Zack Clark at Scholastic has bought, in a six-figure preempt to a planned 13-imprint auction, world English rights to two YA titles by Reverie and Be Dazzled author Ryan La Sala. The first one, titled The Honeys, will be his YA horror debut, described as Heathers meets Midsommer set in a bougie overnight camp in the Catskills. Publication is planned for summer 2022; Veronica Park at Fuse Literary brokered the deal.
Nathaniel Tabachnik at Penguin Workshop has acquired world rights for Chasing After Knight, the sophomore YA novel by Heather Buchta. High school senior Alexa is a girl with a plan: ace her classes, nail the extracurriculars, and get into her dream college. But this "plan" is designed for one thing: to forget everything about Carson Knight, the boy she fell in love with, the boy she betrayed... and the boy who became a Hollywood star, renamed Cayden McKnight. Thanks to a school assignment, Alexa enters the world of bright lights and paparazzi to try to make amends with Carson, and confronts the question: what if the boy she loved is no longer there? Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Michael Bourret at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal for world rights.
Rebecca Kuss at Inkyard has acquired world English rights to If You Could See the Sun by Ann Liang. This debut YA novel follows a Chinese American teenage girl, who, upon discovering that she can no longer afford tuition at her elite Beijing boarding school, teams up with her academic rival and monetizes her strange new invisibility powers by discovering and selling her wealthy classmates' most scandalous secrets. Publication is set for fall 2022; Kathleen Rushall at Andrea Brown Literary negotiated the deal.
Alice Jerman at HarperTeen has bought The Restless Dark by Erica Waters. In the author’s new queer supernatural YA, two girls join forces in a macabre true crime contest to find the missing bones of a killer in the nightmarish fogs of Cloudkiss Canyon. But when their search morphs into a hunt for a monster, the girls must ask themselves—is the fog to blame for what's happening in the canyon, or are they? Publication is set for fall 2022; Lauren Spieller at Triada US negotiated the two-book deal for North American rights.
Jenne Abramowitz at Scholastic will edit Playing the Cards You're Dealt by Coretta Scott King Honoree Varian Johnson, a book originally acquired by Nick Thomas. This middle grade novel explores themes of toxic masculinity as a 10-year-old card shark struggles to keep his family together while preparing for the big community spades tournament. Abramowitz also acquired American Giant, a “fictional biography in raps,” inspired by Hamilton and The Crossover, about Rube Foster, the “father” of Negro League Baseball. Publication is set for fall 2021 and 2023 for the novel and biography, respectively; Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties negotiated both deals for North American rights.
Russ Busse at Abrams has acquired Goodbye to All of You by Alexander Lu and Tara Kurtzhals. This middle grade graphic novel follows two Chinese American siblings who feel untethered by the death of their mother. The night of her funeral, they wake up in a place that looks like Chinatown but is actually a space between Earth and the afterlife, populated by animal spirits. Terrance and Delilah must adapt to a new world while learning to make peace with their mother's passing—and with each other. Maarta Laiho will color; publication is scheduled for 2022. Charlie Olsen and Jessica Mileo at Inkwell Management did the deal for world English rights.
Meghan Maria McCullough, with Arthur A. Levine, at Levine Querido has bought world English rights to I'll Keep You Close by Jeska Verstegen, an autobiographical middle grade novel about the author's experience growing up in the Netherlands in a family scarred by generational trauma from WWII and learning of her own Jewish heritage and family history that has been kept from her. Bill Nagelkerke will translate; publication is slated for fall 2021. Luciënne van der Leije at Querido did the deal.
Amy Cloud at HMH has bought, at auction, world English rights to Freddie vs. the Family Curse by Tracy Badua. This debut middle grade novel follows a Filipino American boy who must team up with the ghost of his great-grand-uncle to break a family curse or be trapped forever in an amulet. Publication is set for spring 2022; Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary negotiated the two-book deal.
Amanda Ramirez at Simon & Schuster has acquired Meet Me Halfway by Anika Fajardo (What If a Fish), a middle grade novel in the vein of The Parent Trap, about two girls who, after discovering they are half-sisters, go on an adventure to meet their Colombian father for the first time. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Thao Le at the Dijkstra Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Nancy Inteli and Megan Ilnitzki at HarperCollins have bought world rights to Alias Anna: The True Story of a Girl and Her Sister Who Outwitted the Nazis by Susan Hood (Lifeboat 12) with Greg Dawson. This nonfiction middle grade title, written in verse, follows the real-life story of Dawson's mother, Zhanna Arshanskaya, a Ukrainian Jewish girl. Using the alias Anna, Zhanna saved her life and the life of her sister Frina during the Holocaust with her piano-playing skills. Publication is slated for winter 2022; Brenda Bowen at the Book Group represented the authors.
