Stacey Barney at Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books has acquired, in a preempt, North American rights to YA fantasy debut Nightbirds and its sequel, Fyrebirds, by Kate J. Armstrong. Pitched as Carnival Row meets The Great Gatsby, the story is set in a 1920s-inspired world where magic is illegal, but you can taste its delights if you know where to look. The mysterious Nightbirds—girls who can bestow their rare powers with a kiss, provided you can pay the price—are the city's best-kept secret until their identities are unmasked, forcing them into the shadows, where they discover their true powers. Josh Adams at Adams Literary negotiated the two-book deal for publication beginning in summer 2023.
Maggie Lehrman at Abrams has bought world rights to debut novel-in-verse Call Him by Name by former Youth Poet Laureate of Baltimore Hannah V. Sawyerr. Amina Conteh has always believed in using her words as a weapon, but when she experiences a sexual assault from a trusted clergy member, her voice falls quiet. Told through court transcripts, journal entries, and poetry, the novel centers the many different avenues to healing, strength of self, and leaning on those you love. Publication is slated for fall 2023; Jordan Hill and Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary & Media brokered the deal.
Hannah Hill at Delacorte has acquired, in a six-figure preempt, Midnight Strikes by Zeba Shahnaz. This YA fantasy debut with a Russian Doll-inspired twist follows lowborn Anaïs, whose attendance at the royal ball is disrupted by an explosion that rips through the palace at the stroke of midnight, killing everyone—again and again and again. To escape this nightmarish time loop, Anaïs must figure out who's targeting the royal family with the help of the charming prince Leo, and hope they can survive past midnight. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Claire Friedman at InkWell Management did the deal for world rights.
Jennifer Ung, in her first acquisition at Quill Tree Books, has bought Clementine and Danny Save the World (and Each Other) by Livia Blackburne. This hopeful YA romantic comedy is You've Got Mail meets Yes No Maybe So, following two teens who fall in love while working together to protect their Chinatown community from a gentrification project, only to discover that their respective anonymous internet alter egos have been clashing with each other for years. Publication is scheduled for summer 2023; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret negotiated the deal for world rights.
Andrea Colvin at Little, Brown has acquired world rights to historical fiction YA graphic novel Stunt Girl by Nora Neus (l.), in which real-life historical figure Nell Nelson—one of the early undercover female journalists called stunt girls—investigates working conditions in the garment factories of New York City in the summer of 1888, while also falling in love with real-life historical figure and queer icon Alice Austen, the first female street photographer. Julie Robine will illustrate; publication is set for winter 2025. Wendi Gu at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates represented Neus, and Tanya McKinnon at McKinnon Literary represented Robine.
Calista Brill at First Second has bought YA graphic novel Youth Group by Jordan Morris (l.) (Bubble) and Bowen McCurdy (Specter Inspectors), about a cynical young goth who reluctantly joins the youth group at her local mega-church, only to discover that the Christian youth are sneaking out at night to slay actual demons. Alison Wilgus will also edit. Publication is slated for 2024; Dara Hyde at Hill Nadell Literary Agency represented Morris, and Tamara Kawar at ICM Partners represented McCurdy in the deal for world rights.
Andrew Arnold at HarperAlley has acquired, in a two-book preempt, Silenced Voices by Eisner-nominated Pablo Leon, a YA graphic novel about two sisters who find their way back to each other after being separated during a military raid on their village during the civil war in Guatemala in 1982. Publication of the first book is planned for winter 2024; Britt Siess at Britt Siess Creative Management brokered the deal for North American rights.
Tamara Grasty at Page Street has bought, in a two-book deal, The Sevenfold by debut YA sci-fi author Rose Egal. It follows an elite squad at a secret military academy training to rid the earth of an alien race hidden in plain sight. Yet when squad leader Abyan and rookie Artemis realize a shocking truth, they are forced to put their differences aside and work together. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Garrett Alwert at Emerald City Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Tiffany Shelton and Carmen Johnson at Skyscape have acquired world rights to The Karma Map by Nisha Sharma, author of Radha and Jai's Recipe for Romance. Sharma's newest YA novel is a redemption romance in which a grumpy girl and a sunshine boy team up on a youth group temple tour through India to retrace a love story and explore their Desi roots. Publication is set for winter 2023; Joy Tutela at David Black Literary Agency handled the two-book deal.
