slated for fall 2021; Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media Group brokered the deal for world rights.
Before her retirement, Dinah Stevenson at Clarion acquired world rights to A Long Road on a Short Day, a father-son adventure story with themes of community and kindness for young middle grade readers by Newbery Honor author Gary D. Schmidt (l.) and co-author Elizabeth Stickney, illustrated in full color by Newbery Honor artist Eugene Yelchin. Publication is planned for fall 2020; Rick Margolis at Rising Bear Literary represented the authors, and Steven Malk at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Rotem Moscovich at Knopf has bought world rights for two picture books by Minh Lê (l.). The first, The Blur, will be illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat, fellow collaborator on Drawn Together, and follows a baby with superhero-like abilities and the parents who are racing to keep up. The second, Real to Me, to be illustrated by Raissa Figueroa, follows a surprising development after an imaginary friend disappears. Publication is set for summer 2022 and summer 2023, respectively. Stephen Barbara at InkWell Management represented Lê; Jodi Reamer at Writers House represented Santat, and Natascha Morris and Tracy Marchini at BookEnds Literary represented Figueroa.
Liz Bicknell at Candlewick has acquired author-illustrator Hazel Mitchell's Sweet Pea Summer, an intergenerational story in which a girl, during her mother's hospital stay, discovers the joys of gardening as well as the rewards of persistence. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Catherine Laudone at Simon & Schuster has bought author-illustrator Apryl Stott's next two picture books: Almost Always Best, Best Friends, in which a tiger named Poppy and an alpaca named Clementine must learn how to share their feelings with one another in order to save their friendship; and an untitled picture book featuring Coco and Bear, the characters from Stott's debut, Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light. Publication is slated for spring 2022 and spring 2023, respectively. Maggie Byer-Sprinzeles at the Byer-Sprinzeles Agency did the two-book deal for world rights.
Mekisha Telfer at Roaring Brook has bought, in a two-book deal, author-illustrator Benson Shum's Anzu the Great Kaiju, a picture book about a tiny kaiju with a big heart trying to follow in his ferocious family's footsteps. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary did the deal for world English rights.
Allyn Johnston at S&S/Beach Lane has acquired Here We Come! by Janna Matties (l.), to be illustrated by Christine Davenier, a cumulative, rhythmic tribute to the musician in every child—especially those who love a parade. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Rachel Orr at Prospect Agency represented the author, and Studio Goodwin Sturges represented the illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Jean Feiwel at Feiwel and Friends has acquired What the Road Said, a picture book by poet and activist Cleo Wade (l.). Illustrated by Lucie de Moyencourt, this story celebrates the journey we are all on, and the questions we ask along the way. Publication is set for winter 2021; CAA negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Ellen Cormier at Dial has bought world rights to Groundhog Gets It Wrong by debut author Jess Townes (l.), illustrated by Nicole Miles, a picture book about a groundhog who discovers that the best way to apologize for a mistake is to learn from it. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Chad W. Beckerman at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Courtney Code at Abrams has acquired world rights to picture book Clayton Parker Really Really Really Has to Pee, written by screenwriter and author Cinco Paul, illustrated by Gladys Jose. The story follows Clayton on his school field trip after making the dreaded mistake of not going before getting on the bus. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Joseph Veltre at the Gersh Agency represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Courtney Burke at Page Street Kids has bought world rights to Pega Sisters, a punny picture book about a pegasus who's determined to soar through camp—until her little sister starts ruffling her feathers, by Brooke Hartman (l.) and illustrated by MacKenzie Haley. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Clelia Gore at Martin Literary & Media Management represented the author, and Amanda Hendon at Advocate Art represented the illustrator.
Julie Bliven at Charlesbridge has acquired world rights to the counting picture book Circle Round, written by Anne Sibley O'Brien (l.) and illustrated by Hanna Cha. Children of different races, abilities, ages, and gender forge a more inclusive and engaging environment as they invite new friends on the periphery to join in their play. Publication is set for fall 2021; Lara Perkins at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, and Wendi Gu at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates represented the illustrator.
Marilyn Brigham at Amazon Crossing Kids has bought Agnes's Place, written by Marit Larsen (l.), illustrated by Jenny Løvlie (c.), and translated from the Norwegian by Batchelder winner Kari Dickson (r.). The picture book follows a girl whose world is transformed when a new girl moves in to her tight-knit apartment building. Publication is slated for March 2021; Marius Hjeldnes at Cappelen Damm Agency did the deal for world English rights.