Holly West at Feiwel and Friends has acquired, in an exclusive submission, Just Max by Aiden Thomas (Cemetery Boys), in which a stealth transgender college student faces the usual stress of freshman year—making new friends and trying to fit in—while managing testosterone shots, navigating the perils of communal bathrooms, and falling in love with the handsome soccer player down the hall. Publication is planned for winter 2024; Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary Agency did the six-figure deal for world rights.
Maya Marlette at Scholastic has won, in a seven-house auction, North American rights to This Time It's Real by Ann Liang, a YA rom-com about a teen writer who is thrown in the spotlight after her made-up personal essay about her non-existent boyfriend goes viral, landing her the prestigious writing internship of her dreams and forcing her to rope the famous C-drama actor at her international school into an fake dating plot before she's caught in her lie, with a second book to follow. Publication is set for spring 2023; Kathleen Rushall at Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the deal.
Joanna Cárdenas at Kokila has bought, in an exclusive submission, R. Eric Thomas's (Here for It) YA contemporary debut Kings of B'more. Propelled by his best friend's impending move out of state and inspired by Ferris Bueller's Day Off, 16-year-old Harrison Meredith plans a farewell through Baltimore that includes a road trip, their first Pride, and a rooftop dance party in an epic celebration of queer Black friendship and love. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Anna Sproul-Latimer at Neon Literary represented the author in the six-figure deal for world rights.
Kat Brzozowski at Feiwel and Friends has acquired world rights to I'd Rather Burn Than Bloom by Shannon C.F. Rogers, a debut YA novel set in the desert Southwest in which Marisol Martin, a multiracial Filipino-American teen, must return to school after her mother's death, learn to drive, and somehow avoid the (now ex) best friend she punched in the face. Publication is scheduled for spring/summer 2023; Serene Hakim at Ayesha Pande Literary brokered the deal.
Susan Van Metre at Walker Books US and Gráinne Clear at Walker UK have bought world rights to two books from novelist and podcaster Caroline O'Donoghue (All Our Hidden Gifts). The first book is the third installment in O'Donoghue's Gifts series, a conclusion to the supernatural drama about a group of Irish teenagers with remarkable gifts, haunted by a spirit summoned from a tarot deck, planned for spring 2023. The second novel, Skipshock, follows Irish teenager Margo Madden as she sets out on a journey to her new boarding school, but finds herself on a track she wasn't expecting: instead of her train ending up in southwest London, she's traveling across time and dimensions. Bryony Woods at Diamond Kahn & Woods negotiated the deal.
Dana Carey at Knopf/Wendy Lamb Books has acquired world rights to debut author Abby Elenko's YA novel What Comes After. The story follows 17-year-old Nora Radford in two timelines, before and after her best friend Julia dies. But what does it mean when your best friend dies and your first reaction is relief? Publication is scheduled for summer 2023; Ali Herring at Spencerhill Associates handled the deal for world rights.
Taylor Norman at Chronicle Books has bought Front Country by Sara St. Antoine (Three Bird Summer), set in the Montana alpine wilderness, where Ginny is sent to a therapeutic camp after her increasing awareness of climate change sends her into a tailspin and she struggles to understand the changes in herself amid the world's own escalating crisis. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Lucy Cleland at Kneerim & Williams brokered the deal for North American rights.
Cynthia Leitich Smith and Rosemary Brosnan at Heartdrum have acquired two middle-grade novels by Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe citizen Dawn Quigley (the Jo Jo Makoons series). The first book, Red Bird Danced, is a novel in verse set in an urban intertribal housing complex and encompassing traditional dance, learning disabilities, the tragedy and uncertainty of a missing relative, and the power of a community rising above challenges together. It will publish in fall 2023; an untitled second novel in verse will follow. Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary did the deal for world English rights.
Tiffany Liao, while at Henry Holt, bought, in an exclusive submission, Every Bird a Prince, a middle grade contemporary fantasy by Jenn Reese (A Game of Fox and Squirrels); Mark Podesta will edit. Eren Evers is most comfortable in the woods on her bike, where there's no pressure to join in her friends' excitement over new crushes. But when she saves the life of a magical bird, becoming the champion for a forest kingdom under attack by an ancient evil that threatens her world as well, she finds strength and her true self. Publication is set for spring 2022; Holly Root at Root Literary sold world English rights.
