Joy Peskin at Farrar, Straus and Giroux has acquired, in an exclusive submission, Never Forget Who You Are by Achut Deng (l.) and Keely Hutton. The narrative follows Deng's harrowing escape from her home village in South Sudan to a refugee camp in Kenya and finally to the U.S., where she arrived as part of a group of “Lost Boys." Told through the testimony of Deng's losses—including her name, her family, and her home—the YA memoir is the story of how Deng struggled to overcome exploitation and abuse and reclaim the things she lost by holding on to who she is. Publication is set for winter 2022; Soumeya Bendimerad Roberts at HG Literary did the deal for world rights.
Bria Ragin at Random House/Joy Revolution has bought Highly Suspicious, Unfairly Cute by romance author Talia Hibbert. In her YA debut, a snarky e-girl battles her clean-cut academic rival (and former best friend) over the course of a three-week enrichment program in the Scottish wilderness to see who's really top of their class, sparking old and possibly romantic feelings. This is the first acquisition for Joy Revolution, the imprint cofounded by Nicola and David Yoon. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Courtney Miller-Calliha at Handspun Literary negotiated the two-book deal for world rights.
Sarah Barley at Flatiron has acquired This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg, a YA novel about a family on the run and their restless teenage daughter, Poppy, who's hungry for the truth. When Poppy takes a home DNA test, she not only unravels the truth of her parents' identities, but also undoes decades of careful work to keep her family anonymous—and finds that the past is dangerously close to catching up to them. Publication is scheduled for winter 2022; Kerry Sparks at Levine Greenberg Rostan handled the deal for world English rights.
Nick Thomas at Levine Querido has bought You're Breaking My Heart by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich. The YA debut follows a teenager grieving her brother's death and her last words to him before he died—who then discovers a portal to another dimension underneath New York City, one that just might offer an opportunity for a do-over as a better version of herself. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Marietta Zacker of Gallt & Zacker brokered the deal for North American and world Dutch rights.
Jennie Conway at Wednesday has acquired The Charmed List by Julie Abe, a YA contemporary romance set in a magical Palo Alto, pitched as Sabrina the Teenage Witch meets Jenny Han. After spending most of high school as the quiet girl, Ellie Kobata is ready to take some risks and potentially have a life-changing summer, starting with her Anti-Wallflower list—13 items she is going to check off one by one. But when number four on the list—revenge on Jack Yasuda—goes terribly wrong, she's certain her summer has gone from charmed to cursed. Publication is set for summer 2022; Sarah Landis at Sterling Lord Literistic did the deal for world rights.
Christy Ottaviano at Little, Brown/Ottaviano has bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to On the Bright Side by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman (Book Scavenger). This 1980s-set middle grade mystery features three young sleuths obsessed with E.T. and Steven Spielberg, who witness a mysterious flying object in their sleepy California town. Publication is slated for fall 2023; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary negotiated the deal.
Reka Simonsen at Atheneum has acquired Naomi Teitelbaum Ends the World by S. Rose Shanker, an #OwnVoices debut middle-grade novel in the vein of Aru Shah that gives traditional Jewish folklore a modern twist. Naomi is preparing for her bat mitzvah when she receives a mysterious gift: a Golem that obeys her every command. When the Golem gets out of control, Naomi and her friends are sent on an adventure to set things right before the Golem accidentally brings about the end of the world. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Stephanie Hansen at Metamorphosis Literary handled the deal for world rights.
Lisa Mangum at Shadow Mountain has bought Missing Okalee by Laura Ojeda Melchor. Her debut middle grade novel features 12-year-old Phoebe Paz Peterson, who can't seem to shine more brightly than her little sister, Okalee. Phoebe is sure that snagging the solo in the school choir will finally give her a chance at the spotlight. But when a tragic accident takes Okalee from her, Phoebe loses her beautiful singing voice and gains a terrible secret. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Danielle Chiotti of Upstart Crow Literary brokered the deal for North American rights.
