Kate Meltzer at Roaring Brook has acquired, at auction, a YA fantasy duology by Kalyn Josephson, beginning with This Dark Descent. Inspired by Jewish folklore, The Scorpio Races meets Peaky Blinders in this multi-POV story of forbidden magic, dangerous secrets, and equestrian adventure that follows a young woman desperate to save her family, a black market enchantress, and a wealthy, ambitious lord, who join forces to win a deadly cross-country race. Publication is set for winter 2023 and 2024; Carrie Pestritto at Laura Dail Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
David Levithan at Scholastic has bought Things We Couldn't Say, a YA contemporary by Jay Coles (Tyler Johnson Was Here). High school junior Gio's hands are already full between school, family, friends, and a new boyfriend when his world is thrown off its axis by the return of the mother who abandoned him when he was nine. With his mother wanting to rebuild a relationship, he'll have to figure out which risks are worth taking and which hurts can be forgiven. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Lauren Abramo at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret did the deal for North American rights.
Michelle Frey at Knopf has acquired YA narrative nonfiction novel A Most Valuable Spy by Corey Mead, about Marguerite Harrison, a wealthy Baltimore heiress who radically transformed her life when she became a pioneering spy in Russia in the 1920s, and changed the American intelligence community's beliefs about what women could achieve in the field. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Wendy Schmalz at Wendy Schmalz Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Elizabeth Lee at FSG has bought, in a six-figure preempt, The Inevitability of Home by Ciera Burch. Pitched for fans of Nina LaCour and Jesmyn Ward, this debut YA contemporary novel follows a Black girl who is forced to meet her estranged dying grandmother one sweltering summer. Meanwhile, she grapples with ancestral ghosts, a girl who wants to be more than friends, and a trove of secrets. Publication is slated for winter 2023; Patrice Caldwell at New Leaf Literary & Media negotiated the two-book deal for world English rights.
Maggie Rosenthal at Viking has acquired These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall. In this queer supernatural YA novel, a girl inherits her ancestral home, only to discover that a dark presence lurks within it—and within herself. With the help of the young woman called the Witch of Harrow, she must unlock the house's secrets and her own if she wants to survive. Publication is set for 2022; Lauren Spieller at Triada US Literary handled the six-figure, two-book deal for North American rights.
Catherine Wallace at HarperTeen has bought The Song I Sang Uncaring, the second novel by Nita Tyndall (Who I Was with Her). Set during the swingjugend movement in 1930s and 1940s Berlin, the story centers a girl who finds herself swept up in the culture and the resistance, while falling for another girl in the middle of it all. Publication is planned for summer 2022; Eric Smith at P.S. Literary brokered the deal for world English rights.
Susan Van Metre at Walker Books US has acquired, at auction, in a three-book deal, world rights to author Kate Milford (l.) and cartoonist Lucy Bellwood's Seacritters, pitched as Pirates of the Caribbean meets Redwall, about a young badger who joins the crew of a notorious pirate ship as they set out on a new semi-legal career path as privateers. Publication for the first book is slated for 2023; Tina Dubois at ICM Partners represented the author, and Barry Goldblatt at Barry Goldblatt Literary represented the artist.
Samantha Palazzi at Scholastic has bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to author K. Ibura's middle grade debut, When the World Turned Upside Down. In this tale set against the onset of Covid-19, four young residents of an apartment complex grapple with their individual home struggles, navigating issues of race and social justice to find the power of friendship and community. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Lilly Ghahremani at Full Circle Literary negotiated the deal.
Annie Berger at Sourcebooks has acquired world English rights to Juliana Brandt's middle grade novel The Phantom Island, about a boy who moves into a lighthouse on a mysterious island not found on any maps and must figure out why those who visit are never heard from again, before he and his family fall victim to the island's curse. Publication is set for spring 2022; Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary did the deal.
Kiara Valdez at First Second has bought world rights to Maddie Gallegos's Match Point!, a middle grade graphic novel following the growing friendship of two girls who play racquetball. Publication is planned for 2023; the author is unagented.
Kate Harrison at Dial has acquired The Stack plus an untitled picture book by author-illustrator Vanessa Roeder (The Box Turtle). Pitched as Audrey and Don Wood's The Napping House meets Shel Silverstein, The Stack follows Luna, who piles the likes of a bathtub, a station wagon, and an elephant to reach something way up high... a star. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Rebecca Sherman at Writers House handled the two-book deal for world rights.