Lauren Burniac at Disney Publishing Worldwide has acquired world rights to Cautionary Tales, a middle grade novel written by Ridley Pearson (l.) and illustrated by Abigail Larson. This collection of scary short stories is based on infamous Disney Villains, but when two kids discover a secret mirror in the Disney Archives, reality and fiction blend in more ways than one. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary and Media handled the deal.
Emily Settle and Erin Siu at Feiwel and Friends have bought world rights to Foxes, Fire, & Other Magic by Kyla Smith. In this middle grade graphic novel, Yuuki, a curious young fox spirit who stumbled into the human world during the annual Obon Festival and became trapped, and Nao, a nonbinary noodle maker struggling to keep their parents' legacy alive, must learn to trust each other to save Nao's udon shop and get Yuuki home before the spirit gate closes for good. Publication is tentatively scheduled for spring 2024; Jennifer Azantian at Azantian Literary negotiated the deal.
Ruqayyah Daud at Little, Brown has acquired, in a preempt, debut author Aubrey Hartman's middle grade novel The Lion of Lark-Hayes Manor, the story of a lonely girl fighting to be heard, a flying lion learning to roar, an exiled water nymph's desperate bargain, and the potent magic of finding one's voice and place in the world. Publication is scheduled for summer 2023; Molly O'Neill at Root Literary brokered the deal for world English rights.
Mallory Kass at Scholastic has acquired, in an exclusive submission, Elle Campbell Saves Their Saturday, a debut middle grade novel by comic creator Ben Kahn. If nonbinary seventh grader Elle Campbell wants to meet their celebrity hero at a local signing, then they and their two best friends will have to stage a daring escape from weekend detention, and avoid bullies and parents as they trek across town to save their Saturday. Publication is set for 2023; Moe Ferrara at BookEnds Literary did the deal for world rights.
Celia Lee at Simon & Schuster has bought, in a six figure, two-book, exclusive submission, Yetis Are the Worst by Alex Willan, in which Gilbert the Goblin tries to convince readers that goblins are just as mysterious as the elusive yeti. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Lori Kilkelly at LK Literary Agency sold world rights.
Yasemin Uçar at Kids Can has acquired Bollywood Beat by Anita Yasuda, a picture book in which two Indian sisters' dance recital performance spins into an intergenerational mash-up. Publication is planned for fall 2024; Lori Steel at Raven Quill Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Kate Meltzer at Roaring Brook has bought author-illustrator Vern Kousky's Sad Bear, which follows the titular bear through a gloomy day in an animal-inspired New York City, until a friend arrives to help him see the sunny side of things—but also that sometimes it's okay to be sad. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Elana Roth Parker at Laura Dail Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
Liza Baker at Orchard has acquired, in an exclusive submission, North American English rights to Go Left, a picture book written by Marc Colagiovanni (l.), illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. The story follows the experience of a child dealing with worries, doubts, fears, and frustrations, finally coming to the realization that when absolutely nothing is going right, sometimes it's best to go left. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Holly McGhee of Pippin Properties brokered the deal.
Tara Walker at Tundra Books has bought world rights, on exclusive submission, to the next two picture books by Linda Bailey (l.). Arthur Who Wrote Sherlock is a picture book bio of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his greatest creation, the world's most famous detective, illustrated by Isabelle Follath (c.), to be published in fall 2022. The Great Dinosaur Sleepover, illustrated by Joe Bluhm (r.), is the story of a boy's birthday party saved by the unexpected arrival of prehistoric guests, with comic results; it's set for summer 2023. Hilary McMahon at Westwood Creative Artists represented Bailey, Amy Kitcherside at Pickled Ink represented Follath, and Ashley Valentine at Pippin Properties represented Bluhm.
Simon Boughton at Norton Young Readers has acquired world rights to Thank a Farmer by Maria Gianferrari (l.), illustrated by Monica Mikai, a picture book celebrating the many ways in which farmers plant, tend, and cultivate the food we eat every day: from field to table. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Howard W. Reeves at Abrams has bought world rights to The Fairest in the Land by Lesléa Newman (l.), illustrated by Joshua Heinsz. Benjamin and Annabelle both want to be the bride, the ballerina, and the princess while playing dress-up in this story about gender expression, supportive friendship, and letting our true colors shine with pride. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown represented the author, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Kayla Tostevin at Page Street Kids has acquired world rights to Tangle-Knot by Loretta Ellsworth (l.), illustrated by Annabel Tempest, in which a girl cares for a bird nesting in her unbrushed hair, much to her mother's dismay. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Mary Cummings at Great River Literary in association with Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises represented the author, and Susan Penny at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Kristin Rens at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has acquired, in an exclusive submission, Rise of the Vicious Princess by C.J. Redwine (the Ravenspire series), first in a YA fantasy duology. It introduces a fierce princess so devoted to defending her nation that she takes on a dual life: perfect princess by day, ruthless assassin by night. Disguised, she takes to the sea to defend her nation from attack, until she discovers that her enemies may be closer than she knew. Publication is planned for summer 2022; Holly Root at Root Literary negotiated the two-book deal for North American rights.