Sunita Apte at Reycraft has acquired world rights to a new middle grade #OwnVoices series by Salima Alikhan. In each book, a girl named Soraya takes a field trip with her classmates and embarks on an adventure. Publication for the first book, Soraya and the Dragon, is slated for fall 2021; Jacqui Lipton at Raven Quill Literary represented the author.
Alyson Heller at Aladdin has bought debut chapter book Sejal Battles Super Storms by Maya Prasad, first in a new series that follows an Indian American girl with an active imagination and a love of STEM, who uses science to save her family's Diwali celebration on the night of a storm. Publication is set for spring 2023; Penny Moore at Aevitas Creative Management negotiated the three-book deal for world rights.
Sally Morgridge at Holiday House has acquired two early graphic novels written and illustrated by Vikram Madan (A Hatful of Dragons) featuring Owl & Penguin, two unlikely friends who, despite their differences, flock together like birds of a feather. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio brokered the deal for world rights.
Elise LeMassena at Putnam has bought Rosie and the Pre-Loved Dress by textile designer and Unraveled author-illustrator Leanne Hatch. In this picture book, a girl finds the perfect dress at her local thrift shop; her curiosity about the previous owner leads her to discover that secondhand clothes carry far more possibilities than meet the eye. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022; Janine Le at Sheldon Fogelman Agency handled the deal for North American rights.
Martha Mihalick at Greenwillow has acquired, at auction, The Dark by Pam Fong, a picture book about finding light in the darkness, told by way of a little fish lost in a deep ocean. Publication is slated for winter 2023; Abigail Frank at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates negotiated the two-book deal for world English rights.
Neal Porter at Holiday House/Porter has bought world rights to Pass the Baby! by Orbis Pictus Honoree Susanna Reich (Stand Up and Sing!), illustrated by 2020 Eric Carle Museum Honoree Raúl Colón (Imagine!), a riotous picture book about a diverse family celebrating a meal together... and the baby who's the center of their attention. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Edward Necarsulmer IV of Dunow at Carlson & Lerner represented the author, and Brenda Bowen at the Book Group represented the artist.
Kate Farrell and Christian Trimmer at Henry Holt have acquired world rights to The Truth About Dragons by Asian American Pacific Award recipient Julie Leung (l.), illustrated by Hanna Cha. It's a picture book about a child with a blended cultural identity who quests into two very different forests, discovering the godly, imposing Eastern conception of the dragon in one, and the fearsome, adventurous Western dragon in the other. The child learns there is no one truth about dragons, that both can at once exist in their heart. Publication is set for winter 2023; Wendi Gu at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates represented the author and illustrator.
Donna Bray at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has bought, at auction, I'm From by Gary Gray, illustrated by Oge Mora. The author's picture book debut is an exploration of the sum of all the little moments, from bus rides to pick up games, that play a special role in defining where a little Black boy is from. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Steven Malk at Writers House negotiated the two-book deal for world rights.
Taylor Norman at Chronicle has acquired, at auction, world rights to two picture books by Chelsea Lin Wallace (l.). The first is Ode to a Bad Day, about the bad day a child is having from soggy cereal to running boring errands with a parent, illustrated by Hyewon Yum (c.). The second is A Trip to Miss Peatree, about children piling into the school nurse's office with a variety of ailments, illustrated by Alison Farrell (r.). Publication is set for spring 2023 and fall 2023 for the first and second book, respectively; Jennifer Rofé represented Wallace, Sean McCarthy at Sean McCarthy Literary represented Yum, and Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties represented Farrell.
Rachel Matson at Cartwheel has bought world rights to My Moms Love Me, an ode to the magic in the everyday for two mothers and their little one, written by Anna Membrino (l.) (I Look Up To…) and illustrated by Joy Hwang Ruiz (Every Little Letter). Publication is slated for 2022; the author represented herself, and Molly O'Neill at Root Literary represented the illustrator.