Tricia Lin at Random House has bought, in a preempt, Iveliz Explains It All, a debut middle grade novel in verse by Andrea Beatriz Arango. Pitched as The Poet X for middle graders, the novel follows Iveliz as she tries to manage her mental health, all while her new friend calls her crazy and her abuela dismisses the pills and therapy that Iveliz needs to feel like herself. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Rebecca Eskildsen at Writers House brokered the two-book deal for world English rights.
Rachel Diebel at Feiwel and Friends has acquired world rights to Skating on Mars, a debut contemporary middle grade novel by Caroline Huntoon, about a 12-year-old nonbinary figure skater, Mars, who tries to find their place in ice skating while confronting the ways that gender impacts competitive sports and dealing with their father's death. Publication is set for spring 2023; Jessica Mileo at InkWell Management negotiated the deal.
Liza Kaplan at Viking has bought world rights, in a preempt, to the middle grade graphic novel Selfies by Sumie by A.Y. Hashitate, a coming-of-age story dealing with immigration, social pressures, and family expectations centered around 12-year-old Sumie, who becomes insta-famous when an embarrassing video goes viral and she is forced to reconcile who she is online with who she wants to be in real life. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Elizabeth Bennett at Transatlantic Agency did the deal.
Mari Kesselring at Jolly Fish Press has acquired middle grade contemporary debut novel Flip Turns by Catherine Arguelles, a mystery featuring a competitive swim team. After 13-year-old Maddie tells Lucas she doesn't want to date him, a string of vandalism breaks out at her family's community pool. Worried that it’s her "admirer" getting even, Maddie and her friend Ez launch their own investigation. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Melissa Edwards at Stonesong brokered the deal for world rights.
Jerome Pohlen at Chicago Review Press has bought world rights to Superpod by Nora Nickum, about the playful and beloved Southern Resident orcas and the people working to save them from extinction with everything from medicine and laws to drones and dogs. Publication is scheduled for April 2023; Lynnette Novak at the Seymour Agency negotiated for the author.
Neal Porter at Holiday House/Neal Porter Books has acquired world rights to Before I Lived Here by debut author Stacy S. Jensen (l.), a picture book set at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, in which a boy slowly unveils the human and geological history of his neighborhood and takes the reader on a journey through time. Victo Ngai (Wishes) will illustrate. Publication is set for fall 2024; Ana Crespo at East West Literary Agency represented the author, and Gail Gaynin at Morgan Gaynin represented the illustrator.
Tamar Mays at HarperCollins has bought world rights to Danté Plays His Blues by debut picture book author Allen R. Wells (l.), illustrated by Shamar Knight-Justice, in which a boy affected by housing insecurity discovers the power of expressing his feelings in music. Publication is slated for summer 2024; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the artist.
Tamar Mays at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to Sydney's Big Speech by Malcolm Newsome (l.), illustrated by Jade Orlando. This picture book follows a girl who is too nervous to make a speech in front of her class about what she wants to be when she grows up, until her father teaches her about several great Black women leaders. Publication is planned for winter 2024; James McGowan at BookEnds represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Luana Kay Horry at HarperCollins has bought world rights to I Will Always Be... by Rebecca Gardyn Levington (l.), illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell. This rhyming picture book encourages kids to always celebrate their passions—whether or not they ever make it to Broadway or the big leagues—because doing what you love and loving what you do is what really matters. Publication is set for spring 2024; Kaitlyn Sanchez at Context Literary Agency represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Nicole Frail at Sky Pony Press has acquired Gussie and Max by Deirdre Sullivan (l.) (Ming Goes to School), about two best friends reminiscing about the past and celebrating what's yet to come. Lisa M. Griffin will illustrate; publication is scheduled for 2023. Liza Fleissig at Liza Royce Agency represented the author and the illustrator for world rights.
Frances Gilbert at Doubleday has bought world rights to My First Book of Beards and My First Book of Tattoos by Robyn Wall (l.), illustrated by Lydia Nichols, two board books celebrating families with their own sense of style, featuring babies and toddlers cuddling and playing with their bearded or tattooed parents. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Rachel Orr at Prospect Agency represented the author, and the illustrator was unagented.
Kendra Levin at Simon & Schuster has acquired North American rights, in an 11-house auction, to Love Radio, the debut novel by Ebony LaDelle. The contemporary YA novel is told from dual points of view: the clever DJ Prince Jones, who is full of relationship advice on and off his popular teen radio segment; and Dani Ford, who hates love and would rather be writing in her notebook, and preparing to be the next great novelist. But when Prince proposes that it will only take him three dates to make Dani Ford fall in love with him, surprises are in store and both find themselves questioning if love will be on the air for them. Publication is set for summer 2022; Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media did the deal on behalf of Cake Creative.