Calista Brill and Samia Fakih at First Second have acquired world rights to Saving Sunshine, written by Saadia Faruqi (l.) (Meet Yasmin) with art by debut illustrator Shazleen Khan; Fakih will edit. This middle grade graphic novel follows bickering twins Zara and Zeeshan, who must put their feud aside when they find an ailing turtle on the beach that needs their care. Publication is scheduled for 2023; Kari Sutherland at Bradford Literary represented the author, and Kurestin Armada at Root Literary represented the illustrator.
Taylor Norman at Chronicle has acquired world rights to The North Wind and the Sun by Philip C. Stead, author of the Caldecott Medal-winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee. This picture book retells the classic fable emphasizing the power of compassion over force. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management negotiated the deal.
Martha Mihalick at Greenwillow has acquired world rights in an exclusive submission to Elephant's Big Solo and a second "Big" book by Sarah Kurpiel (Lone Wolf). This picture book features a talented (elephant) musician who is not interested in performing a solo for her music class—a story about finding your own way to shine and staying true to who you are. Publication is slated for summer 2022 and summer 2023; Alexandra Levick and Rebecca Sherman at Writers House negotiated the deal.
Melanie Cordova at Candlewick has acquired My Dog Just Speaks Spanish and an untitled picture book by debut author-illustrator Andrea Cáceres. Highlighting the multicultural neighborhood that a girl and her dog explore, the first picture book was inspired by Cáceres's own dog, who came to New York following Cáceres's immigration and only understands words like "treat" and "sit" when spoken in Spanish. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Rebecca Sherman at Writers House did the two-book deal for world rights.
Luana Kay Horry has acquired world rights at auction to That Flag, written by Tameka Fryer Brown and illustrated by artist Nikkolas Smith. This picture book is about a pair of best friends who are divided over the meaning and significance of the Confederate flag. In a tale that explores the emotional trauma the symbol causes for Black children, the two friends learn that embracing truth can bring reconciliation. Publication is planned for winter 2023; Marietta B. Zacker at the Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself.
Kendra Levin at Simon & Schuster has acquired world rights to I Love My Body Because by Shelly Anand (l.) (Laxmi's Mooch) and debut author Nomi Ellenson (c.), illustrated by Erika Rodriguez Medina (r.). This picture book celebrates the beauty, versatility, and resilience of the human body in all its various shapes and sizes. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Saba Sulaiman at Talcott Notch Literary Services represented the author and Claire Easton at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Tamar Mays at HarperCollins has bought world rights to Bravo, Avocado, written by Chana Stiefel (l.) and illustrated by Anna Suessbauer, a punny journey of self-discovery for an overlooked and underappreciated avocado at the farmers' market. Publication is set for winter 2023; Miranda Paul at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author and Bethany Sparks at Plum Pudding represented the illustrator.
Andrew Wooldridge at Orca has bought world rights to Empty by Rina Singh (l.), illustrated by Nathalie Dion. This wordless picture book is about a little bird who flies in search of humans during lockdown and finds them through her bird song—locked in but safe. Publication is slated for fall 2023; Essie White at Storm Literary represented the author and the illustrator represented herself.
Brett Duquette at Little Bee Books has acquired world rights to This Magical, Musical Night, written by Rhonda Gowler Greene and illustrated by James Rey Sanchez, an introduction to the orchestra and its various instruments. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown represented the author, and James Burns at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Sara Goodman at Wednesday Books has acquired two books, Dead Air and an untitled sequel by Sarah McCarry (the Metamorphoses Trilogy), about two high school girls who start a true-crime podcast to investigate a sensational cold case from their hometown. After they make a major new discovery, the girls publicly accuse someone of murder—but have they targeted an innocent man? Publication is slated for fall 2022; Greg Ferguson at Full Fathom Five did the deal for North American rights.
Alyza Liu at S&S/McElderry has bought The Ones We Burn by Rebecca Mix. This debut YA fantasy follows a blood-witch whose mission to assassinate the prince she is betrothed to is compromised by the discovery of a deadly plague—and by the beautiful princess intent on stopping it. Publication is set for fall 2022; Kiana Nguyen at Donald Maass Literary brokered the deal for world English rights.
