Hannah Hill at Delacorte has acquired, in a preempt, Lancers, the debut YA trilogy by author Yoon Ha Lee (Dragon Pearl). This adrenaline-fueled sci-fi adventure follows Hwa Young, a teen training to become an Imperial lancer pilot after her rebel moon home is literally ripped apart. But when she uncovers a terrible secret that the Empire has been hiding from its citizens, she must return to her rebel roots to save her world. Book one is planned for summer 2023; Seth Fishman at the Gernert Company did the deal for North American rights.
Anne Heltzel at Abrams has bought debut YA novel Lightlark by Alex Aster (Emblem Island), an untitled sequel, and an untitled graphic novel. Lightlark is a twisty fantasy that features six rulers competing in a high-stakes game set on a lush magical island, with 100 days to break the deadly curses that have plagued their realms for centuries. The first book is set for fall 2022; Katelyn Detweiler at Jill Grinberg Literary negotiated the six-figure deal at auction for world English rights.
Wendy Loggia at Underlined has acquired A Night to Die For by Lisa Schroeder. Pitched as The Night Of meets One Of Us Is Lying, the book tells the story of a prom night gone wrong when a senior boy finds a classmate's body in a ditch only to become the primary suspect in the girl's murder. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties brokered the deal for world rights.
Maggie Lehrman at Abrams has bought Fraternity, the first YA novel from actor and writer Andy Mientus. Set at an all-boys’ boarding school in 1991, it follows a secret society of queer kids who uncover a book of dark magic and use its power to find their own—at a huge cost. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Geoffrey Soffer at Soffer Namoff and Michael Mahan at Peikoff Mahan handled the deal for world rights.
Mark Podesta at Holt has acquired, at auction, Everyone Sux But You by Lambda Award-winning artist and author Kelsey Wroten, a YA graphic novel set in the early aughts about an apathetic lesbian punk who learns—in the wake of her mother's death and on the verge of confessing her feelings for her best friend—that caring might just be cool, with echoes of Daria, Ladybird, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Publication is planned for winter 2024; Edward Maxwell at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Hilary Van Dusen at MITeen/Candlewick Press has bought Finding Life's Story, a four-volume YA nonfiction account of the history and evolution of the life sciences, by Joy Hakim, bestselling author of A History of US. The book recounts and offers insights on hundreds of years of scientific innovation and discovery, beginning in the late 1400s, as Leonardo da Vinci dissected cadavers to learn human anatomy firsthand, and ending with present-day experiments with gene editing and viruses. Publication of the first volume is expected in fall 2022; Patricia Frisch did the deal for world rights.
Liesa Abrams at Labyrinth Road has acquired, at auction, Alex Wise vs. the End of the World by Terry J. Benton-Walker. In this middle grade contemporary fantasy series opener, a 12-year-old boy is reeling from his best friend abandoning him after he revealed that he's gay. Meanwhile, he must save his younger sister and the world when his sister is possessed by the spirit of one of the four horsemen—evil former gods from a parallel world who are determined to bring forth the apocalypse. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Patrice Caldwell at New Leaf Literary & Media brokered the mid-six figure, three-book deal for world English rights.
Alyssa Miele at HarperCollins/Quill Tree has bought The Year the Maps Changed, a middle grade debut by Australian author Danielle Binks, based on the real-life Operation Safe Haven, which in 1999 relocated thousands of Kosovar-Albanian refugees to "safe havens" around the world. The novel takes place in an Australian seaside town, following 11-year-old Winifred ("Fred") who, six years after the death of her mother, befriends a pregnant refugee woman from the Haven and tries to save her from deportation, all while struggling to come to terms with the changing makeup of her own family now that her father's new girlfriend is moving in. Publication is set for fall 2022; Annabel Barker at Annabel Barker Agency handled the deal via Jacinta di Mase at Jacinta di Mase Management.