Andrew Karre at Dutton has bought Seton Girls by Charlene Thomas. In the vein of Moxie and Dear White People, the debut YA tells the story of Seton Academy, a prep school obsessed with its football win streak, victories that players say they'd never have without Seton's girls. But the team's quarterback wants more: a state championship before his successor, Seton's first Black QB, has a chance to overshadow him. Bigger rewards require bigger risks, and soon the team’s awful secret leaks to a small group of girls who suddenly have the power to change their world forever. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Ann Rose of Prospect Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Karen Wojtyla at McElderry Books has bought world rights to Steam by The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor author Shaenon K. Garrity (l.), illustrated by Emily Holden. The YA graphic novel follows the adventures of Ruby, a "hypercognitive humanoid" designed to solve science's greatest problems, who escapes from a university lab and finds a job as a barista in a kooky coffee shop, where she finds plenty of problems to solve. Publication is slated for fall 2023; Molly Ker Hawn at the Bent Agency represented the author, and Britt Siess at Britt Siess Creative Management represented the illustrator.
Annie Berger at Sourcebooks Fire has acquired debut YA contemporary fantasy The Poisons We Drink by Bethany Baptiste. In a country divided between witchers and humans, an 18-year-old Black brewer of love potions must protect her sister after she is coerced into making powerful potions to persuade and enslave Washington's most influential politicians, before they find themselves in the middle of a war that could cost them everything. Publication is scheduled for winter 2022; John Cusick at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management brokered the deal for world English rights.
Julie Matysik at Running Press Kids has acquired Make the Fireflies Dance by Rachel Bateman (Someone Else's Summer), about a rom-com loving teen who, after she's kissed in a dark theater, enlists her friends to help her track down the mystery kisser in time for their senior prom. Publication is scheduled for 2023; Liza Fleissig at Liza Royce Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Karen Chaplin at Quill Tree has bought, in an exclusive submission, solo middle grade debut The Girl Who Kept the Castle by Ryan Graudin. The whimsy of Studio Ghibli meets the wry humor of Diana Wynne Jones in this duology, in which Faye must save the only home she's ever known when a "not-dead" wizard's competition to see who will inherit his estate goes awry. It's set for summer 2023, with book two following in summer 2024; Tracey Adams at Adams Literary brokered the deal for North American rights.
Lisa Sandell at Scholastic has acquired world rights to middle-grade duology Black Ink by bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen, envisioned as an adventure in the vein of Stranger Things and Greenglass House, featuring a mysterious boy in hiding, a conspiracy of secrets, and a Boggle game that may just be the key to unlocking the whole mystery. The first book will publish in fall 2022; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency handled the deal.
Calista Brill at First Second has bought debut middle grade graphic novel North for the Winter by Pixar animator Bobby Podesta, in which an 11-year-old girl must team up with the boy next door and his teenage sister to outsmart a hunter and dodge U.S. military planes, so they can return a flying reindeer to the North Pole to save Christmas before it's too late. Alison Wilgus will also edit. Publication is planned for 2024; Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Emily Seife at Scholastic Press has acquired Selah's Guide to Normal by debut middle grade author Meg Eden Kuyatt. In this novel in verse, a girl on the autism spectrum who has always followed strict "rules for being normal" is threatened with expulsion after accidentally lashing out at a classmate, and must re-evaluate what "normal" really means and how to stand up for herself. Publication is slated for 2023; Lauren Spieller at TriadaUS Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
Alyssa Miele at Quill Tree has acquired, in an exclusive submission, The Very Unfortunate Wish of Melony Yoshimura, a middle grade novel by Waka T. Brown (While I Was Away; Dream, Annie, Dream). A modern-day retelling of the Japanese folktale The Melon Princess and the Amanjaku, pitched as When You Trap a Tiger meets Coraline, the story follows a sheltered 12-year-old girl who is befriended by a demon who grants her wishes, encouraging her to rebel against her overprotective parents, all while using her for his own evil scheme. Publication is set for summer 2023; Penny Moore at Aevitas Creative Management brokered the two-book deal for world rights.
Alyza Liu at Simon & Schuster has bought Three Strike Summer by debut author Skyler Schrempp, pitched as The Sandlot meets Esperanza Rising, in which baseball-loving Dust Bowl refugee Gloria Mae Willard is determined to carve out a place for herself at the California peach orchard where she works with her family. Publication is scheduled for early fall 2022; Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown sold world English rights.