Kiara Valdez at First Second has acquired Cover Your Tracks by Bowen McCurdy. The YA graphic novel follows a young, lesbian newlywed couple who slept through the apocalypse and must figure out what caused it while trying to survive. Publication is scheduled for 2024; Tamara Kawar at ICM Partners negotiated the deal for world rights.
Chris Hernandez at Razorbill has bought, in a preempt, world rights to Paws, a debut middle grade graphic novel series by comic book creators Michele Assarasakorn and Eisner nominee Nathan Fairbairn. In the books, three girls with nothing in common but a love of animals and a long-thwarted desire for their own pets start a dog-walking service. They soon discover that their dissimilar personalities and the realities of running a business threaten to tear it and their friendship apart. Publication for the first book is planned for spring 2022; the creators represented themselves in the three-book deal.
Emilia Rhodes at HMH has acquired, in a two-book preempt, Drew Leclair Gets a Clue by Katryn Bury. Pitched as a modern-day, queer Harriet the Spy, the middle grade debut follows true-crime obsessed Drew as she decides to catch a cyberbully by profiling all the bullies in her grade and discovers that family, friendship, and sexual identity are the hardest mysteries to solve. Publication is slated for spring 2022 and spring 2023; Chelsea Eberly at Greenhouse Literary brokered the deal for North American rights.
Brett Duquette at Little Bee/Yellow Jacket has bought world rights to The $150,000 Rugelach, written by Allison Marks (l.) and Wayne Marks and illustrated by Ariel Landy (r.). This middle grade novel follows two mismatched middle school students who are selected to compete in a high stakes baking contest for a prize of $150,000. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; The authors were unagented, and James Burns at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Jenne Abramowitz at Scholastic and Yasmin Morrissey at Scholastic U.K. have jointly acquired world rights to The Inflatables by Beth Garrod (l.) and Jess Hitchman (c.), illustrated by Chris Danger, in a four-book deal. Pitched as Toy Story meets SpongeBob, the graphic chapter book series introduces four inflatable pool floats making waves, hatching up air-brained schemes, and having a whole heap of inflatable fun at the water park. Publication for the first book is set for summer 2022; Gemma Cooper at the Bent Agency represented the authors, and Chad W. Beckerman at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Siobhan Ciminera at Simon Spotlight has bought world rights to Sprinkles and Swirls, two titles by Lola Schaefer (l.) and illustrated by Savannah Allen, for their new Ready-to-Read Graphics line, about two cupcakes that leave the bakery in search of adventure and find that excitement is only a bus ride away. Publication for the first book is planned for spring 2022; Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Yolanda Scott at Charlesbridge has acquired world rights to an early reader series called Every Day with April & Mae by Megan Dowd Lambert (l.), illustrated by Briana Arrington. The seven-book series, one for each day of the week, celebrates friendship between two girls of color while helping readers to develop key social emotional skills. Publication for all seven titles is slated for spring 2022; the author represented herself, and Christine Hong at the Astound Agency represented the illustrator.
Howard W. Reeves at Abrams has bought two titles by Building Zaha author-illustrator and architect Victoria Tentler-Krylov, called A Park to Look Up To and Venice. The first explores the history that led to the creation of the High Line, the unique Manhattan walkway; the second will detail the dangers of rising canal water in Venice, as well as measures taken by Venetians past and present to adapt their lifestyle to changing waters. Publication is set for spring 2022 and spring 2024, respectively; Rebecca Sherman at Writers House handled the two-book deal for world rights.
Martha Mihalick at Greenwillow has acquired, at auction, world rights to The Grandmaster's Daughter by Dan-ah Kim. This picture book debut is about a small but capable black belt who helps her parents run a modest dojang where she and her friends practice Tae Kwon Do, protect the school from enemies, and make peace over shared persimmons. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Lori Kilkelly at LK Literary negotiated the two-book deal.
Catherine Laudone at Simon & Schuster has bought Bitsy Bat, School Star by author-artist Kaz Windness. Her second picture book is about a little autistic bat whose world is turned upside down at a new school until she remembers what makes her a shining star. Publication is planned for summer 2023; Timothy Travaglini at Transatlantic Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Talia Benamy at Philomel has acquired world rights to You Can Be ABCs by authors Robert Samuel White III (aka Sam) (l.) and Robert Samuel White II (aka Sam's beatboxing dad, Bobby) (c.), to be illustrated by Robert Paul Jr. (r.). The picture book, based on the rap viral video, is a celebration of all the things kids can be when they grow up—from A to Z. Publication is slated for fall 2021; the authors represented themselves, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Nancy Inteli at HarperCollins has preempted world rights, in a two-book deal, to Being a Dog: A Tail of Mindfulness by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by Pete Oswald. This picture book takes readers into the world of mindfulness that our four-legged friends come to so naturally, with a reminder that the very best things in life are not only shared—but lived, felt, and experienced. Publication for the first book is set for winter 2022; Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the illustrator.
