Alessandra Balzer at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has acquired, in a 10-bidder auction, This Place Is Still Beautiful by debut author XiXi Tian, a YA novel about two estranged sisters, Margaret and Annalie, whose family becomes the victim of an anti-Asian hate crime. During a summer that includes surprising romances for both sisters, they clash with one another as they navigate the ripple effects that the hate crime has had in their community and uncover the truth behind the perpetrator's identity. Publication is set for spring 2022, with a second untitled YA to follow; Wendi Gu at Sanford J. Greenburger did the two-book deal for world English rights.
Elizabeth Lee and Grace Kendall at FSG have bought, in a six-figure deal, Under the Same Stars by Printz Medalist Libba Bray. This YA historical fiction novel follows two unnamed teens murdered under a mystical oak tree during the height of World War II. The branches of their mystery stretch to Cold War Germany and present-day New York City as love, resistance, and justice entangle to reveal shocking truths. Publication is tentatively scheduled for winter 2023; Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary & Media negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Jenny Bak at Viking has preempted The Other Merlin, a YA fantasy series by Robyn Schneider (The Beginning of Everything). This reimagining of the Camelot legend features a girl wizard who must disguise herself as her brother to practice magic in Prince Arthur's court, where hot royals, secret hookups, and fiery scandals abound. Publication for the first book is slated for fall 2021; Barbara Poelle at Irene Goodman Agency brokered the two-book deal for world English rights.
Jan Weitendorf von Hacht at Arctis has acquired Norwegian author Siri Pettersen's new YA trilogy, beginning with Valdari, a fantasy mystery created on a Norse foundation, about blood, desire, and addiction. Born to a family of blood readers, Juva knows only too well that they are swindlers and frauds, and she has vowed never to become one of them. But when her family is threatened, Juva gets entangled in a hunt for the blood reader's legacy: a dark secret that once changed the world, and may do so again. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Lena Stjernström at the Grand Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Kaylan Adair at Candlewick has bought, at auction, North American rights to The First Thing About You by debut YA author Chaz Hayden. The novel follows Harris, who (like the author) was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy as an infant and has been in a wheelchair since age two. After his family moves across the country, an unexpected dynamic emerges between Harris, his crush at his new school, and his nurse—a college student—who encourages Harris's romantic endeavors at the cost of her own well-being, and Harris's too. Publication is set for fall 2022; Stephen Barr at Writers House handled the two-book deal.
Hannah Allaman at Delacorte has acquired, in a preempt, world rights to Black Boy Joy, a middle grade fiction anthology that explores the joys of Black boyhood from a number of Black male and nonbinary authors, edited by Kwame Mbalia, with stories by B.B. Alston, Dean Atta, Matthew A. Cherry, P. Djèlí Clark, Jay Coles, Jerry Craft, Lamar Giles, George M. Johnson, Varian Johnson, Suyi Davies Okungbowa, Julian Randall, Jason Reynolds, Justin Reynolds, Julian Winters, and two winners from a contest run by Mbalia. Publication is slated for summer 2021; Patrice Caldwell at New Leaf Literary & Media brokered the deal.
Olivia Valcarce at Scholastic has bought world rights to Yamile Saied Méndez's Horse Country, a middle-grade series about 11-year-old Carolina Aguasvivas, who has a gift with horses and—with the help of an unexpected friend—starts a new program at Paradise Ranch. Unbridled Dreams sponsors underprivileged kids to provide them with access to the healing power of horses; each book will feature new friends and new challenges. The first of four books is scheduled for 2022; Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Literary did the deal.
John Morgan at Macmillan/Imprint has acquired world English rights to Secrets of Stone and Sea by Allison K. Hymas. The middle grade adventure follows two twins vacationing in a small seaside New England town who accidentally awaken an ancient evil. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Lauren Abramo at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal.
Joan Powers at Candlewick has bought Tacko Fall: To New Heights, a picture book by NBA player Tacko Fall (l.) and co-author Justin Haynes (c.) that recounts Fall's childhood in Senegal, his emigration to the U.S. at the age of 16 to play high school and then college basketball, and reaching his lifelong goal—playing in the NBA. Reggie Brown (r.) will illustrate. Publication is set for spring 2022; Andrea Morrison at Writers House represented both authors, and Christy Ewers at the Cat Agency represented the illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Jennifer Klonsky at Putnam has acquired world rights to Patchwork by Matt de la Peña, a picture book ode to the richly varied tapestry of experiences and identities that make each child unique. Corinna Luyken will illustrate. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Steven Malk at Writers House represented the author and artist.
