Anne Heltzel at Amulet has acquired, in a four-way auction, My Sister's Big Fat Indian Wedding by Sajni Patel. The YA rom-com follows an aspiring violinist who must secretly juggle the obligations of her sister's extravagant wedding week with auditions for a prominent music contest—all while trying to dodge her boisterous family's matchmaking schemes. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Katelyn Detweiler at Jill Grinberg Literary Management negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Mark Podesta at Henry Holt has bought, at auction, Last Ship to Mars by queer cartoonist Samantha Benc, a speculative YA graphic novel pitched as Bloom meets Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Set on a deteriorating Earth, the story follows Mara, an aspiring scientist, and her relationship with a humanoid android—a connection that will alter the course of her life, forcing her to choose between abandoning her planet for a better life on Mars or working to rescue the only home she's ever known. Publication is set for winter 2024; Claire Draper at the Bent Agency did the deal for world English rights.
Wendy Loggia at Delacorte has acquired North American rights to Trex by Christyne Morrell. Pitched as Liar & Spy meets Stranger Things, this contemporary middle grade mystery is told by three unreliable narrators and follows Trex, a boy with an experimental implant, a reclusive girl training to be a spy, and their adventures together as they're pitted against school bullies, their own parents, and an evil, brain-hacking corporation. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Danielle Chiotti at Upstart Crow Literary brokered the deal.
Alice Jerman at HarperCollins has bought, in a two-book deal, Frances and the Monster by Refe Tuma (co-author of the What the Dinosaurs Did picture book series). This middle-grade debut follows Frances, a lonely and precocious budding scientist determined to prove to her parents she doesn't need looking after. When she accidentally brings a monster to life, she must stop him before he destroys her entire town... and before her parents find out. Publication is planned for summer 2022, and a sequel in summer 2023; Marlo Berliner at Jennifer De Chiara Literary negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Alyza Liu at Simon & Schuster has acquired world rights to If Your Babysitter Is a Bruja, a bilingual story in which a child believes their new babysitter might just be a witch, by Brazilian author Ana Siqueira (l.), illustrated by Irena Freitas. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022 and simultaneously in Spanish as Cuando tu niñera es un bruja, with text translated by the author. Andrea Walker at Olswanger Literary represented the author, and Andrea Morrison at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Anne Schwartz at Random House/Schwartz has bought world rights to Good Books for Bad Children: The Genius of Ursula Nordstrom by National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart (l.), illustrated by Chloe Bristol. This picture book biography follows legendary children's book publisher Nordstrom, who is credited with transforming children's literature by publishing kid-friendly books that became beloved classics, such as Where the Wild Things Are and Goodnight Moon. Publication is set for spring 2023; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Grace Kendall at Farrar, Straus and Giroux has acquired world rights to I, Too, Am Mozart, written by Audrey Ades (l.), illustrated by Adelina Lirius. The picture book biography features Maria Anna Mozart, Wolfgang's sister, who was a musical prodigy in her own right, collaborating with and influencing her younger brother throughout her life. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Suzy Evans at Sandra Dijkstra Literary represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Kathleen Merz at Eerdmans has bought world rights to picture book I Can Help, written by Reem Faruqi (l.), illustrated by Mikela Prevost. Zahra loves spending time with Kyle at school, but when her classmates start teasing her for helping him, she starts making choices she regrets and resolves to do better. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Kendra Marcus at Bookstop Literary represented the author, and Rebecca Sherman at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Luyang Xue at Yeehoo Press has acquired world English and simplified Chinese rights to picture book Dodos Aren't Extinct by Paddy Donnelly. A Dodo reveals a huge secret: they're not actually extinct—they've been hiding in plain sight all this time, and they're not the only ones. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022 in the U.S. and mainland China; Lucie Luddington and Ilaria Vigilante at the Bright Agency represented the author-illustrator.
Denene Millner at S&S/Millner has acquired, at auction, Charity Alyse's YA debut, Other Side of the Tracks, about a racially divided town where Zach Whitman, a white boy, moves in and befriends Black siblings Capri and Justin Collins. When one of their friends is murdered by police, the town erupts into an all-out war, with Capri, Justin, and Zach caught in the middle. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Marlo Berliner at Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Wendy Loggia at Delacorte has bought world English rights to Liar's Beach and a second, untitled novel by bestselling YA author Katie Cotugno, pitched as We Were Liars meets Knives Out and set on Martha's Vineyard. In this new take on Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair at Styles, detective Hercule Poirot is recast as a brilliant, brash teen girl named Holiday, with the story narrated by her childhood friend Linden, an athlete-scholar who fits right in at his elite New England prep school—all the while hiding secrets of his own. Publication is set for fall 2022; Sara Shandler and Viana Siniscalchi at Alloy Entertainment represented the author.
