Alvina Ling at Little, Brown has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to Mirror Girls by Kelly McWilliams, author of Agnes at the End of the World. Her new YA novel, set in a haunted rural Georgia in 1959, follows biracial twin sisters, separated in infancy, who reunite as teenagers to put the ghosts of the past to bed by solving the mystery of their parents' death. Publication is planned for winter 2022; Michael Bourret at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal.
Lily Kessinger at HMH has bought Epically Earnest by Molly Horan. Pitched as a queer contemporary wink to Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, the novel follows a high school senior who must decide who she wants to be and where she fits in as graduation approaches, while finding the time to fall in love with the girl of her dreams. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Elle Thompson and Uwe Stender at TriadaUS brokered the deal for world rights.
Joy Peskin at FSG has acquired Forever Is Now and an untitled second book by Mariama J. Lockington (For Black Girls Like Me). Forever Is Now is a YA novel in verse about mental health, first loves, and community activism. When Sadie, a Black bisexual recluse, develops agoraphobia the summer before her junior year, she relies on her best friend, family, and therapist to overcome her fears. Publication is set for spring 2022; Jane Dystel at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret did the deal for world rights.
Connolly Bottum at Inkyard has bought The Poison Season by Mara Rutherford (Crown of Coral and Pearl), a fantasy in which a girl unintentionally draws a stranger to her island with her magic, leaving her with a choice—rescue him from the lake, or risk betraying her insulated community's safety and customs. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Uwe Stender at TriadaUS negotiated the two-book deal for world rights.
Sylvan Creekmore at Wednesday Books has acquired, in a six-figure deal, Coming Out Alive by internet personality and podcast host David Olshanetsky, a coming out of the closet manual for the digital generation. The YA nonfiction title combines personal anecdotes with how-to guides, advice, queer history lessons you won't get in school, and conversations with LGBTQ+ celebrities, including pop music sensation Pabllo Vittar, trans activist and Broadway trailblazer Peppermint, and gay writer and performer Stephen Fry, about their own journeys toward self-acceptance. Publication is planned for summer 2022; Connor Goldsmith at Fuse Literary sold world English rights.
Hannah Allaman at Underlined has bought Like a Love Song by Gabriela Martins. The debut #OwnVoices YA romance follows a Latina teen pop star whose image takes a dive after a messy public breakup, until she's set up with a swoon-worthy fake boyfriend and discovers she's ready to reclaim her voice and her heart. Publication is slated for summer 2021; Chelsea Eberly at Greenhouse Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Andrew Arnold at HarperAlley has acquired, in an exclusive submission, the YA graphic novel Over My Dead Body by Sweeney Boo (Eat, and Love Yourself). The book follows Abby, a teenage witch at a magic academy who takes it upon herself to investigate the disappearance of a missing classmate only to unravel a mystery that's haunted the Academy for decades. Publication is scheduled for 2022; Britt Siess, formerly at Martin Literary, now at Britt Siess Creative Management, handled the two-book deal for North American rights.
Kendra Levin at Simon & Schuster has bought, at auction, Skandar and the Unicorn Thief, a three-book middle grade fantasy adventure series by debut author A.F. Steadman. Would-be unicorn rider Skandar Smith must face sky battles, ancient secrets, nail-biting races, and bloodthirsty unicorns. Publication of the first book is set for spring 2022. Feature film rights have been acquired by Sony Pictures. Sam Copeland at Rogers, Coleridge & White negotiated the deal for world rights, all languages, made jointly with Ali Dougal at Simon & Schuster Children's UK.
Maggie Lehrman at Abrams has acquired, in a preempt, world English rights to The Wildseed Witch by Marti Dumas, a lighthearted fantasy set in New Orleans with an all-BIPoC cast. Hasani is expecting to spend the summer working on YouTube makeup tutorials, but after she inadvertently goes viral and unleashes magic powerful enough to draw the attention of witches, she is recruited into an ultra-exclusive "charm school" for talented young ladies, where she will find that there are things about witchcraft that can never be taught in a classroom. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary brokered the two-book, six-figure deal.