David Linker at HarperCollins has bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to Stanley the Dog and His First Day of School by Bobby Bones, author, radio host, and TV personality, illustrated by Stephanie Laberis. Featuring Bones's real-life dog, Stanley, this picture book follows Stanley as he faces down his fears about his first day at Doggy Day Care. Publication is slated for summer 2022; CAA represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Tamar Mays at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to To Boldly Go by Angela Dalton (l.), illustrated by Lauren Semmer. In this nonfiction picture book, actress Nichelle Nichols, who portrayed Lt. Uhura on Star Trek, becomes disheartened by acts of prejudice on the set and decides to leave the show, until fan Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. convinces her she's making a difference. Publication is planned for winter 2023; Mary Cummings at Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Julia McCarthy at Atheneum has bought, at auction, Holding On by Sophia N. Lee (l.), illustrated by Isabel Roxas. This picture book follows a girl's visits to her music-loving Lola in the Philippines, and the song-filled summers she shares with her grandmother. But when Lola starts to forget, the girl helps her hold on with music and the joyful memories these songs bring. Publication is set for summer 2022, with a second untitled picture book to follow. Wendi Gu at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates represented the author, and Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties represented the illustrator.
Meredith Mundy at Abrams Appleseed has acquired world rights to I Like/You Like, a rhyming picture book by Linda Ashman (l.) in two voices about children who are opposites in every way, but don't let their differences get in the way of friendship. Eve Coy will illustrate; publication is scheduled for spring 2022. Jennifer Mattson at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, and Charlie Bowden at Pickled Ink Ltd. represented the illustrator.
Ann Kelley at Random House Studio has bought world rights to nonfiction picture book Whale Fall by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Rob Dunlavey. When a whale is about 70 years old, it dies and drops to the bottom of the sea—and, for about 50 years, as it decomposes, it supports a rich assortment of sea life. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and Ashley Valentine on behalf of Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties represented the illustrator.
Christina Pulles at Albert Whitman has acquired world rights to King Sejong Invents an Alphabet, by debut author Carol Kim (l.). In this nonfiction picture book, a compassionate king invents a Korean alphabet to bring literacy to the underprivileged masses in 15th-century Korea. Cindy Kang will illustrate; publication is planned for fall 2021. Charlotte Wenger at Prospect Agency represented the author, and Helen Biles at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Kathy Landwehr at Peachtree has bought, at auction, Sandra Salsbury's author-illustrator debut, Best Friend in the Whole World, a picture book about a lonely rabbit named Roland and his new best friend, a pinecone named Milton. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Lindsay Auld at Writers House negotiated the deal for world rights.
Marilyn Brigham at Amazon Crossing Kids has acquired Magic Candies, written and illustrated by 2020 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award winner Baek Heena (l.), and translated from Korean by Sophie Bowman. The picture book follows a boy who eats magical candy and can suddenly hear the thoughts of everyone around him, even his deceased grandmother. Publication is set for August 2021; Isabel Atherton at Creative Authors on behalf of Arui Shin Agency did the deal for North American English rights.
Christianne Jones at Capstone has bought world rights to So You Want to Build a Library? by Lindsay Leslie, a picture book that puts readers in the driver's seat as architects and designers of a new library of their dreams. Aviel Basil will illustrate; publication is slated for fall 2021. Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Naima Danawi at Illozoo represented the illustrator.
Alyssa Mito Pusey at Charlesbridge has acquired world rights to The Gardener of Alcatraz, written by Emma Bland Smith (l.), illustrated by Jenn Ely. This nonfiction picture book features Alcatraz inmate Elliot Michener, who finds purpose and salvation in gardening on the rocky, windswept island. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022. Essie White at Storm Literary represented the author, and Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary represented the illustrator.
Feeding Minds Press has bought world rights to I Love Strawberries by Shannon Anderson (l.), illustrated by Jaclyn Sinquett, about a girl and her determination to grow and harvest her own strawberry plants. This diary-format picture book contains strawberry fun facts and follows the actual growing season of strawberries. Emma Dryden will edit; publication is planned for spring 2022. Cyle Young at Literary Elite represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Jordan Brown at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has acquired North American rights to The Blackwoods and another YA novel by Brandy Colbert. The Blackwoods is a multigenerational story about a Black Hollywood family told from four POVs that opens with the death of Blossom Blackwood, celebrated actress and matriarch. As her three teenage great-grandchildren help prepare for the estate sale, they examine the cost of ambition, the importance of family, and the rewards of trusting one's heart. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Tina Dubois at ICM Partners negotiated the deal.