Rebecca Taylor at Wonderbound/Vault Comics has acquired Kenzie's Kingdom, written by Shea Fontana (l.), drawn by Agnes Garbowska (c.), and colored by Sil Brys (r.). The middle grade graphic novel is about a teenage girl who is less than content to work at her family business, a castle turned tourist stop. When an out-of-his-own-time knight-in-training appears, the only way to send him back is for a princess to properly knight him; too bad the 21st century is light on princesses. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Claire Draper at the Bent Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Mark Podesta at Henry Holt has bought, at auction, world rights to debut picture book Hidden Gem by author-illustrator Linda Liu, and a second untitled picture book. Hidden Gem, pitched as the humor of Jon Klassen meets the whimsical style of Miyazaki, is about an ordinary gray pebble that is envious of its more colorful, shiny peers as it traverses a museum of unique and precious rocks. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Thao Le at the Dijkstra Agency did the deal.
Ken Geist at Scholastic has acquired picture book The Underpants by Tammi Sauer, in an exclusive submission. This irreverent homage to The Mitten by Jan Brett begins when Kitty discovers a "coat" in a farmer's fresh laundry pile. Hijinks ensue as other animals want to share the "coat" too. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022; Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Emma Ledbetter at Abrams has won, in a 10-house auction, world rights to My Powerful Hair by Carole Lindstrom (l.) (We Are Water Protectors), illustrated by Steph Littlebird, the story of a girl celebrating her personal power and reclaiming ancestral wisdom after generations of short hair in her family due to Indian Residential Schools forbidding long hair and important cultural practices. Publication is set for April 2022; Kathleen Rushall at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author and illustrator.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books has bought world rights to On Our Way, a picture book by JaNay Brown-Wood (l.), illustrated by Tamisha Anthony, in which Big Sis must keep her younger siblings focused on the task at hand—finding a birthday gift—as they move through the city on their way to Nana's house. Publication is slated for summer 2024; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Connie Hsu at Roaring Brook Press has acquired world rights to Butterfly on The Wind, a picture book by Adam Pottle (l.), illustrated by Ziyue Chen. A Deaf girl signs the word for "butterfly," sending it off in a breeze that blows through her town, across the country, and over deep waters, touching the lives of Deaf children around the world. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Emmy Nordstrom Higdon at Westwood Creative Artists represented the author, and Mela Bolinao at MB Artists represented the artist.
Janine O'Malley at FSG has bought world rights to A Very Scary Story (By Terrifying Kitten) written by Kate Messner (l.), illustrated by MacKenzie Haley. This picture book follows an extremely fierce and tiny kitten who really wants to scare you. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, and Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 represented the illustrator.
Megan Dobson at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to Walking Grandma Home by Nancy Bo Flood (l.). When Lee's beloved grandmother becomes ill, he decides to help "walk her home" to heaven with the help of his family. Ellen Shi will illustrate. Publication is set for winter 2023; Amy Thrall Flynn at Rubin Pfeffer Content represented the author, and Robbin Brosterman at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Deirdre Jones at Little, Brown has bought world rights to The 12 Hours of Christmas by Jenn Bailey (l.), a modern take on the classic song, in which a big family comes together to celebrate the holidays, along with a missing kitten, dinosaurs, knock-knock jokes, and more. Parker Looks Up artist Bea Jackson will illustrate. Publication is slated for fall 2023; Erica Rand Silverman at Stimola Literary Studio represented the author, and Lori Nowicki at Painted Words represented the artist.
Anna Roberto at Feiwel and Friends has acquired world rights to Painting the Sky with Love by Mary Baca Haque (l.), illustrated by Tatiana Gardel. In this picture book, a child "paints" the sky with love; hearts cascade and bounce down, while people looking up open their hearts to love. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Mary Cummings at Great River Literary, in association with Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises, represented the author, and Jemiscoe Chambers-Black at Andrea Brown Literary represented the illustrator.
