Ken Wright at Viking has acquired We Are Inevitable by bestselling author Gayle Forman (If I Stay). Pitched for fans of Rainbow Rowell and Nick Hornby, this YA novel features a small town coming together to save its local independent bookstore, in a journey of heartbreak, first love, and finding meaning when you think all is lost. Publication is scheduled for June 2021; Michael Bourret at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Stacey Barney at Putnam has preempted, in a two-book deal, Forgive Me Not by 2019 PW Star Watch Superstar Jennifer Baker. Her debut novel, an exploration of the juvenile justice system, is set in an alternate version of Queens, N.Y., where the fate of juvenile offenders is left in the hands of their victims. After 15-year-old Violetta gets behind the wheel of a car drunk and accidentally kills her younger sister, it's her own family who must decide her fate. Unable to forgive her, Violetta's family sends her to the Trials, where she will have to withstand tests of humility and endurance that push her to the edge physically, emotionally, and psychologically to prove her remorse. Publication is set for summer 2022; Jenni Ferrari-Adler at Union Literary did the deal for world rights.
Kristin Daly Rens at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has bought, at auction, Brian D. Kennedy's debut YA contemporary novel, A Little Bit Country. Two boys—one who wants to be the biggest openly gay country music superstar, and one who, as the grandson of a faded Nashville star, hates country music more than anything—fall for each other while working at a Dollywood-esque theme park. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Lauren Spieller at Triada US brokered the deal for world English rights.
Krista Marino at Delacorte has acquired, at auction, Quicksilver Harvest by Ann Fraistat, plus a second untitled work. The debut is a YA supernatural thriller about a girl whose idyllic life on her family's farm is disrupted after a mysterious blight begins killing the miracle crops her town is revered for. When the sickness spreads to the townspeople themselves, she must discover the truth behind the blight's origin, even if it means digging up the twisted roots of her beloved home. Publication for the first book is planned for spring 2022; Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis handled the deal for North American rights.
Stephanie Pitts at Putnam has bought world rights to Coven, a YA graphic novel written by Jennifer Dugan (l.) and illustrated by Kit Seaton. After members of her coven are murdered under mysterious circumstances, a young witch must leave sunny California and return to dreary upstate New York to master her neglected craft and solve the murders before further tragedy befalls her family. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Brooks Sherman at Janklow & Nesbit Associates represented the author, and Ben Grange at the L. Perkins Agency represented the illustrator.
Ben Rosenthal at HarperCollins/Tegen has acquired, in an exclusive submission, The Mythics, a middle grade series by Lauren Magaziner (l.), illustrated by Mirelle Ortega. In a universe where everyone bonds with an animal familiar at 10 years old, five very different girls who are not immediately paired discover that their familiars are mythical beasts they must find by working together. Publication is set for fall 2022. Brianne Johnson at Writers House brokered the five-book, six-figure deal, and James Burns at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Grace Kendall at FSG has bought, at auction, in a two-book deal, K. Tempest Bradford's debut, Ruby vs. the Robo-Bug, a contemporary middle-grade adventure novel with humor and a sci-fi twist. When 11-year-old Ruby, a Black girl passionate about entomology, finds an alien bug in her backyard, she must rely on her friends, the scientific method, and her instincts to help the alien get home safely. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Larissa Melo Pienkowski at Jill Grinberg Literary did the deal for world English rights.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Paulsen has acquired, in a preempt, ¡Guerrera Warrior! by Carmen Tafolla, former State Poet Laureate of Texas. The novel-in-verse details the life and times of a courageous 12-year-old Latina who decides it will be she who defines her name, her power, her history, and her right to choose what she celebrates in life. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Maggie Lehrman at Abrams has bought, in an exclusive submission, world English rights to Coming Up Short, a new middle-grade novel by Laurie Morrison (Up for Air and Saint Ivy). After her father's very public fall from grace, 13-year-old Bea self-destructs on the softball field during the biggest game of her life. She doesn't know how to connect with her dad if she isn't a star shortstop, so she sets off on a summer trip to visit her estranged aunt and attend a softball camp where she's determined to fix her throw to first base and, hopefully, her family. Publication is set for spring 2022; Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties did the deal.
Alex Borbolla at Atheneum has acquired Susie B. Won't Back Down by Margaret Finnegan (We Could Be Heroes). The epistolary novel stars Susie B., a fifth grader with ADHD, who wants to be an activist like her hero Susan B. Anthony. When Susie B. decides to run for student council president to advocate for kids like her, it turns out to be more complicated than she thought. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Tracy Marchini at BookEnds Literary brokered the two-book deal for world rights.