Maggie Rosenthal at Viking has acquired world rights to Dear Unicorn by Josh Funk (l.) and illustrated by Charles Santoso, in which a human and a unicorn pen pal pair grow and learn from new and unexpected perspectives through the exchange of art and drawings. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Kathleen Rushall at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, and Tamara Shannon at Shannon Associates represented the illustrator.
Julia Sooy at Holt/Godwin has bought Blood: Not Just a Vampire Drink by Stacy McAnulty (l.) (Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years), illustrated by Shawna J.C. Tenney. The nonfiction picture book is an introduction to the important role of blood in the human body, as told by a vegan vampire. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Lori Kilkelly at LK Literary represented both the author and the illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Beth Terrill at NorthSouth has acquired world rights to The Forest Keeper, a picture book by 111 Trees and Grandmother School author Rina Singh (l.), illustrated by Ishita Jain. This nonfiction book tells the story of an Indigenous man who single-handedly planted a forest on a barren sandbar in India. Publication is set for spring 2023; Essie White at Storm Literary represented the author, and the illustrator was unagented.
Rebecca Davis at Boyds Mills has bought North American rights to picture book If This Bird Had Pockets by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater (l.), illustrated by Emma J. Virján. This picture book of poems celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day imagines the poems a wide variety of animals might write for the holiday. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown represented the author, and Victoria Wells Arms at Wells Arms Literary/HG Literary represented the illustrator.
Zhiqiao Wang at Yeehoo Press has bought world rights to Cedric's Tail by Amani Uduman (l.), illustrated by Agnès Ernoult. In this picture book, Cedric must come to terms with the advantages and pitfalls of his new limb when he wishes for a tail on his fourth birthday. Publication is planned for spring 2022 in the U.S. and mainland China; the author represented herself, and Amary Tang and Juliette Lott at IllustrationX represented the illustrator.
Liza Kaplan at Philomel has acquired, in a six-house auction, Cool. Awkward. Black., a YA fiction anthology that explores the joys of and multitudes within Black geekhood from a number of Black authors, edited by Karen Strong, with stories by Amerie, Kalynn Bayron, Terry Benton, Roseanne A. Brown, Elise Bryant, Tracy Deonn, Desiree S. Evans, Isaac Fitzsimons, Lamar R. Giles, Jordan Ifueko, Leah Johnson, Amanda Joy, Danny Lore, Kwame Mbalia, Tochi Onyebuchi, K. Arsenault Rivera, Ciannon Smart, Julian Winters, Ibi Zoboi, and one winner from a contest run by Strong. Publication is set for spring 2023; Patrice Caldwell and Jenniea Carter at New Leaf Literary & Media brokered the deal for world English rights.
Mekisha Telfer at Roaring Brook has bought The Buried and the Bound by Rochelle Hassan (The Prince of Nowhere). This first book in a planned contemporary YA fantasy trilogy follows a young witch charged with protecting her sleepy hometown from fae mischief. But when a dark entity takes root in the wood, she must seek help from the unlikeliest of allies to form a coven reckless enough to take on the new threat. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Erica Bauman at Aevitas Creative Management did the three-book deal for world rights.
Kristen Pettit at HarperTeen has acquired Cake Eater by Allyson Dahlin. In this debut YA novel, set in an alternate future Versailles, social influencer Marie Antoinette and her shy new husband Louis Auguste must right the wrongs of generations, amid rampant misinformation and capitalist propaganda, while revolutionaries are already calling for their heads. Publication is planned for summer 2022; Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Kiara Valdez at First Second has bought Gutless by Rose Bousamra. The YA graphic novel follows the last mermaid in the world, a witch princess, and a wooden knight as they embark on a journey of self-discovery while trying to stop an ancient magical being from destroying the earth. Publication is scheduled for 2024; Tamara Kawar at ICM Partners brokered the deal for world English rights.
Jen Bouvier at Entangled has acquired The Gravity of Missing Things by Marisa Urgo. This #OwnVoices debut contemporary YA novel follows a bi teen who has to juggle first love and a family secret when her pilot mother's plane mysteriously vanishes, leaving her mother as the prime suspect. Publication is set for summer 2022; Moe Ferrara at BookEnds Literary handled the deal for world rights.