Andrea Welch at S&S/Beach Lane has bought world rights to Fungi Grow by Maria Gianferrari (l.), an ode to mushrooms that gets up close and personal with these intriguing and often under-appreciated specimens, illustrated by Diana Sudyka. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and Andrea Morrison at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Carol Hinz at Lerner/Millbrook has acquired, in a preempt, world rights to Curious Kati: The Race for a Covid-19 Vaccine, a picture book biography of Dr. Katalin Kariko, the scientist who devoted her career to studying mRNA and played a crucial role in bringing Covid-19 vaccines to millions, written by Debbie Dadey (l.) and illustrated by Juliana Oakley. Publication is set for spring 2023; Elizabeth Bennett at Transatlantic Agency represented the author, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Christianne Jones at Capstone has bought world rights to the picture book Moving to Mars by Stef Wade (l.) (A Place for Pluto), illustrated by Erin Taylor. Mars likes peace and quiet and is not happy when unexpected visitors start showing up. But when they leave, Mars realizes being alone isn’t all that great. Publication is slated for August 2022; Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis represented the author, and Emmajane Turner at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Cindy Kim at Little Simon has acquired world rights to The Big Scream, written by Kirsti Call (l.) and illustrated by Denis Angelov. In this board book, little ones will learn how to pause, breathe in, and feel better after a tantrum. Publication is planned for summer 2022; Charlotte Wenger at Prospect Agency represented the author, and Susan Hawk at Upstart Crow Literary represented the illustrator.
Michele McAvoy at Little Press/Blue Bronco Books Jr. has bought world rights to Annalise's Special Dish, first in a graphic early reader series by J de laVega. When students of PS 114 are asked to bring in a dish that represents their culture, Annalise is thrilled, until she finds out that her friends are making the same dishes; she learns that it's the love, not the ingredients, that make a dish special. Publication is set for April 2023; the author-illustrator represented herself.
Wendy Loggia at Delacorte has acquired rights to Midnight at the Houdini by bestselling author Delilah S. Dawson along with an untitled book. In the tradition of Caraval and The Starless Sea, with whispers of The Tempest, a 16-year-old girl betrayed by her sister discovers a surreal hotel that's home to a boy who has spent his entire life there, because no one ever leaves. When the clock strikes midnight she'll be trapped there forever unless she's able to break free from magic that in turn breaks all her rules. Publication is slated for fall 2023; Stacia Decker at Dunow Carlson & Lerner negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Rachel Diebel at Feiwel and Friends has bought debut fantasy YA graphic novel Evil-ish by author-illustrator and Disney Animation Studios story artist Kennedy Tarrell, and a second untitled project. In Evil-ish, nonbinary teen Hawthorne finally gets the chance to fulfill their dream of joining the local league of evil... only to play second fiddle to bubbly, bright, decidedly un-evil seeming Maple. But after an accident ends in death, Hawthorne begins to realize that villainy is not all it's cracked up to be, and Maple might be a little too interested in crime for their taste. Publication is set for winter 2024; Moe Ferrara at BookEnds did the deal for world rights.
Stephanie Guerdan at HarperTeen has acquired Just Happy to Be Here by Naomi Kanakia, a contemporary YA novel about Tara, an Indian American trans girl who transfers from her prestigious all-boys school to the sister school that she's always idealized. But once there, Tara has to decide whether she's content to be treated like a second-class citizen or whether to risk her place by demanding that her school live up to its own principles. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Christopher Schelling at Selectric Artists brokered the deal for world rights.
Tamara Grasty at Page Street has bought North American and U.K. rights to The Comedienne's Guide to Pride by Hayli Thomson, who was a Lammy Award finalist under the name Virginia Hale. In this contemporary YA, a teenage girl wrestles with revealing her two most deeply held secrets—she wants to work in comedy, a career her mother failed at, and she's gay—when a contest puts her in the running for an internship at SNL. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Bridget Smith at JABberwocky handled the deal for North American and UK rights.