Karen Boss at Charlesbridge has bought Into the Deep Unknown: Exploring the Ocean Twilight Zone, a middle-grade debut by Michelle Cusolito (Flying Deep). The photo-illustrated investigative dive chronicles Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's cutting-edge research to uncover deep sea OTZ ecosystems, the animals living there, and the science helping us learn about them. Publication is planned for summer 2023; James McGowan at BookEnds Literary handled the deal for world rights.
Before her retirement, Dinah Stevenson at Clarion acquired world rights to One Smart Sheep, a humorous story about problem-solving and friendship for young middle grade readers by Newbery Honor author Gary D. Schmidt and co-author Elizabeth Stickney (c.), illustrated by Jane Manning. Publication is slated for fall 2021; Rick Margolis at Rising Bear Literary represented the authors, and Jane Manning represented herself.
Donna Bray at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has bought Sir Ladybug and two untitled Sir Ladybug graphic novels by Geisel Medalist author-illustrator Corey R. Tabor (Fox the Tiger). Though Sir Ladybug is a fierce knight, he grapples with stage fright—so when a quest appears, Sir Ladybug and his friends, a roly-poly herald and a snail squire, must explore what it means to be afraid and what it means to be brave. Publication is scheduled for winter 2022; Rebecca Sherman at Writers House negotiated the three-book deal for world rights.
Eliza Swift at Sourcebooks Jabberwocky has acquired the first two picture books in the Duck and Cluck series by author-illustrator Liz Goulet Dubois. Pitched as a subversive Elephant and Piggie, the series follows frenemies Duck and Cluck as they navigate their differing opinions with unexpected outcomes. Publication of the first book, That Egg Is Mine, is set for January 2022, with a second untitled book to follow in spring 2022; Charlotte Wenger at Prospect Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Lee Wade at Random House Studio has bought The Long Ride Home by Stephanie Graegin, a friendship story that explores the feelings a little Koala has when her best friend moves away. Publication is planned for summer 2022; Steve Malk at Writers House represented the author for world rights.
Liz Bicknell at Candlewick has acquired world rights to The Big Once a Year Broussard-Bouchard Family Reunion, a picture book by Coretta Scott King Honoree Karen English and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, about bickering aunts, a missing cat, a remorseful girl, and lots of zydeco music at a family's annual reunion. Publication is slated for 2024; Steven Chudney at the Chudney Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself.
Tamar Brazis at Viking has bought world English rights to PB&J, a peanut butter & jelly origin story by Katelyn Aronson (l.), illustrated by Sarah Rebar, about two pals who struggle to be friends in a kitchen community divided between the "Cupboard Crew" and their rivals, the "Fridgers." Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis represented the author, and Chad W. Beckerman at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Andrew Smith and Emma Ledbetter at Abrams have acquired, in a preempt, world English rights to Your Legacy: A Bold Reclaiming of Our Enslaved History by theater director Schele Williams (l.), a leading voice in social justice in the arts. Artist Tonya Engel will illustrate; Ledbetter will edit. The picture book is an accessible introduction to African American history and enslavement for children. Publication is set for October 2021; Creative Artists Agency represented the author, and Gail Gaynin at Morgan Gaynin Inc. represented the illustrator.
Andrea Tompa at Candlewick has bought world rights to Go and Get with Rex by David LaRochelle (l.), illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka (creators of See the Cat: Stories About a Dog). In this picture book, Jack, Jill, and Rex are asked to fetch items beginning with different letters of the alphabet—with unexpected results. Publication is planned for spring 2024; both the author and the illustrator were unagented.
Emily Settle at Feiwel and Friends has bought, at auction, world rights to Granny's Kitchen, a picture book written by Sade Smith, illustrated by Ken Daley, plus another untitled book. A girl wants to perfect all of her Grandmother's traditional Jamaican recipes. Everything goes wrong until one day, when Granny is too tired to cook, the girl finds that inspiration was inside her all along. Publication is set for spring/summer 2022. Naomi Davis at Bookends Literary represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Meredith Mundy at Abrams/Appleseed has acquired world rights to Mud!, a poetic picture book celebration of the joyful, playful squishiness of mud, by Annie Bailey (l.), illustrated by Jen Corace. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and Steven Malk at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Tracy Mack at Scholastic Press has acquired To Change a Planet by Christina Soontornvat (l.), illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell, a nonfiction picture book that explains climate change with honesty and hope for very young readers. Publication is scheduled for 2022; Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Lisa Rosinsky at Barefoot Books has bought world rights to Dumpling Day by Meera Sriram (l.) (A Gift for Amma), illustrated by Inés de Antuñano. In this multicultural counting book, 10 contemporary families cook different types of dumplings for a neighborhood potluck featuring food from each of their cultures. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Tracy Marchini at BookEnds Literary represented the author, and Alison Berson at Illo Agency represented the illustrator.