Alessandra Balzer at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has bought Reggie & Delilah's Year of Falling by Elise Bryant (Happily Ever Afters). The YA rom-com follows two Black teens, the lead singer of a punk band and a D&D Dungeon Master, as they fall in love through a series of missed connections and chance meetings on holidays over the course of one year. Publication is scheduled for winter 2023; Taylor Haggerty at Root Literary negotiated the two-book deal for North American rights.
Wendy McClure at Sourcebooks Fire has acquired, in a two-book deal, The Darkness of Snow by Keely Parrack, a debut YA survival thriller. After a solar flare leaves Lottie and new stepsister Jade without power or cell service in a ski cabin, they are joined by cute, fast-talking Alex, who claims to be lost in the woods. A deadly blizzard, fire, and bears aren't the girls' only concerns as they realize Alex isn't who he claims to be, and that he has dangerous friends. Publication is set for fall 2022; Tara Gonzalez at Erin Murphy Literary Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.
David Linker at HarperTeen and Chren Byng at HarperCollins Australia have bought world English rights to debut YA novel Aisle Nine by Australian writer Ian X. Cho. The story is about a teenage clerk in a big-box discount store with a portal to hell in Aisle 9, in a world where hell portals have sprung up all over the globe. Our hero learns the apocalypse is looming in just a few days—on Black Friday. A publication date has not been set; Daniel Lazar at Writers House did the deal.
Britny Brooks at Running Press Kids has acquired Nerdcrush by Alisha Emrich, a coming-of-age teen romance about a Black girl who uses cosplay as a way to feel seen and escape the real world but who finds herself in a tricky situation when her crush starts to fall for her online persona, pitched as You Should See Me in a Crown meets You've Got Mail. Publication is planned for winter 2023; Laura Cameron at Transatlantic Literary sold world English rights.
Stephanie Pitts at Putnam has bought North American rights for The Ice Cream Machine, a middle grade debut by Adam Rubin (Dragons Love Tacos), a humorous collection of six stories in a range of genres—including sci-fi, fantasy, and adventure—each illustrated by a different artist, with Daniel Salmieri, Charles Santoso, Liniers, Emily Hughes, Nicole Miles, and Seaerra Miller contributing artwork. Publication is slated for February 2022; Jennifer Joel of ICM Partners represented the author.
Kendra Levin at Simon and Schuster has acquired world English rights to the middle grade comic series Barb by author-illustrator team Dan (l.) & Jason (the Blue, Barry & Pancakes series). The first book, Barb the Last Berzerker, will publish in fall 2021, the second will follow in spring 2022, and the third in fall 2022. The series is pitched as She-Ra and the Princesses of Power meets Dav Pilkey's Dog Man, in a graphic novel series about Barb, a young Berzerker, who has to rescue her fellow warriors from the evil villain Witch Head before he takes over the world. Erica Rand Silverman at Stimola Literary Studio negotiated the six-figure deal.
Rotem Moscovich acquired while at Disney, and Andrea Colvin at Little, Brown will edit, two middle-grade graphic novels by picture book author Minh Lê (l.) (Lift; Drawn Together). Enlighten Me is a fantastical account of Minh’s childhood experience attending a silent meditation retreat and immersing himself in the Buddhist Jataka Tales, illustrated by Eisner Award nominee Chan Chau (c.); and The New Immortals, which draws inspiration from Asian mythologies, tells the tale of a grandmother's half-forgotten stories which turn out to have particular relevance in the present, illustrated by Jade Feng Lee (r). Publication is set for 2023 and 2024, respectively; Stephen Barbara at Inkwell Management represented the author, Molly O’Neill at Root Literary represented Chau, and Kurestin Armada, also at Root Literary, represented Lee.
Elayne Becker at Starscape has bought debut middle-grade fantasy trilogy Kelcie Murphy and the Academy for Unbreakable Arts by Erika Lewis; Bess McAlister will edit the series. When Kelcie Murphy tests into the Academy, she learns that she's a Saiga, one of the most ancient beings in the Otherworld. Secretive, shunned, and possessed of imposing elemental powers, the Saiga are also kin to the Otherworld's most infamous traitor. But Kelcie is a survivor, and she'll do whatever it takes to find her parents and her place in their world. The first book will publish in winter 2022; Sally Wofford-Girand at Union Literary did the deal for North American rights.
Wendy Loggia at Delacorte has acquired Hidden Truths by Elly Swartz, a contemporary middle grade novel told in dual POVs, about two friends, Eric and Danielle, who are drifting apart when a terrible accident happens, accelerating their rift. It’s a story of changing friendships, loss, ADHD, and healing through forgiveness. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Andrea Cascardi at the Transatlantic Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Alice Jerman at HarperCollins has bought an untitled middle grade fantasy by Girl and the Ghost author Hanna Alkaf, inspired by a Malaysian folklore twist on "Little Red Riding Hood," which follows a 13-year-old girl who defies her family's rules and walks through the jungle, only to meet a talking tiger trapped there by a curse whose magical fate can only be changed by the quest that lies ahead. Publication is set for winter 2023; Victoria Marini at the Irene Goodman Literary handled the two-book deal for world English rights.
Mark Siegel at First Second has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to Mochikoa, a three-book debut young reader graphic novel series about an ambitious koala-like character who tries to become a ping-pong champion, by JT Petty (l.), illustrated by Boya Sun. The first book is tentatively planned for fall 2023; Jackie Eckhouse at Sloss Eckhouse Dasti Haynes LawCo represented the author, and Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the artist.