Erica Finkel at Abrams has bought world rights to I Love You Like Yellow, a picture book poem about love by Andrea Beaty (l.), illustrated by Vashti Harrison. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Rebecca Sherman at Writers House represented the author, and Carrie Hannigan at HG Literary represented the illustrator.
Joanna Cárdenas at Kokila has acquired world rights to Zora, the Story Keeper, written by Ebony Joy Wilkins (l.), illustrated by Dare Coulter. The picture book follows a young Black girl as she learns about her family's history, legacy, and what it takes to be the new keeper of her family's stories from her beloved Aunt Bea. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media Group represented the author, and Rubin Pfeffer at Rubin Pfeffer Content represented the illustrator.
Rotem Moscovich at Knopf has bought world rights to Your Hands, written by Jonathan Stutzman (Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug), illustrated by Elizabeth Lilly (author-illustrator of Geraldine). For fans of The Wonderful Things You Will Be, this picture book is a parent's poetic ode about everything their child's hands are—or will be—capable of doing as they grow. Publication is set for summer 2022; Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties represented the author and illustrator.
Carolina Ortiz at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to Your Voice, Your Vote, written by Leah Henderson (l.), illustrated by Keisha Morris. Quetta Little learns the power of casting your vote with the help of her mother and grandmother, as they overcome many obstacles meant to keep them from the voting booth on Election Day. Publication is slated for winter 2024; Clelia Gore at Martin Literary & Media Management represented the author, and Claire Easton at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Carolyn Yoder at Calkins Creek has bought North American rights to Coretta's Journey: The Life and Times of Coretta Scott King by Alice Faye Duncan, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. This nonfiction picture book is a portrait of the courageous American leader and the fiery trials of her childhood that emboldened her to fight racism and injustice with tactics of non-violence. Publication is set for spring 2023; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself.
Courtney Burke at Page Street has acquired world rights to A Penny's Worth by Kimberly Wilson, illustrated by Mark Hoffmann. In this picture book, a new penny finds her place in the world and in the process learns the importance of self-worth. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Melissa Richeson at Storm Literary represented the author, and Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary represented the illustrator.
Naomi Krueger at Beaming Books has acquired world rights to Big Bear Was Not the Same by Joanna Rowland, illustrated by John Ledda. This picture book follows Little Bear and his best friend Big Bear, and what happened after a traumatic fire in the woods. Publication is planned for fall 2021; the author and illustrator each represented themselves.
Wendy McClure at Albert Whitman has bought world rights to We Want to Go to School: The Fight for Disability Rights, written and illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler (l.), co-written by Janine Leffler (Janine and Janine's Field Day Finish). The nonfiction picture book is about the 1972 landmark disability rights case Mills v. Board of Education, which helped ensure that all children have the right to a free public education. Publication is slated for fall 2021; the mother-daughter team represented themselves.
Kallie George at Greystone Kids has acquired world rights to Bioluminescence by Julia Kuo, a picture book that explores bioluminescence in nature, under sea, in the woods, and in the air. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022. Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management represented the author-illustrator.
Jennifer Stokes at Kids Can has bought world rights to How Whales Help Engineer the Planet by Adrienne Mason (l.), illustrated by Kim Smith. This nonfiction picture book explores how whales can help to maintain a healthy ocean and, by extension, a healthy and biodiverse planet. Publication is set for fall 2022; the author represented herself, and Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary represented the illustrator.
Emma Parkin at Barefoot Books has acquired world rights to Planet Power: Renewable Energy Around the World by Stacy P. Clark (l.), illustrated by Annalisa Beghelli. This picture book explores six renewable energy technologies in rhyming verses. Publication is slated for fall 2021; the author and illustrator represented themselves.
Chris Hernandez at Razorbill has acquired, at auction, world English rights to Neverlanders, a debut YA graphic novel series by comic book author Tom Taylor (l.) and comic book artist Jon Sommariva. A gritty modern fantasy tale set in the world of Peter Pan, the story follows a group of young runaways who have been spirited away by the last living Lost Boy. Neverland has become a warzone in Peter's absence, and along with General Tinkerbell and her fairy army, these lost teens face off against a merciless band of pirates until a new Pan has finally risen. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022; Josh Adams at Adams Literary brokered the two-book deal.