Kate Prosswimmer at S&S/McElderry has bought Tangled Up in Luck by Merrill Wyatt (Ernestine, Catastrophe Queen). The contemporary middle grade novel follows two sworn enemies who are forced to work together on a school project and tangle not only with eccentric residents of their small midwestern town but their feelings about each other, as they embark on an adventure to unravel the 100-year-old mystery behind missing family jewels. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Hilary Harwell at KT Literary did the deal for world rights.
Shelly Romero at Scholastic has acquired Katie Zhao's middle grade novel, Last Gamer Standing, set in a near-future society in which a Chinese American girl competes in a VR battle royale game while taking on the sexism and misogyny in the online gaming world. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Penny Moore at Aevitas Creative Management brokered the deal for world rights.
Whitney Leopard at Random House Graphic has bought Mel the Chosen by Rachele Aragno. The middle-grade graphic novel follows a girl who desperately wants to be a grown-up so that she can be in charge of her own life. When she gets the chance to travel to a magical world to break an evil curse, she discovers that nothing is more dangerous than a wish come true. Publication is set for summer 2021; Michele Foschini at BAO Publishing represented the creator for English-language rights.
Janine O’Malley at FSG has acquired Sometimes I Cry by Jess Townes, illustrated by Daniel Miyares, a picture book that challenges expectations of male stoicism by validating the many emotions we express through tears. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Studio Goodwin Sturges represented the illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Kait Feldmann at Orchard has bought, in an exclusive submission, In the Spirit of a Dream, a nonfiction picture book anthology created by Alina Chau (l.) celebrating stories of American immigrants of color. Aida Salazar will write and the poems will be illustrated by Alina Chau, Bianca Diaz, Dion MBD, Fahmida Azim, Gaby D’Alessandro, Jose Ramirez, Ken Daley, Nicole Xu, Paulo D. Campos, Rahele Jomepour Bell, Tracy Guiteau, Vanessa Flores, and Yas Imamura. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Marietta Zacker at Gallt & Zacker negotiated the deal for world rights.
Kate DePalma at Barefoot Books has acquired Run, Little Chaski! An Inka Trail Adventure, by Peruvian-born author Mariana Llanos (l.), illustrated by Argentinean illustrator Mariana Ruiz Johnson. In this historical fiction picture book set in the ancient Inka empire, Little Chaski faces a challenging first day as the king's newest royal messenger. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Clelia Gore at Martin Literary & Media Management represented the author, and the illustrator represented themselves in the deal for world rights.
Christina Pulles at Albert Whitman has bought world rights to More Than Just a Game: The Black Origins of Basketball, a nonfiction picture book by debut author Madison Moore, illustrated by Adisa Kareem. The book celebrates the Black history of the sport, its effect on Black communities, and the players and leagues who made it into the game it is today. Publication is set for fall 2021; the author represented herself, and Tracy Marchini at BookEnds Literary represented the illustrator.
Georgia Amson-Bradshaw at the Quarto Group has acquired world rights to How to Greet a Grandma, written by Donna Amey Bhatt (l.), illustrated by Aura Lewis. The book is a celebration of grandmothers in all their diversity. Readers can travel the world meeting grandmothers from Japan to Hawaii and discover all about these beloved figures, including their likes, dislikes, talents, and most importantly, how to greet each one of them. Publication is planned for fall 2021; the author represented herself, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Christina Pulles at Albert Whitman has bought world rights to Tell Someone by Debra Shumaker, a picture book affirming the power of talking about your feelings with others, even when it's scary to do so: from sadness over a missing pet, to feeling brave enough to take that big step. Tristan Yuvienco will illustrate. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Natascha Morris and James McGowan at BookEnds represented the author, and Gary Swift at Lemonade Illustration Agency represented the illustrator.