Camille Kellogg at Bloomsbury has bought, in a two-book deal, world rights to Gemstone Dragons by Samantha M. Clark (l.), illustrated by Janelle Anderson. This chapter-book series stars dragons who each have different magical powers and very different personalities, but always come together to help each other and protect the other creatures in Gemstone Valley. Publication is slated for winter 2022; Rachel Orr at Prospect Agency represented the author, and Simon Bollinger at Shannon Associates represented the illustrator.
Laura Godwin of Holt/Godwin Books has signed world English rights to Where Is Bina Bear?, by Lambda Award-winner Mike Curato (Flamer). In this humorous picture book, a very large, very shy bear unsuccessfully disguises herself as a lamp, a table, a tree... all to avoid being noticed at a party. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Brenda Bowen at the Book Group negotiated the deal.
Melanie Cordova at Candlewick has acquired Sari-Sari Summers, written and illustrated by Lynnor Bontigao, about Nora, a girl in the Philippines who loves spending summers with her grandmother, her lola, helping out in her lola's sari-sari (variety) store. But a heat wave means no customers and Nora is afraid that she'll be sent home, until she figures out a fun and delicious way to help. Publication is expected in spring 2023; Caryn Wiseman at Andrea Brown Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
Gabriella Abbate and Catherine Onder at Clarion Books have bought Wallflowers, a solo debut by Mackenzie Joy, a motivational picture book celebrating those who bloom in their own time; Abbate will edit. Publication is set for fall 2022; Kevin Lewis at Erin Murphy Literary Agency sold world rights.
Debra Dorfman at Scholastic Press has acquired world rights to I Color Myself Different, the first children's book by athlete and activist Colin Kaepernick (l.), a story of self-discovery, staying true to one's self, and advocating for change... even when you're very little. The picture book, illustrated by Eric Wilkerson, is based on real events from Kaepernick's life. Publication is slated for April 2022; Ben Meiselas at Kaepernick Publishing represented the author, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Luana Kay Horry at HarperCollins has bought world rights to Black Girls, written by Dominique Furukawa (l.) and illustrated by Erika Lynne Jones, a celebration of the beauty, wonder, and diversity of being a Black girl. Publication is planned for summer 2023; Seth Fishman at the Gernert Company represented the author, and Claire Easton at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Alex Borbolla at Atheneum has acquired world rights to Plátanos Are Love by debut author Alyssa Reynoso-Morris (l.), illustrated by Mariyah Rahman, a picture book about a girl who learns the cultural significance of plantains while cooking alongside her abuela. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Kaitlyn Sanchez at Context Literary represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Sydnee Monday at Kokila has bought world rights to picture book You Gotta Meet Mr. Pierce!: The Storied Life of Folk Artist Elijah Pierce by debut author and Pierce to the Soul playwright Chiquita Mullins Lee (l.) and Christopher Award winner Carmella Van Vleet (c.) (To The Stars!), illustrated by printmaker Jennifer Mack-Watkins (r.). It features a parent and child visiting Black woodcarver Elijah Pierce's barber shop/art studio and learning about the renowned folk artist's life and work. Publication is set for fall 2023; Marie Lamba at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency represented the authors, and The Vault Consulting represented the illustrator.
Andrea Welch at Beach Lane has acquired world rights to What Francine Found, a debut picture book by Carrie Kruck (l.), about a girl who pulls something amazing out of the old lake, with results that will change the lives of all those around her. Erin Kraan will illustrate. Publication is slated for fall 2023; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the illustrator.
Feather Flores at Chronicle Books has bought world rights to Two New Years by Richard Ho (l.), illustrated by Lynn Scurfield, a picture book that invites readers to experience the beauty of Rosh Hashanah and Lunar New Year traditions, paying homage to the practices that make each celebration unique while illuminating the themes of abundance, family, and deepest hope that they both share. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Emily Mitchell at Wernick & Pratt represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Janine O’Malley at FSG has acquired world rights to There’s No Place Like Hope by Janet Lawler (l.), illustrated by Tamisha Anthony. The picture book personifies this magic ingredient of life with a range of emotions a child can relate to, while offering a dose of hope along the way. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the author and illustrator.
Ann Kelley at Random House Studio has bought world rights to Rivka’s Presents by Laurie Wallmark (l.), illustrated by Adelina Lirius. This picture book follows a Jewish girl living on the Lower East Side in 1918, who can't start school because her father is ill with the flu, so she trades chores for lessons with her neighbors. Publication is set for summer 2023; Liza Fleissig at the Liza Royce Agency represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Courtney Fahy at Little Bee has acquired world rights to Battle of the Books by Melanie Ellsworth (l.), illustrated by James Rey Sanchez, in which a child's books fight to be chosen for story time. It's every book for itself—until Pirate Book needs the others to rescue him. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis represented the author, and Emmajane Turner at the Bright Group represented the illustrator.
Lisa Rosinsky at Barefoot Books has bought world rights to Scrap Metal Swan: A River Clean-Up Story by Joanne Linden (l.), illustrated by Argentinian artist Estrellita Caracol. A group of townspeople work together to clean up their river, as an artist and her young helper salvage scrap and turn it into something beautiful. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Stephen Fraser of the Jennifer de Chiara Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.