Jordan Brown at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has bought world English rights to The Blood Years by Printz Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Elana K. Arnold. Set in Romania before and during WWII, the YA novel is based on the author's grandmother's struggles to survive oppression and persecution at the hands of the Soviet Union and the German Third Reich while she fights tuberculosis and the breakdown of her family, and explores the great and terrible things people do in the name of love. Publication is set for summer 2022; Rubin Pfeffer at Rubin Pfeffer Content did the deal.
Zareen Jaffery at Kokila has acquired, at auction, in a six-figure deal, North American rights to Zyla & Kai by Kristina Forest (Now That I've Found You). Pitched as (500) Days of Summer meets Moonrise Kingdom, the romantic dramedy follows two Black teens, one a hopeless romantic and the other a cynic, who, over the course of a year, fall in love, break up, then mysteriously run away together while on their senior trip. Publication is planned for summer 2022; Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties negotiated the two-book deal.
Kieran Viola at Disney-Hyperion has bought, at auction, in a six-figure deal, world rights to Maya Prasad's debut YA novel, Fall Winter Spring Summer, plus a sequel. This contemporary romance follows the four Singh sisters over four seasons as they navigate the bustle of their father's inn on Orcas Island, where a steady stream of new guests inspires secret dreams, burgeoning identities, and breathtaking kisses in the Northwest drizzle. Publication is slated for fall 2022 and fall 2023, respectively; Chelsea Eberly at Greenhouse Literary brokered the deal on behalf of Dovetail Fiction/Working Partners, and Penny Moore at Aevitas Creative Management represented the author.
Andrew Arnold at HarperAlley has acquired Matt Bogart (l.) and Jesse Holden's Incredible Doom, first in a YA graphic novel series about four outsiders growing up in a small town in the 1990s who are learning to grapple with a new technology called the internet. Publication for the first book is scheduled for summer 2021; the second volume will follow in 2022. Charlie Olsen at Inkwell Management handled the deal for world English rights.
Whitney Leopard at Random House Graphic has bought Coming Back by Jessi Zabarsky. The YA graphic novel follows two young women who must go on their own separate journeys to discover who they want to be and what they mean to each other. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Judy Hansen at Hansen Literary Management represented the creator for world rights.
Hannah Smith at Owl Hollow has acquired world English rights to All the Lonely People by Jen Marie Hawkins (The Language of Cherries), a YA magic-infused love letter to the Beatles. When 17-year-old Jo Bryant has the chance to go overseas for the summer, she leaps at the chance to delve into her father's mysterious death in London, where he was part of a Beatles cover band. Henry, a Beatles-hating photographer, has dark secrets of his own, and the truths they unravel together could destroy who they thought their parents were, and what they've grown to mean to each other. Publication is set for fall 2021; Hilary Harwell at KT Literary brokered the deal.
Lisa Yoskowitz at Little, Brown has bought Ellen Outside the Lines by A.J. Sass (Ana on the Edge), a middle grade novel in which Ellen, an autistic 13-year-old, travels to Barcelona on a class trip and finds herself navigating a new city, shifting friendships, a growing crush, and her queer and Jewish identities. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Jordan Hamessley at New Leaf Literary negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Simon Boughton and Kristin Allard at Norton have acquired North American rights to Voyage of the Sparrowhawk by Natasha Farrant. This middle grade novel follows two children and a growing number of dogs on an epic voyage from England to France in the aftermath of WWI, on the search for lost loved ones and a place to call home. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Allison Hellegers at Stimola Literary Studio did the deal on behalf of Catherine Clarke at Felicity Bryan Associates.
Erin Clarke at Knopf has bought middle grade graphic novel Fox Point's Own Gemma Hopper by author-illustrator Brie Spangler (Beast). Seventh grader Gemma’s family treats her like a makeshift maid and mother—until one day when it's discovered that she has as much or more talent for baseball than her MLB-bound older brother. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Mackenzie Brady Watson at Stuart Krichevsky Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Mark Siegel at First Second has acquired world rights to The Media Adventurer's Handbook by Melissa Hart (l.), with art by Nhi Luu, a middle grade graphic novel manual to equip young readers in understanding persuasion in news, and advertising in our changing media landscape. Alex Lu will also be editing. Publication is set for 2022; the author was unagented, and Britt Siess at Britt Siess Creative Management represented the artist.