Bess Braswell at Inkyard Press has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to Silver in the Mist by Emily Victoria (This Golden Flame). In this #OwnVoices YA fantasy standalone, a young asexual spy is given a vital mission from her Spymistress: infiltrate an enemy country and capture a magic caster, in hopes of restoring her own country's dying magic. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Rebecca Strauss at DeFiore and Company did the deal.
Nick Thomas at Levine Querido has bought world English rights to Oksi by Finnish artist Mari Ahokoivu. Inspired by Finnish mythology, this YA graphic novel is an epic tale of mothers and daughters, of stars and legends. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Tuomas Sorjamaa at Ferly negotiated the deal.
Alvina Ling at Little, Brown has acquired, in an exclusive submission, North American rights to bestselling author Samira Ahmed's middle grade debut, Amira & Hamza: The War to Save the Worlds, a fantasy inspired by the Hamzanama, a 1000-year-old epic. When siblings Amira and Hamza disturb an ancient astrological object, they are thrust into the mystical land of Qaf, where they must end a civil war in order to prevent our moon—the stopper between worlds—from breaking apart and unleashing ferocious jinns, devs, and ghuls onto the earth. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary & Media handled the deal.
Nancy Siscoe at Knopf has bought U.S. and Canadian rights to The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne and a second book in a new series by Jonathan Stroud (the Bartimaeus books and the Lockwood & Co. series). This darkly comic fantasy adventure stars Scarlett McCain and Albert Browne, bank robbers, fugitives, and anti-heroes, who are being pursued across a transformed England where monsters and cannibals are the least of their worries. Publication is set for fall 2021; Andrea Morrison at Writers House brokered the deal on behalf of Veronique Baxter at David Higham Associates in the U.K.
Stephanie Stein at HarperCollins has acquired, in a preempt, North American rights to The Civil War of Amos Abernathy by debut author Michael Leali. Twelve-year-old Amos Abernathy, an openly gay historical reenactor, sets out to prove to himself and his closeted crush that queer people always have and always will exist in American history. The contemporary middle grade novel is told partly in letters to Albert D.J. Cashier, the Union soldier uncovered by Amos's research, who becomes his confidant and historical queer icon. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties negotiated the two-book deal.
Julia McCarthy at Atheneum has acquired world rights to The Problem with Pajamas by Lauren Stohler. Cody has had a long, itchy, uncomfortable, too-tight day, so when Dad says it's time for bed, it'll take a slew of fuzzy friends to convince Cody that not all pajamas are bad. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Thao Le at Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency brokered the deal.
Emily Seife and David Levithan at Scholastic have bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to Invisibles by Christina Diaz Gonzalez (l.), a bilingual middle grade graphic novel about five very different Latinx students who form an unexpected bond after being forced together to complete community service hours. Gaby Epstein will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Jennifer Rofé at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, and Steven Salpeter at Curtis Brown represented the illustrator.
Kaylan Adair at Candlewick has bought, in a preempt, world rights to counting book One Sweet Song by Jyoti Rajan Gopal (l.), illustrated by Sonia Sánchez, where community members in a city neighborhood are slowly pulled to their windows by the sound of music. One note trills, another joins, and then another, and one by one people step out on their balconies to join their community medley, counting from 1–10 and back again. Publication is set for fall 2023; Wendi Gu at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates represented the author, and Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary represented the illustrator.
Jill Braithwaite at Beaming Books has acquired world rights to the picture book The Animals Speak: A Christmas Eve Legend by Marion Dane Bauer (l.), a retelling of how at midnight on Christmas Eve, animals gain the power of speech and raise their voices to welcome the baby Jesus. Brittany Baugus will illustrate. Publication is slated for October 5, 2021; Rubin Pfeffer at Rubin Pfeffer Content represented the author, and Lucie Luddington at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Cindy Kim at Little Simon has bought world rights to Strut, Baby, Strut, written by Amika Kroll (l.) and illustrated by Ebony Glenn. In this board book, girls are encouraged to reach high, dream big, and be proud of who they are. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; the author represented herself, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.