Emily Feinberg at Roaring Brook has bought world rights to A Rock Is Born by Richard Ho (The Lost Package), illustrated by Lily Williams (If Sharks Disappeared), a transportive story following the life cycle of a rock, from its prehistoric creation to modern day. Publication is scheduled for winter 2023; Emily Mitchell at Wernick & Pratt represented the author, and Minju Chang at Bookstop Literary represented the illustrator.
Tamar Brazis at Viking has acquired The Mystery of The Love List by Sarah Glenn Marsh (l.) (Ninita's Big World; A Campfire Tail), illustrated by Ishaa Lobo in her picture book debut. The story follows Pippa, a lonely porcupine who feels lonelier than ever with Valentine's Day approaching, until she discovers her name on one of her classmate's love lists, and sets out to solve the mystery of who this potential friend might be. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Katelyn Detweiler at Jill Grinberg Literary Management represented the author, and Jennifer Rofé at Andrea Brown Literary represented the illustrator.
Allison Cohen at Running Press has bought Letters to Live By, written by Lisa Frenkel Riddiough (l.) and illustrated by Asa Gilland. Arranged alphabetically, the picture book offers gentle mantras for living life with gratitude, joy, and wisdom. Publication is slated for winter 2022; Jennifer Mattson at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, and Lilla Rogers at Lilla Rogers Studio represented the illustrator.
Courtney Burke, when at Page Street Kids, acquired world rights to Hello, Opportunity: The Story of Our Friend on Mars by Shaelyn McDaniel (l.), illustrated by Cornelia Li; Kayla Tostevin will edit. This nonfiction picture book tells the story of the beloved Mars robot-turned-public-icon and her place in humanity's history and collective heart. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Jordan Hamessley at New Leaf Literary & Media represented the author, and Caryn Wiseman at Andrea Brown Literary represented the artist.
Julie Matysik at Running Press Kids has bought This Is Your World: The Story of Bob Ross, licensed by Bob Ross, Inc., written by Sophia Gholz and illustrated by Robin Boyden. This picture book biography follows gentle soul Bob Ross's path from childhood to teaching others how to paint. Publication is set for September 2021. Joan Kowalski at Bob Ross, Inc., along with Marsha Armitage-Bristow and Cynthia Modders at Firefly Brand Management, brokered the deal for world rights; Liza Fleissig at Liza Royce Agency represented the author, and Charlie Bowden at Pickled Ink represented the illustrator.
Wiley Blevins at Reycraft has acquired world rights to picture book biography She Sang for the Mountains—Jean Ritchie, Singer, Songwriter, Activist; and a second picture book, Story Quilts—Appalachian Women Speak by Shannon Hitchcock (l.), both to be illustrated by Sophie Page. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Deborah Warren at East West Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Allison Cohen at Running Press Kids has bought world rights to Peculiar Primates by Debra Shumaker (l.), illustrated by Claire Powell. This nonfiction picture book explores odd facts about these mammals, from eating habits to hygiene, colored butts to cute mustaches. Publication is slated for fall 2022; James McGowan at BookEnds Literary represented the author, and Clare Wallace at Darley Anderson Illustration represented the illustrator.
Luana Horry at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to Hold Them Close by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow (Mommy's Khimar; Your Name Is a Song) and illustrated by fine artist Patrick Dougher. This ode to Black children encourages them to hold on tight to their proud history, loved ones, and moments of joy in the face of racialized violence and oppression. Publication is set for fall 2022; Essie White of Storm Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself.
Kara Rota at Chicago Review Press has bought world rights to Look at Her Art by Lisa Rogers (l.) (Hound Won't Go; 16 Words) and painter and scientist Jean Wiecha. This picture book introduces aspiring artists to fundamental principles of art theory and practice by exploring works of 18 women painters from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Erzsi Deak of Hen&Ink Literary Studio represented the author and illustrator.
Amy Novesky at Cameron Kids has acquired world rights to Black: The Many Wonders of My World by Nancy Johnson James (l.) and illustrated by Constance Moore (Brown: The Many Shades of Love), a picture book celebrating the wonderful color of black in one child's world. Publication is planned for spring 2022; the author and illustrator represented themselves.