Arianne Lewin at Putnam has bought world rights for two untitled books by bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz (The Descendants). The YA novels will be romantic, historical retellings of classic fairytales. Publication of the first, set in the court of Louis XIV at Versailles, is slated for spring 2022. In addition, Kerri Kolen at Audible Originals has acquired two audio originals by de la Cruz. The first, an episodic series called 33 Unplayed Voicemails, is a love story told through technological missed connections; the second is a rom-com, The Five-Year Hitch, about two lifelong friends who hook up and break up every five years. Richard Abate at 3 Arts Entertainment did both deals.
Dana Chidiac at Dial has acquired, on exclusive submission, world rights to author Adib Khorram's Kiss & Tell, in which 17-year-old Hunter Drake, the only out gay member of a hit Canadian boy band, navigates his first messy breakup and a possible rebound romance, the unspoken costs of fame and success, and the complicated reality of being queer in the public eye. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Molly O'Neill at Root Literary brokered the deal.
Julie Rosenberg at Razorbill has bought, with Gretchen Durning to edit, The Girls Are Never Gone by Sarah Glenn Marsh (Reign of the Fallen series), a YA novel pitched as The Conjuring meets Sadie, with #OwnVoices bi and disability rep. Seventeen-year-old Dare plans to spend her summer debunking a haunting at a historic estate known for its dark past, but instead finds herself in a life-or-death struggle against an evil force lurking in its lake. Publication is set for fall 2021. Katelyn Detweiler currently represents the author; Lucy Carson at the Friedrich Agency handled the deal for world rights.
Tiffany Liao at Holt has acquired, at auction, North American rights to Nino Cipri's debut novel Burned and Buried. This YA supernatural horror follows Riley, who wakes up at the bottom of a grave with a hole in her chest and strange new powers. She's soon joined by three other dead girls, each with abilities born out of violence. Publication is planned for spring 2022; DongWon Song at Howard Morhaim Literary negotiated the two-book deal.
Sarah Grill at Wednesday Books has bought Accomplished by Amanda Quain, a YA contemporary featuring the beloved younger sister of Pride & Prejudice's Mr. Darcy, in which Georgie Darcy returns to Pemberley Academy after a humiliating "incident" with Wickham, determined to rebuild her reputation, blaze her own trail, and set up big brother Fitz with his new classmate Lizzie Bennet. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Moe Ferrara at BookEnds Literary did the deal for world English rights.
Kelsey Murphy at Philomel has acquired North American rights to Game On, edited by Laura Silverman, a YA anthology all about games, from athletic sports to Dungeons and Dragons to truth or dare. Contributors include: Gloria Chao, Sona Charaipotra, Kiki Chatzopoulou, Katie Cotugno, Isaac Fitzsimons, Kathleen Glasgow, Shaun David Hutchinson, Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal, Amanda Joy, Yamile Méndez, Anna Meriano, Nina Moreno, Kayla Whaley, and Francesca Zappia. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret brokered the deal.
Rachel Poloski at Little, Brown/Poppy has bought Summer Reading, an ode to books and summertime by Katrina Leno (Horrid), in which Anna Lucia Bell expects the worst from her summer vacation with her recently divorced parents, but everything changes with the arrival of new friendships and a magical meteor shower, which lead Anna to deepen her understanding of herself, love, and the magic that an "ordinary" summer can bring. Publication is set for summer 2022; Wendy Schmalz at Wendy Schmalz Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Stephanie Stein at HarperTeen has acquired, in an exclusive submission, The Song That Moves the Sun by Anna Bright (The Beholder). The YA fantasy romance follows two teens on a journey through the heavenly spheres once charted by Dante Alighieri and Beatrice Portinari, discovering hidden cities ruled by music and astrology, as they try to solve the mysterious disharmony causing chaos and instability throughout all their worlds. Publication is tentatively planned for spring 2022; Elana Roth Parker at Laura Dail Literary did the two-book deal for world English rights.
Tamara Grasty at Page Street has bought world English rights to Forward March by Skye Quinlan. When band geek/potential First Daughter Harper McKinley discovers that out and proud, drumline punk Margot Blanchard might be into her, she's forced to figure out if she even likes girls, if she might be asexual, and if a relationship with Margot is worth losing her best friend. Publication is slated for winter 2022; Moe Ferrara at BookEnds Literary brokered the deal.
Lisa Sandell at Scholastic Press has acquired Rescue by bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen (The False Prince and A Night Divided). Her newest middle-grade historical thriller follows a girl in Nazi-occupied France who becomes entangled with spies and secret codes in hopes of rescuing her father from a POW camp. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary did the deal for world rights.