Brett Israel at Dark Horse Comics has bought middle grade graphic novel The Hundredth Voice by Caitlin Like. Inspired by The Phantom of the Opera and The Little Mermaid, this story follows a boy determined to break his family's curse which causes every singer to lose their voice. When he arrives at his grandfather's exclusive—and haunted—academy, he sets his eyes on the lead role in the musical, as long as the literal and figurative skeletons in his family's closet don't get in the way. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Laurel Symonds at the Bent Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Charlie Ilgunas at Yellow Jacket has acquired world English rights to middle grade graphic novel Fae and the Moon by Franco Aureliani (l.) (Tiny Titans), illustrated by Catherine Satrun (c.) and Sarah Satrun (r.). The story features a girl who pulls her missing mother's adored Moon from the sky, and finds herself in a world of mystery and darkness battling ancient monsters hungry for the Moon and its powers. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Marie Lamba at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency represented the creators.
Whitney Leopard at Random House Graphic has bought, in an exclusive submission, young middle-grade graphic novel trilogy Jeff in the Jurassic by Royden Lepp. Jeff is an alien with a mission, but nothing ever goes the way he wants it to. Now he's crash-landed on the very planet he's supposed to destroy, and he's stuck with the locals—the local dinosaurs, that is. Publication is scheduled for 2023; Lillian Laserson at Laserson Law sold world rights.
Melissa Manlove at Chronicle Books has acquired world rights to Endlessly Ever After: Pick Your Path to Countless Fairytale Endings by Laurel Snyder (l.), illustrated by Dan Santat. The reader guides Rosie (Little Red Riding Hood) down myriad story paths as she navigates a constantly surprising fairytale landscape in this interactive read-aloud. Publication is set for spring 2022; Tina Dubois at ICM Partners represented the author, and Jodi Reamer at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Christy Ottaviano at Little, Brown/Christy Ottaviano Books has bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to The Great Zombie Pumpkin Parade, a rhyming Halloween picture book written by Robert Burleigh (l.) and illustrated by Wendell Minor. Publication is planned for summer 2023; Rubin Pfeffer at Rubin Pfeffer Content negotiated the deal for the author and the illustrator.
Tiara Kittrell at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has acquired world rights to Be Black Girl Be by T.B. Darks (l.), illustrated by Sharee Miller. This picture book follows a girl on a journey of envisioning endless possibilities for her life as she embraces love for herself and for what she could become, despite the hurdles ahead. Publication is slated for winter 2024; Mary Cummings at Great River Literary in association with Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises represented the author, and Monica Odom at Odom Media Management represented the illustrator.
Bethany Buck at Pixel+Ink has bought world rights to Star & Stripe: Grand Opening! and a second book in the series from debut picture book writer M.J. Offen (l.), illustrated by Ruth Bennett. In the book, a brother and sister (a bull and a cow) lock horns and learn to hold hooves as they try to cook up a new business venture selling grassburgers as good as their mother's. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Peter McHugh at the Gotham Group represented the author, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Group represented the illustrator.
Sonali Fry at Random House has acquired, for Crown Books for Young Readers, world rights to Standing in the Need of Prayer, written by Carole Boston Weatherford (l.) and illustrated by Frank Morrison. Based on the popular spiritual, Standing in the Need of Prayer has been reworked to chronicle the milestones, struggles, tragedies, and triumphs of African American history. Publication is set for fall 2022; Rubin Pfeffer at Rubin Pfeffer Content represented the author, and Lori Nowicki at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Rick Rinehart at Muddy Boots has bought world rights to Something Spectacular by Carmela LaVigna Coyle (l.), the story of a behemoth hunk of sandstone on its 250-million-year journey through time and erosion to become "something spectacular." Carly Allen-Fletcher will illustrate, publication is planned for August 2022. The author was unagented, and Anna Olswanger of Olswanger Literary represented the illustrator.
Julie Bliven at Charlesbridge has acquired picture book Big Babies by artist-author Patrick O'Brien, a look at how large baby dinosaurs were as compared to modern-day objects. Publication is slated for summer 2023; Timothy Travaglini at the Transatlantic Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Kate Fletcher at Candlewick has bought two interactive board books by graphic designer Chiêu Anh Urban. Illusions in Art introduces the concept of negative and positive space through high-contrast images of animals and food, which offer young readers the visual experience of discovering two images in one. Publication is scheduled for 2023; Jamie Weiss Chilton at Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.