Jordan Brown at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has acquired debut middle grade novel A Song Called Home by National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr. The night Lou is set to move out of the only home she's known, she finds a guitar left by her front door; assuming it's a gift from her absent, alcoholic father, she sets out to learn how to play it, in the hope she might bring a piece of him, and of her old life, home. Publication is slated for February 2022; Michael Bourret at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Reka Simonsen at Atheneum has bought Kin by Carole Boston Weatherford (l.), illustrated by Jeffery Weatherford, a middle grade multi-generational family history, spanning enslavement alongside Frederick Douglass at Maryland's Wye House plantation, service in the U.S. Colored Troops, and the founding of all-Black Reconstruction-era communities, told in the voices of the author's ancestors and inspired by Spoon River Anthology. Publication is set for fall 2023; Rubin Pfeffer at Rubin Pfeffer Content represented the author and illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Liesa Abrams at Labyrinth Road has acquired, at auction, middle grade debut Farrah Noorzad and the Ring of Fate by Deeba Zargarpur. Based on the mythology of the Seven Jinn Kings, this contemporary fantasy series follows 11-year-old Farrah, who discovers her distant father is a jinn king after she accidentally traps him inside a magical ring with a birthday wish gone wrong, and her quest to free him leads right to the most devious jinn king of all. Publication is scheduled for summer 2023; Elana Roth Parker at Laura Dail Literary brokered the two-book deal for world English rights.
Martha Mihalick at Greenwillow has bought middle grade novel A Bit of Earth by Karuna Riazi (The Gauntlet series) and a second untitled novel. A Bit of Earth, told in a hybrid of verse and prose, is a contemporary retelling of The Secret Garden starring a rebellious girl of Bangladeshi and Pakistani descent who finds herself shipped off to the white Clayborne family on Long Island after losing her activist parents. The book is planned for fall 2022; Thao Le at the Dijkstra Agency did the deal for world English rights.
Christine Engels at Candlewick has acquired middle grade novel The Girl from Earth's End by Tara Dairman (All Four Stars), about a girl who has lived her whole life on the tiny island of Earth's End, and who sets out in search of a mysterious, nearly extinct plant that might save her father's life. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Alex McKenzie at Charlesbridge has bought Monster vs. Boy by SCBWI Crystal Kite Award winner Karen Krossing, a story about the power of empathy, told from the dual perspectives of 11-year-old Dawz and his natural enemy, Mim, the terrifying but kind-hearted monster in his closet, in which they must eventually uncover the true nature of their mysterious connection. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown brokered the deal for world rights.
Karen Lotz at Candlewick Press has acquired world rights to two picture books, Build a House and We Could Fly, from musician Rhiannon Giddens (l.). Build a House, based on the song of that title, which Giddens wrote in 2020 for the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, is set for publication in fall 2022; illustrator Monica Mikai (c) was represented by Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency. We Could Fly, slated for publication in fall 2023 and based on Giddens’s song of that title, written with Dirk Powell, is a dialogue between a mother and daughter drawing on African folklore and celebrating resilience and love; it will be illustrated by Briana Mukodiri Uchendu (r.), represented by Jessica Saint Jean at Jill Grinberg Literary Management. The author's agent, Laura Nolan at Aevitas Creative Management, handled the four-book deal.
Mekisha Telfer at Roaring Brook has bought world rights for School Is Wherever I Am by author-illustrator Ellie Peterson, inspired by the non-traditional and surprising ways we can learn from the world around us, beyond the boundaries of a classroom, and a second untitled picture book. Publication is planned for summer 2022; Adria Goetz at Martin Literary Management negotiated the deal.