Brian Geffen at Henry Holt has bought, in an exclusive submission, Cursebreaker, a YA fantasy duology by Katy Rose Pool, the Morris Award-nominated author of There Will Come a Darkness. Desperate to follow a new lead in the mystery of her mother's disappearance, Marlow Briggs agrees to help a powerful and infuriating noble break a deadly curse placed on him, even though it means pretending to be in love with him. Publication is set for spring 2023 and spring 2024; Alexandra Machinist and Hillary Jacobson at ICM Partners did the deal for world English rights.
Jennifer Ung at HarperCollins/Quill Tree has acquired, in a preempt, I'm Not Here to Make Friends, a YA debut by Andrew Yang. Pitched as Terrace House meets Loveboat, Taipei, it follows two teens who navigate love, friendship, and betrayal when they spend their summer on a reality show featuring an all-Asian cast. Publication is slated for summer 2023; Stephanie Kim at New Leaf Literary & Media brokered the deal for North American rights.
Susan Rich at Little, Brown has bought Phoebe's Diary, a highly illustrated YA novel in journal format by picture book creator Phoebe Wahl. Based on the author's own teenage diaries, it illuminates the turmoil and ecstasy of adolescence woven with themes of body- and sex-positivity. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Jennifer Laughran at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency sold world rights.
Whitney Leopard at Random House Graphic has acquired world rights to Sami Brice's Ripple, a contemporary YA graphic novel based on the author's own life. Fourteen-year-old Noéme suddenly finds her home filled with extended family when Haiti is hit by an earthquake. Life was hard enough as she started high school, but now she has to deal with a new side of her identity she had been putting on the back burner, and deal with her cousins at the same time. Publication is planned for 2024; the author was unagented.
Dana Chidiac at Henry Holt has bought world rights to Love Light by Mela Rogers, a debut YA graphic novel set in a world where a beacon of light connects each person's heart to their soulmate's; Meredith’s parents are Light fanatics, so she is shocked when she falls for a girl who is not her soulmate, and when she meets her actual soulmate, Meredith must choose between her faith and her first love. Publication is set for winter 2025; Chelsea Eberly at Greenhouse Literary Agency negotiated the deal.
Lauren Knowles at Page Street has acquired It Looks Like Us by Alison Ames (To Break a Covenant), a YA horror novel with shades of The Thing, Alien, and Scream, about an anxious high school junior spending her winter break on a research trip sponsored by one of the world's biggest tech companies. They're looking for evidence that environmental pollution has made it all the way to Antarctica, but what they find instead is something that looks human... but isn't. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Rena Rossner at the Deborah Harris Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Michelle Lee at Dial has bought, in a preempt, world English rights to Good Mourning, the debut YA graphic novel by Circe Moskowitz, pitched as Schitt's Creek meets HGTV. Black vampire Theo trades in the city and her coven for a quiet, New England inn only to find it more rundown than advertised. After (accidentally) murdering the current owner, Theo places herself in charge and ends up falling in love: with running a bed and breakfast... and with Ronny, the handywoman, who knows Theo's vampiric secret. Caleb Hosalla will illustrate; publication is slated for fall 2024. Natascha Morris at the Tobias Literary Agency represented the author, and Thao Le at Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Erica Finkel at Abrams/Amulet has acquired, at auction, Grounded, by (clockwise from top l.) S.K. Ali, Huda Al-Marashi, Aisha Saeed, and Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, a middle grade novel pitched as The Breakfast Club meets Hello Universe, about four unlikely kids who meet at the airport when their flights get grounded, changing their lives forever. Publication is set for spring 2023; Faye Bender at the Book Group, who represents Saeed, and Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties, who represents Ali, brokered the six-figure deal for world English rights. Essie White at Storm Literary represents Thompkins-Bigelow, and Al-Marashi is unrepresented.
Chris Hernandez at Razorbill has bought, at auction, The Ghostkeeper by Johanna Taylor. The debut graphic novel tackles issues of mental health, toxic positivity, and grief, while following the exploits of a young paranormal therapist with the ability to see the dead, whose job gets much trickier when the key to Death's Door goes missing and all ghosts end up stranded in the land of the living. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Laurel Symonds at the Bent Agency handled the deal for world English rights.