Jerome Pohlen at Chicago Review Press has bought Bone Quake by C.M. Surrisi, a YA nonfiction book that details the events leading to the discovery that the bones entombed in Viking warrior grave Bj581 were in fact female, and examines the fallout from that discovery and its impact on archaeologists' and historians' study of gender roles in ancient societies. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Kelly Dyksterhouse at Raven Quill Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Caroline Abbey at Random House has acquired Strangeville School Is Totally Normal and a sequel, Strangeville School Is Definitely Not Cursed by Darcy Miller, illustrated by Brett Helquist. This middle grade series follows Harvey Hill on his first day at Strangeville School, where everything is perfectly normal... except for the giant rat roaming the halls, the black hole in the meatloaf, and the supply closet that's planning something nefarious. Publication for the first book is scheduled for fall 2021; Carrie Hannigan at HG Literary represented the author, and Steven Malk at Writers House represented the illustrator.
David Levithan at Scholastic has bought Alice Austen Lived Here by George author Alex Gino. The middle grade novel follows non-binary friends Sam and TJ, who, in researching their Staten Island neighborhood for a contest, discover the work and life of early lesbian photographer Alice Austen and the queer history and culture that surround them. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Susan Rich at Little, Brown has acquired The Kaya Girl by Ghanian author Mamle Wolo, a middle grade novel exploring an unlikely friendship between teens from vastly different backgrounds, whose paths cross in a bustling market in Ghana's capital city. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Charlotte Sheedy at Charlotte Sheedy Literary negotiated the deal for world rights, excluding Anglophone West Africa.
Kristin Daly Rens at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has bought Zoodini by Horace & Bunwinkle author PJ Switzer (writing as PJ Gardner), a middle grade mystery in which a fennec fox with a penchant for escape attempts winds up at an animal rehabilitation center and stumbles on a new way to find fame—stopping a plot to steal his fellow residents. Publication is set for fall 2023 with a second untitled work to follow; Kari Sutherland at Bradford Literary did the deal for world English rights.
Taylor Norman at Chronicle has acquired Camp Whatever by debut author Sondra Soderborg. The middle grade novel follows a girl who hides her unfamiliarity with the nuances of friendship and her fear of heights behind a seemingly unflappable exterior at a middle school team-building camp. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary brokered the deal for world English rights.
Siobhan Ciminera at Simon Spotlight has bought world English rights to a new early reader series, Captain Cat, by author-illustrator Emma J. Virján (What This Story Needs Is a Pig in a Wig). The first rhyming story, Captain Cat and the Pirate Lunch, celebrates the unexpected friendship between a cat and some charming birds; Elizabeth Barton and Nicole Fox will edit. Publication of the first book is planned for spring 2022; Victoria Wells Arms at Wells Arms Literary/Hannigan Getzler Literary represented the author-illustrator.
Bethany Buck at Pixel+Ink has acquired world rights to the first two books in The Great Mathemachicken young chapter book series by Nancy Krulik, illustrated by Charlie Alder, about a curious chicken who sneaks into school to see what humans actually do there, and unlocks superpowers of math and science that she uses to solve problems in the coop. Publication for the first book, Hide and Go Beak, is set for spring 2022, with the second to follow in spring 2023. Kenneth Weinrib at Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo PC represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Christy Ottaviano at Little, Brown/Ottaviano has bought, in a preempt, world rights to Scroll and a second untitled picture book written and illustrated by Hui Li. This debut picture book about family and tradition stars a girl—inspired by her grandfather's calligraphy—who steps into a magical world where Chinese characters come to life. Publication is slated for winter 2023; Anna Olswanger at Olswanger Literary negotiated the two-book deal.
Justin Chanda at Simon & Schuster has acquired world rights to Dalmartian: A Mars Rover's Story by author-illustrator Lucy Ruth Cummins. The picture book is about a boy who adopts an out-of-this-world dog after a UFO mishap and introduces him to canine life on Earth. Publication is scheduled for summer 2024; Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management did the deal.