Martha Mihalick at HarperCollins/Greenwillow has bought Leave It to Plum! and an untitled second Plum book, launching a chapter book series by author-illustrator Matt Phelan (Knights vs. Dinosaurs). Inspired by the real roaming peacocks of the Philadelphia Zoo, Leave It to Plum! follows curious, kind peacock guide Plum as he investigates which zoo animal framed his flock in an attempt at zoo domination. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Rebecca Sherman at Writers House did the two-book deal for U.S./Canadian rights.
Chris Harbo at Capstone has acquired, in a four-book deal, The Super Adventures of Ollie and Bea by graphic novelist Renee Treml (Sherlock Bones). The early reader graphic novel series follows two soon-to-be best friends, celebrating the differences that make us super. The first two titles are scheduled for spring 2022; Elizabeth Bennett at Transatlantic Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights (excluding Australia and New Zealand).
Taylor Norman at Chronicle has bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to The Snail by Emily Hughes. The picture book is an exploration of Japanese American artist Isamu Noguchi, who found acceptance through the act of creation, in the face of rejection from both of his homelands. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Stephen Barr at Writers House brokered the deal.
Jill Davis at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to Song in the City, written by Daniel Bernstrom and illustrated by debut illustrator Jenin Mohammed. The picture book follows a visually impaired girl named Emmalene as she travels through the city, describing to her grandmother the music she hears around her. Publication is set for spring 2022; Brenda Bowen at the Book Group represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Joan Powers at Candlewick has bought, at auction, world English rights to Supermoms and two other titles by Heather Lang (l.) and Jamie Harper, illustrated by Harper. The first picture book in the nonfiction series celebrates the many ways animal mothers go above and beyond for their young. Publication for Supermoms is slated for spring 2022; Victoria Wells at Wells Arms Literary/HG Literary represented Harper, and Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented Lang in the three-book deal.
Alyssa Mito Pusey at Charlesbridge has acquired world rights to Usha and the Big Digger by Dr. Amitha Jagannath Knight (l.), a picture book about sisters, stars, and spatial sense. Sandhya Prabhat will illustrate; publication is scheduled for summer 2021. Kari Sutherland at Bradford Literary represented the author, and Alice Sutherland-Hawes, formerly at Madeleine Milburn, represented the illustrator.
Clarissa Wong at HarperCollins has bought Helping Hospital and Trusty Town Hall by Lindsay Ward, the first two picture books in a new nonfiction series celebrating the people who work together in different jobs and roles to help important places in town run smoothly. Publication for the first book is slated for fall 2021, with the second to follow in fall 2022; Clelia Gore at Martin Literary & Media Management did the deal for world rights.
Kristen Mohn at Capstone has acquired world rights to Tag and the Magic Squeaker, by author and scrap artist Sam Hundley (Gifts of the Magpie), in which a happy-go-lucky dog and a clever mouse prove to their cynical cat friend that magic is real. Publication is planned for spring 2022; the author-illustrator represented himself in the deal.
Sarah Rockett at Sleeping Bear has bought world rights to The Hole Story by Keri Claiborne Boyle (Teddy the Dog). When a young astronomer finds a black hole churning in her desk, she knows no one will want her planet-noshing visitor lurking, and vows to keep it a secret. But when her galactic guest gobbles the thing she loves most, she must embark on a journey that might just end up being one way. Publication is set for fall/winter 2021; Mark Gottlieb at Trident Media Group handled the deal.
Madison Moore at Albert Whitman has acquired world rights to Tu Youyou's Discovery: Finding a Cure for Malaria by Songju Ma Daemicke (l.), illustrated by Lin. The picture book biography tells the little-known story of the Nobel Prize-winning Chinese scientist who used her background with traditional Chinese medicine to develop a treatment for malaria. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Janine Le at Sheldon Fogelman Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Sara Gillingham at Greystone Kids has bought world rights to biologist and TV personality Dan Riskin's Fiona the Fruit Bat, about a fruit bat learning to use her senses to take her first flight, illustrated by Rachel Qiuqi Li. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Jeff Kleinman at Folio Literary Management represented the author, and Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary represented the illustrator.