Nancy Paulsen of Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books has acquired world rights in English and Spanish languages for two books by award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson (l.). The Year We Learned to Fly, illustrated by Rafael López (c.), is a follow-up to their bestselling picture book The Day You Begin. Angelina, the Black girl in The Day You Begin, and her younger brother, follow their grandmother’s advice to use their "brilliant minds" to lift them out of challenging situations and emotions and imagine a better world, just as their ancestors did before them. The World Belonged to Us will be illustrated by Leo Espinosa (r.), and is about celebrating the joy and freedom of summer in the city. Publication will be January 4, 2022 and May 17, 2022 respectively; Dorian Karchmar at William Morris Endeavor represented Woodson; Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel and Adriana Dominguez represented López; and Espinosa represented himself.
David Linker at HarperCollins has bought world English rights to Girl on Fire, a YA graphic novel from Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Alicia Keys (l.), with co-author Andrew Weiner (c.), illustrated by Brittney Williams (r.). Based on Keys’s iconic hit single of the same name, Girl on Fire tells the story of 14-year-old Lolo Wright, who discovers she has telekinetic powers she never knew she had while protecting her brother from a cop who pulls a gun on him in a dangerous case of mistaken identities. Publication is set for March 2022; Charlie Olsen at Inkwell Management brokered the deal.
Liesa Abrams at Labyrinth Road has acquired The Epic Story of Every Living Thing by Printz Honor author Deb Caletti. Sixteen-year-old Harper Proulx is sure that image is everything until she discovers that she has 42 half-siblings who look exactly like her. On the heels of a crushing breakup and battling chronic anxiety in the aftermath of 2020, Harper joins three of her newfound siblings on a quest to a Hawaiian island to find the mystery man who gave them life. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Michael Bourret at Dystel, Goderich and Bourret negotiated the deal for world rights.
Melanie Nolan at Knopf has bought solo YA debut The Isles of the Gods by Amie Kaufman. Pitched as the magic of Tamora Pierce's Tortall meets the glamour and gangsters' dens of Boardwalk Empire, this fantasy duology featured a girl raised on the high seas, a playboy prince called to sacrifice, a sleeping god, and a war on the horizon. The Isles of the Gods will publish in 2023, with a sequel to follow; Tracey Adams at Adams Literary handled the deal for North American rights.
David Levithan at Scholastic has acquired YA novel Destination Unknown by Lambda, Stonewall, and PEN Center USA Literary award-winning author Bill Konigsberg, a story about two teen boys—one bold and headstrong, one hesitant and yearning—who find each other in 1987 New York City and try to figure out love, sex, and identity as AIDS decimates and galvanizes the gay community. Publication is scheduled for May 2022; Linda Epstein at Emerald City Literary Agency brokered the deal for North American rights.
Sylvan Creekmore at Wednesday Books has bought Always the Almost by debut author Edward Underhill, plus a second standalone YA novel. In this YA rom-com, a trans classical pianist resolves to spend his junior year winning back his ex-boyfriend and defeating his arch-nemesis at the biggest piano competition of the year, only to have his carefully laid plans in both love and music disrupted when a new boy moves to town and makes a play for his heart. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Patricia Nelson at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Kaylan Adair at Candlewick has acquired Freshman Orientation by Lauren Gibaldi (l.) and Eric Smith, a YA anthology of linked stories set at the first day at a small college, from the perspective of teens moving into their dorms, making new friends, avoiding old ones, and trying to fit in, featuring Phil Stamper, Sam Maggs, Adi Alsaid, Kristina Forest, Dana Davis, Kathleen Glasgow, Aminah Mae Safi, Gloria Chao, Jennifer Chen, Olivia A. Cole, Lance Rubin, Bryan Bliss, Farah Naz Rishi, and Anna Birch. Publication is set for spring 2023; Jennifer Azantian at Azantian Literary Agency did the deal for world English rights.
Ashley Hearn at Peachtree Teen has bought Dance of the Starlit Sea by debut author Kiana Krystle, a cottagecore paranormal YA, in which disgraced ballet dancer Lila Rose Li is sent away by her parents to Luna Island, where every seven years a girl is sacrificed as a bride to the Devil. To protect herself, Lila seeks the guardianship of the angel who keeps appearing in her dreams, but unbeknownst to her, is the Devil's servant in disguise. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Naomi Davis at BookEnds Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Stacy Whitman at Lee & Low Books/Tu Books has acquired world rights to Moonlit Vine by Elizabeth Santiago, a contemporary YA novel with interstitial historical vignettes. The story follows 14-year-old Taína, who must draw from the strength of her Taíno ancestors to bring her family and community hope and healing after a devastating incident. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; the author represented herself.
Ari Yarwood, formerly of Oni Press, bought world rights to Space Trash by Jenn Woodall; Zack Soto will edit. This YA graphic novel follows three teenagers attending school on the moon try to keep their boredom and resentments at bay as they stumble across an exciting secret that could change the course of their future. It's planned for summer 2022; the author was unagented.