Frances Gilbert at Doubleday has bought, in a three-book deal, author-illustrator Mechal Renee Roe's Growing Great, a garden-themed picture book about personal growth; Smart Sisters, a picture book celebration of sisterly friendship and love; and a leveled reader. Publication is planned for spring 2022, fall 2022, and spring 2023 for Growing Great, the leveled reader, and Smart Sisters, respectively. James Burns at the Bright Agency handled the deal for world rights.
Mabel Hsu at HarperCollins/Tegen has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to Maribel's Year by Michelle Sterling (l.), illustrated by Sarah Gonzales. The picture book follows a Filipina girl's first year in the U.S. as she navigates a new home through the changing months and waits for her papa across the sea to join them. Publication is set for winter 2023; Andrea Morrison at Writers House represented the author, and Alexandra Levick at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Emilia Rhodes at HMH has bought world rights to Cake vs. Pie by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen (l.), illustrated by Steph Stilwell, a pun-filled picture book about Cake's mission to defeat Pie as the most coveted dessert on the table. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Rachel Orr at Prospect Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Courtney Code at Abrams has acquired Pa, Me and Our Sidewalk Pantry by Toni Buzzeo (l.), illustrated by Zara González Hoang. The picture book is about a girl and her grandfather who build a shared sidewalk pantry to accompany their shared library, helping her neighbors in hard times with foods that can be enjoyed with favorite books. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary represented the author, and Andrea Morrison at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Emma Ledbetter at Abrams has bought world rights to Sallie Bee Writes a Thank-You Note by Courtney Sheinmel (l.) (the Stella Batts series) and Susan Verde (c.) (the I Am series), illustrated by Heather Ross (r.). In this picture book, one handwritten note leads to many more as Sallie realizes just how much she has to be thankful for. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Laura Dail at Laura Dail Literary represented Sheinmel, Erica Rand Silverman at Stimola Literary Studio represented Verde, and Steven Malk at Writers House represented Ross.
Allison Cohen at Running Press Kids has acquired Every Day's a Holiday, written by Stef Wade (l.), illustrated by Husna Aghniya. This picture book follows a girl over the course of a year as she learns about holidays like National Cheese Lover's Day and Opposites Day, all while counting down to the best day of all—her birthday. Publication is set for fall 2022; Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis represented the author, and Aurora Barlam at AstoundUS represented the illustrator.
Kate DePalma at Barefoot Books has bought world rights to 1 Smile, 10 Toes and Red Hat, Pink Boots by Dutch author-illustrator Nelleke Verhoeff (The Bread Pet). The pair of mix-and-match board books invites children to create endless combinations of quirky characters while reinforcing early learning concepts. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; the author-illustrator represented herself.
Jordan Nielsen at POW! Kids has acquired world rights to ABC Thankful Me, written by debut author Kyaw Lin (l.) and illustrated by Yuliya Pieletskaya (The Climbing Tree), a picture book where children learn the alphabet and practice gratitude by appreciating everyday wonders. Publication is slated for November 2021; the author represented himself, and Clelia Gore at Martin Literary & Media Management represented the illustrator.
Virginia Duncan at Greenwillow has bought world rights to Lift, Mix, Fling! Machines Can Do Anything and a companion about the concept of light by Lola Schaefer, illustrated by James Yang. The two STEM picture books invite readers to explore both topics and discover how each plays a role in their everyday lives. Publication is planned for March 2022 and March 2023, respectively; Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio represented the author, and David Goldman at the David Goldman Agency represented the illustrator.
Kristen Mohn at Capstone has acquired world rights to Jubilee: The True Story of the First Therapy Horse by KT Johnston (l.), illustrated by Anabella Ortiz. The book focuses on Danish dressage competitor Lis Hartel, who was determined not to let her polio keep her from riding again. An inexperienced horse named Jubilee was just the partner Lis needed to develop a new way of riding—all the way to the 1952 Olympics. Publication is set for spring 2022; the author and the illustrator represented themselves.