Ari Lewin while at Putnam acquired the first two books in a new series, The Forgotten Five by Lisa McMann (the Unwanteds series); Stephanie Pitts will edit. The first book, Map of Flames, tells the story of five kids with supernatural abilities who've lived their entire lives hidden on an isolated island. When the last of their parents—powerful supernatural criminals who fled there years ago to escape the authorities—dies, they find a note and a map instructing them to return to society—one where, thanks to their parents, being supernatural is a crime. It's slated for February 2022 and the second book, The Invisible Spy, for November 2022. Michael Bourret at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal for world rights.
Mark Siegel at First Second has bought Patch by Boya Sun, a graphic novel about a child whose favorite soft toy comes to life when he mends it with magic fabric he finds in the attic of his new home. Strange things start to happen, and our world and the dimension toys belong to start warping into each other. The first book is tentatively scheduled for spring 2025; Kelly Sonnack of Andrea Brown Literary Agency sold world rights.
Andrew Arnold at HarperAlley has acquired world rights to the middle-grade graphic novel series Officer Clawsome, written by Brian "Smitty" Smith (l.) and illustrated by Chris Giarrusso, about a crime-fighting lobster named Clawsome and his starfish partner Stariana solving a mystery in Caper Cove. The series is set to begin in winter 2023; the author was unagented, and Judith Hansen at Hansen Literary Management represented the illustrator.
Katie Heit at Scholastic has bought world rights to educator and STEAM expert Rekha S. Rajan's (l.) early chapter book series Disaster Squad, illustrated by Courtney Lovett, in a four-book deal. Each book follows siblings Jaden and Leela Jackson as they travel the U.S. with their parents to respond to natural disasters. In book one, Wildfires, the siblings help rescue a baby deer trapped by a wildfire. The series launches in fall 2023; Lilly Ghahremani at Full Circle Literary represented the author, and Jemiscoe Chambers-Black of Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the artist.
Caitlyn Dlouhy at Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books has acquired North American English rights to Take a Breath, a picture book by Sujean Rim. A bird named Bob struggles to fly, and after many failed attempts, frustration builds, until he meets a new friend who teaches him that all he really needs to do is take a breath. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Holly McGhee of Pippin Properties negotiated the two-book deal.
Virginia Duncan at Greenwillow has bought world rights to Marie Boyd's author-illustrator debut, Just a Worm, which highlights the power of words, incorporates STEM elements, and is illustrated in the unique style of quilling. When Worm overhears a child say he's just a worm, and embarks on a journey to prove the child wrong, Worm investigates, and finds his neighbors have wonderful talents he doesn't have. It's scheduled for winter 2023; Deborah Warren at East West Literary Agency did the two-book deal.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books has acquired author-illustrator Monica Mikai's debut picture book, Garden of Wisdom, about how each flower in a garden can reveal insight into how to make your way in the world, as well as an untitled second book. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency handled the deal for world rights.
Peter Phillips at Tundra has bought world rights to The Island Before No, a debut picture book by Christina Uss (l.) (The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle), illustrated by Hudson Christie. The book tells the story of an island of yes-saying walruses who have to contend with the arrival of a rampaging horde of children who can say "no." Publication is slated for summer 2023; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator was unagented.
Janine O'Malley at FSG has acquired world rights to This Is the Lair, written by Kim Norman (l.) and illustrated by David Walker. The cumulative readaloud tells the tale of a mama bird and her babies, buffeted by a bad storm, who find unexpectedly cozy shelter in a bear's cave. Publication is planned for winter 2023; Jennifer Mattson at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself.
Charlie Ilgunas at Little Bee Books has bought world rights to Molly's Tuxedo by Vicki Johnson (l.), illustrated by Gillian Reid, a picture book about Molly, who has big plans to wear a dashing tuxedo for her school picture day—but Mom has picked out a dress. With her friends' support, Molly proves the way to look your best is to be yourself. Publication is set for summer 2023; Zoe Sandler at ICM Partners represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Rebecca Glaser at Amicus Ink has acquired world rights to Little Walrus and Little Otter by Julie Abery (l.), illustrated by Suzie Mason. The rhyming board books follow the playful antics of these baby marine mammals as they cuddle, huddle, wiggle, and jiggle while discovering their new world. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Essie White at Storm Literary Agency represented the author, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.