Liz Kossnar at Little, Brown has acquired high-stakes apocalyptic middle grade adventure New Dragon City by Mari Mancusi, in which Noah, a scavenger barely scraping by in a dragon-decimated New York City, must question everything he knows when he forms a bond with a young dragon after they save each other’s lives. The bond could finally broker peace between humans and dragons—or end up destroying them both. Publication is set for fall 2022; Mandy Hubbard at Emerald City Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Whitney Leopard at Random House Graphic has bought, in a five-house auction, The Moth-Keeper by K. O’Neill, as well as two additional books. This middle-grade fantasy graphic novel is about a fennec girl named Anya who takes on the role of her village's Moth-Keeper. Anya is determined to prove her worth to her village and her friends through her, but soon finds the isolation of the Moth-Keeper might be more of a struggle than she realized. Publication is slated for 2023; Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker represented the creator for North American rights.
Dan Ehrenhaft at Blackstone Publishing has acquired Just a Hat by Shanah Khubiar, a middle grade novel following a Jewish Persian boy as he and his parents navigate immigrant life in 1980s Los Angeles while uncovering family secrets. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Steven Chudney at the Chudney Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Arthur Levine at Levine Querido has bought Creature by Andersen Medalist Shaun Tan. The book, aimed at readers 10 and up, explores the writing and art process with never-before-seen drawings, sketches, and full-color paintings. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Sophie Byrne at Passion Pictures Australia brokered the deal for North American English and Spanish, and world Dutch rights.
Alex Borbolla at Atheneum has acquired Every Night at Midnight by author-illustrator Peter Cheong, a picture book about a lone werewolf named Felix who struggles to make friends in his human form. When another wolf shows up in town, Felix learns you must be a friend to make a friend. Publication is set for summer 2023; Paige Terlip at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency handled the deal for world rights, excluding Australia and New Zealand.
Anna Roberto at Feiwel and Friends has bought world rights to The Sunflowers, written and illustrated by Zahra Marwan, about Vincent Van Gogh, the famed sunflowers he painted, and the friends he met and anticipated along the way that inspired him and his art. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; the author represented herself.
Lee Wade at Random House Studio has acquired picture book rights to the poem Remember by U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo (l.), which reflects the relationship humans have to each other and to the natural world. It will be illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Michaela Goade. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Kathleen Anderson at Anderson Literary Management represented the author, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the illustrator.
Laura Godwin at Godwin Books has bought North American rights for The Corgi and the Queen by debut author Caroline Perry (l.), illustrated by Lydia Corry. This picture book is based on the true story of Princess Elizabeth and Susan, the feisty "first" corgi who captivated the young royal, comforting her on the path to becoming Queen and establishing a dog dynasty that has accompanied Elizabeth II throughout her reign. Publication is planned for winter 2023; Allison Remcheck at Stimola Literary Studio represented the author, and Claire Cartey at Holroyde Cartey represented the illustrator.
Rachel Sonis at Penguin Workshop has acquired, in a two-book deal, world English rights to Bigfoot & Nessie by Chelsea M. Campbell (l.), in which an unlikely pair of cryptids—Bigfoot, whose failure to get himself photographed disappoints his family, and Nessie, who seems unable to escape the spotlight wherever she goes—meet up and find friendship, creativity, and just the right amount of attention. The book is illustrated by Bug Boys creator Laura Knetzger. Publication is set for fall 2022; Holly Root at Root Literary represented the author, and Maria Vicente at PS Literary represented the illustrator.
Kristen Mohn at Capstone has bought world rights to You Are Life by Bao Phi (l.) (A Different Pond), illustrated by Hannah Li. This ode in picture book form celebrates the wonderful and complex identity of a child of immigrants and refugees, and counters the racist rhetoric they experience. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; the author was unagented, and Emmajane Turner from the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Elizabeth Schleisman at Beaming Books has acquired world rights to Mabel's Topsy Turvy Homes by Candy Wellins (l.), illustrated by Jess Rose, a picture book about a girl who discovers that having two homes can mean multiple adventures as she learns to embrace her own adventure. Fall 2022 publication is planned; Erzsi Deak at Hen&ink Literary Studio represented the author, and Chloë Morgan at Plum Pudding Illustration represented the illustrator.
Karla Olson at Patagonia has bought world rights to Better Than New: A Recycle Tale/ Mejor que nuevo: Un cuenta de reciclaje by Robert Broder (l.), illustrated by Lake Buckley. Presented in English and Spanish, this picture book, Patagonia's first, follows two Chilean children who encounter a sea lion tangled in an abandoned fishing net. They free their ocean friend and recycle the net into something useful again. The story opens young readers' eyes to the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean and challenges them to help the planet by making good choices and taking action. Publication is slated for spring 2022; the author was unagented.
Amy Novesky at Cameron Kids has acquired world rights to Starflower by J.M. Farkas and Emily Vizzo (l.), illustrated by Jasmin Dwyer (r.), a picture book biography about poet Edna St. Vincent Millay and her sisters. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Kerry Sparks at Levine, Greenberg, Rostan represented the authors, and the illustrator represented herself.