Nancy Inteli at HarperCollins has acquired, at auction, world rights to three books in the Little Bakers board book series by cookbook and children's book author Caroline Wright (l.), illustrated by Alison Oliver, in a new board book series that combines the joy of baking and learning. The first two books will publish in fall 2021 and the third in spring 2022. Allison Hellegers at Stimola Literary Studio represented both the author and the illustrator.
Luyang Xue at Yeehoo Press has bought world English and simplified Chinese rights to When I'm Not Looking, an interactive picture book by Farren Phillips. A girl is determined to find out what her pet duck gets up to when she's not looking, with the reader's help. Publication is scheduled for summer 2021 in the U.S. and mainland China; the author represented herself.
Krista Marino at Delacorte Press has acquired, in a six-figure deal, The World Ends Here and a second untitled novel by Rory Power (Wilder Girls). The World Ends Here is a speculative thriller following ex-girlfriends raised at a remote, icy research institute, and what happens when they uncover the nightmarish discovery that their families are protecting there. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Kimberly Witherspoon and Jessica Mileo at Inkwell Management represented the author for North American rights.
Karen Wojtyla at S&S/McElderry has bought, in an exclusive submission, world English rights to Moon Dark Smile, a YA novel by Tessa Gratton (Strange Grace). A reluctant heir apparent, voluntarily possessed by a demon, quests to break a centuries-old bargain that binds the demon to the empire she has no desire to rule. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary brokered the deal.
Liz Kossnar at Little, Brown has acquired The Wolves Are Waiting by Natasha Friend (Perfect). After Nora survives an attempted sexual assault, she, her best friend, her brother, and one of her classmates set out to uncover what really happened that night, revealing their complex relationships with both victims and perpetrators and their college town's institutional sexism and rape culture. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Rebecca Sherman at Writers House did the deal for North American rights.
David Saylor and Megan Peace at Scholastic/Graphix have bought, at auction, world rights to Rex Ogle's (l.) contemporary middle grade graphic trilogy, based on the author's own experience. Dealing with the bullies at school, his family being broke, and an embarrassing lack of friends, Rex has way too much on his plate already. So when he finds out he needs glasses, he's ready to give up. Dave Valeza will illustrate. Publication for book one, Four Eyes, is set for fall 2022; Brent Taylor at Triada US represented the author, and Hannah Mann at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Sarah Shumway at Bloomsbury USA and Lucy Mackay-Sim at Bloomsbury UK have acquired world English rights to Kamilla Benko's Unicorn Academy, a spinoff series from her Unicorn Quest trilogy, following Lyric Weft, a girl who arrives at a magical art school with big plans and an even bigger imagination, but soon gets drawn into a quest to untangle the ancient mystery of the legendary Unicorn Rider—lest the unicorns of Arden be lost forever. Publication begins in fall 2022; Stephen Barbara at InkWell Management negotiated the two-book deal on behalf of Benko.
Arthur Levine at Levine Querido has bought The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst by Jaclyn Moriarty (Feeling Sorry for Celia; The Year of Secret Assignments). This middle grade fantasy follows 12-year-old middle child, Esther, always overshadowed by her high-achieving sisters, as she is faced with a world-changing calamity that only she can avert. Publication is planned for spring 2021; Jill Grinberg at Jill Grinberg Literary Management, in association with Tara Wynne at Curtis Brown Australia, handled the deal for North American rights.
Erica Finkel at Abrams has acquired U.S. rights to debut author Maisie Chan's Danny Chung Sums It Up, in which artistic 11-year-old Danny's life is turned upside down when he is forced to share his room with his former maths champion grandmother who shows up from China. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021. Alice Sutherland-Hawes brokered the deal while at the Madeleine Milburn Agency; Chloe Seager at the Madeleine Milburn Agency represents the author.
Frances Gilbert at Doubleday has bought world rights to picture book I'd Like to Be a Window for a Wise Old Dog by Philip Stead, a meditation on all the magic and possibilities life holds, seen from the point of view of a dog looking through a window. Publication is set for spring 2022; Emily Van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management negotiated the deal.