Trisha de Guzman at FSG has bought, at auction, world English rights to Marikit Wears the Map to the Engkantos and a second untitled standalone by debut author Caris Avendaño Cruz. Inspired by Filipino folklore, the middle grade fantasy follows 11-year-old Marikit and her firefly companion as she sets off on her diwata's journey through the world of nature spirits, or engkantos. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Melanie Castillo at Root Literary handled the two-book deal.
Andrew Karre at Dutton has preempted A Bird Will Soar, the debut of Highlights Foundation program director Alison Green Myers. The middle grade novel follows a boy named Axel and the unusual collection of adults in his makeshift family as they try to repair both a nearby eagles' nest and their own home in the aftermath of a storm. Publication is set for fall 2021; Jennifer Rofé at Andrea Brown Literary negotiated the two-book deal for world rights.
Kaylan Adair at Candlewick has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to two chapter books, Shake for the Summer and Shermy & Shake, by Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson, illustrated by Shinji Fujioka. Two boys thrown together by circumstance navigate their differences and forge an unlikely friendship. Publication is slated for spring 2023 and fall 2023, respectively; Jill Grinberg at Jill Grinberg Literary Management represented the author, and Lori Kilkelly at LK Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Margaret Anastas at Penguin/Flamingo has bought My Voice Is a Trumpet, a debut picture book by country star Jimmie Allen and illustrated by Cathy Ann Johnson, a celebration of the many types of voices that can effect change, from voices tall as a tree, to voices small as a bee, all it takes is confidence and a belief in the goodness of others to change the world. Publication is set for summer 2021; Albert Lee at United Talent Agency represented the author, and Claire Easton at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Ann Kelley at Random House Studio has acquired an untitled picture book biography about Jackie Ormes by Liz Montague, who created a Google Doodle about the pioneering cartoonist. The book will follow the life of Ormes, the first nationally syndicated Black female cartoonist in the U.S., who created the Torchy Brown comic strip. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Wendi Gu at Sanford J. Greenburger represented the author-illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Doris Kutschbach at Prestel Junior has bought Pie for Breakfast by Cynthia Cliff, an illustrated recipe picture book in which a girl prepares for her school's bake sale, inspired by the author's recipe blog of the same name. Publication is planned for spring 2021; Carrie Hannigan at HG Literary represented the author-illustrator for world English and German rights.
Samantha Swenson at Tundra has acquired world rights to Lourdes Heuer's (l.) debut picture book On This Airplane, to be illustrated by Pura Belpré winner Sara Palacios. The book follows a child's first experience on an airplane as they observe the passengers around them, noticing the ways the travelers are both different from them and the same. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, and Minju Chang and Kendra Marcus at BookStop Literary represented the illustrator.
Melissa Manlove at Chronicle has acquired world rights to The Moon Moved In by Sue Soltis (l.) (The Stars Up the Street), illustrated by Sonia Sánchez. Pitched as Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me meets Ada Twist, Scientist, the story features Stella, who makes an unexpected friend when the Moon moves into the house next door. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Susan Hawk at Upstart Crow Literary represented the author, and Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary represented the illustrator.
Jordan Nielsen at POW! Kids has bought world rights to Rat Fair, a debut picture book by Leah Rose Kessler (l.), illustrated by Cleonique Hilsaca. The nearly wordless picture book features a group of rats who mistake a sign for an "Art Fair" for that of a "Rat Fair." After constructing their own fair, they struggle to keep their festivities safe from humans who would sweep it away, but a compassionate child who has been watching them has a plan. Publication is set for summer 2021; the author and illustrator represented themselves.
Wendy McClure at Albert Whitman has acquired world rights to A Voice for the Everglades by Vicki Conrad (l.), illustrated by Ibon Adarne, a nonfiction picture book about the evolution of the Florida Everglades and conservationist and author Marjory Stoneman Douglas's efforts to protect them from land development. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Clelia Gore at Martin Literary & Media Management represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Zhiqiao Wang at Yeehoo has bought world rights to The Happiest Kid in the Class, a picture book by debut author Sarah Bagley Steele (l.), illustrated by Elsa Pui Si Lo. The happiest kid in the class wakes up one morning with a gray cloud hanging over her head; she spends the day hiding it, but soon realizes sometimes everyone gets sad and feelings can't be stuffed in pockets. Publication is slated for fall 2021 in the U.S. and mainland China; the author and the illustrator represented themselves.