Christy Ottaviano at Little, Brown/Ottaviano has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to Like You, Like Me by Ezra Jack Keats Award-winning author-illustrator Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw (Same, Same but Different). The picture book follows two young pen pals who live across the world from each other—one in a city by the sea, the other in the mountains. The friends celebrate their cultures and their unique connections to the land they share, seeing themselves in the other as they observe feelings and experiences they have in common. It's slated for fall 2023; Jo-Lynne Worley at Worley Shoemaker brokered the deal.
Reka Simonsen at Atheneum has bought world English rights at auction to Do You Know Them? by 2021 Irma Black Award winner Shana Keller (l.), illustrated by Laura Freeman. In the picture book, a girl is seeking family members displaced by slavery and the civil war, with the help of historically accurate newspaper ads from others who are searching for their missing loved ones. Despite slim odds of success, she saves money to place her own ad, and reads other ads aloud to reconnect her community. Publication is set for spring 2024; Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, and Janet DeCarlo at Storybook Arts represented the illustrator.
Sylvie Frank while at Paula Wiseman Books acquired world rights to the latest picture book by Gabi Snyder (l.), Look, which explores different kinds of patterns in nature and at home that connect us all to each other and to the world around us. Samantha Cotterill will illustrate; Paula Wiseman will edit. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary Agency represented the author, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the illustrator.
Sophia Jimenez at Atheneum has bought Free to Learn: How Alfredo Lopez Fought for the Right to Go to School by Cynthia Levinson (l.) (The Youngest Marcher), a picture book based on the true story of a boy whose family was part of Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court case that won access to education for undocumented immigrant children in the U.S., illustrated by Mirelle Ortega (Small Rooms, Big Dreams: The Journey of Julian and Joaquin Castro). Publication is planned for spring 2024; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and James Burns at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Kelly Delaney at Knopf has acquired world rights to the picture book biography Door by Door: How Sarah McBride Became America's First Transgender Senator by Golden Kite honoree Meeg Pincus (l.), illustrated by Meridth McKean Gimbel, detailing the trailblazing politician's life from building the White House out of toy blocks as a kid to advocating for the LGBTQ+ community within its walls. Publication is slated for summer 2023; Jenna Pocius at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Alexandra Levick at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Wiley Blevins at Reycraft has bought picture book biography Ferdinand Cheval: The Postman Who Delivered a Palace by Anne Renaud (Gwendolyn's Pet Garden). The forerunner of the Naïve Architecture movement built his "Perfect Palace" one pebble at a time over three decades and inspired generations of artists, including Picasso, with the site a designated historical monument in France to this day. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Olga Filina at 5 Otter Literary sold world English rights.
Peter Phillips and Tara Walker at Tundra Books have acquired North American rights to Your Birthday Was the BEST! and School Was the BEST!, two picture books by Australian author Maggie Hutchings (l.) and illustrator Felicita Sala, in a two-book deal. The books follow the adventures of an optimistic cockroach who gate-crashes a birthday party (and then a school day). Birthday, published in Australia by Affirm Press, was a Children's Book Council of Australia Notable Book. The books' North American publication dates will be spring 2022 and summer 2023, respectively; Annabel Barker at Annabel Barker Agency brokered the deal on behalf of Tash Besliev at Affirm Press.
Christianne Jones at Capstone has bought world rights to Braver Than Brave by Janet Sumner Johnson (l.), illustrated by Eunji Jung. It's the tale of a girl who is determined to be brave in her own way—proving that everyone has their own version of brave. Publication is planned for August 2022; Lauren Galit at LKG Agency represented the author, and Lemonade Illustration Agency represented the artist.
Kelsey Skea at Amazon/Two Lions has acquired, in an exclusive submission, North American English rights to Lowy by Geisel winners (You Are (Not) Small) Anna Kang (l.) and Christopher Weyant, about a girl named So-Hee whose myriad of allergies prevent her from the only thing she's ever wanted: a pet to love and hold. Her life changes forever when she sets her eyes on a large, highlighter-yellow python. Publication is set for spring 2023; Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties negotiated the deal.