Kendra Levin at Simon & Schuster has acquired Rilla Alexander's next picture book, The New Rooster. When the eponymous rooster accepts a new job in a new country, he runs smack into the language barrier while trying to wake everyone up. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Stephen Barr at Writers House did the two-book deal for world rights.
Tracy Gates at Viking has bought debut author-illustrator Tim Kleyn's Set Sail for Pancakes, the story of a girl and her grandfather as they set off on their boat to gather the tastiest eggs and finest flour for the best pancakes, only to find that perhaps the most important ingredient of all is love. Publication is planned for summer 2022; Tracy Marchini at BookEnds brokered the two-book deal for world English rights.
Sue Tarsky at Albert Whitman has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to My Friend Ben and the Sleepover by Charles Beyl (Scout, the Mighty Tugboat), a picture book about two beaver buddies and their first sleepover. Publication is scheduled for October 2021; Elizabeth Bennett at Transatlantic Agency negotiated the deal.
Caroline Abbey at Random House has bought North American rights to My Little Brave Girl, a picture book written by actor and singer Hilary Duff (l.), plus a second untitled picture book. Inspired by Duff's own experience as a working mother, the text, with illustrations by Kelsey Garrity-Riley, encourages girls to reach higher, dream bigger, and approach the world with their hearts wide open. Publication is slated for March 23, 2021; Albert Lee at United Talent Agency represented the author, and Christy T. Ewers of the CAT Agency represented the artist.
Anne Schwartz at Random House/Schwartz has acquired world rights to I Hear the Snow, I Feel the Sea, by Janice Milusich (l.) (Cleo's Big Ideas: Onward and Upward), a teacher for the visually impaired/blind; Kate Pugsley (Mermaid Dreams) will illustrate. In this picture book, a girl named Neveah, who is blind, experiences the beauty of the changing seasons through her other senses. Publication is set for fall 2023; Erica Christensen at Metamorphosis Literary represented the author, and Andrea Morrison at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Carol Hinz at Lerner/Carolrhoda has bought Today Is Different by actor and screenwriter Doua Moua, illustrated by Kim Holt. The picture book debut follows Mai, who is Hmong American, as she finds a way to be an ally for her friend Kiara, who is Black, in the aftermath of a police shooting. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Miranda Paul at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and Lori Nowicki at Painted Words represented the illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Connie Hsu at Roaring Brook has acquired I Wish for You, by author-illustrator husband-and-wife team David Wax and Brett Blumenthal. Pitched in the vein of Nancy Tillman's On the Night You Were Born, this love letter to little ones explores the values and traits we hope to imbue our children with, such as kindness, courage, patience, and resilience, and features wildlife illustrations depicting baby animals and their doting parents. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Suzy Evans at Sandra Djikstra Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Jill Davis at HarperCollins has bought world rights to Good Night Little Man by Daniel Bernstrom (Big Papa and the Time Machine), illustrated by Heidi Woodward Sheffield (Brick by Brick). In the picture book, a boy's search for his beloved stuffed sheep gives him an extra chance to say goodnight to each family member. Publication is set for fall 2022; Brenda Bowen at the Book Group represented the author, and Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary represented the illustrator.
Wendy McClure at Albert Whitman has acquired world rights to How to Haunt a House by Carolyn Crimi, illustrated by Edward Miller, a picture book about three ghost students who overcome a spooky problem with a bit of determination and a touch of glitter. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself.
Carolyn Yoder at Boyds Mills & Kane/Calkins Creek has bought world rights to The Founding Mothers and Fathers of Black America, written by Wade Hudson (l.) and illustrated by E.B. Lewis. The picture book spotlights the founding of Black America and the pioneering Black men and women who laid its foundation. Publication is planned for fall 2023; the author represented himself, and Jeff Dwyer at Dwyer & O'Grady represented the illustrator.