Brian Geffen at Henry Holt has acquired, at auction, Schulz Studio artist Mary Shyne's YA graphic novel debut, Graduation Day. Reminiscent of Palm Springs crossed with John Hughes, this coming-of-age rom-com set in the Chicago suburbs tells the story of Chris O'Brien, who finds himself stuck in a time loop with his former friend Alicia Ochoa on their high school graduation day. Publication is scheduled for winter 2025; Anjali Singh at Ayesha Pande Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Ruta Rimas at Razorbill has bought A Crooked Mark by debut author Linda Kao, in which a teen boy has spent his life traveling with his father, a member of a secret society who hunts those marked by Lucifer. When he's sent on his first solo mission, he begins to question if there truly is a devil at work or if the real evil lies closer to home. Publication is planned for summer 2023; Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary Agency did the deal for world English rights.
Kate Farrell at Henry Holt has acquired, at auction, Dark Testament by poet and Duke University Fellow Crystal Simone Smith. The volume of YA erasure poetry is drawn from text "found" in George Saunders's novel Lincoln in the Bardo. Smith's erasure of the original material connects the agonized voices haunting Lincoln to the grieving chorus of protests in today's Black Lives Matter movement. Publication is slated for winter 2023; Liz Nealon of Great Dog Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Hannah Hill at Delacorte has bought Night Swimming by Rachel Ekstrom Courage, in her YA debut. Pitched as They Wish They Were Us meets The Wicked Deep with a mythical twist, this darkly feminist YA thriller debut follows Lucia, who falls in with a group of glamorous new friends while spending the summer on Nantucket. But as Lucia becomes part of their shimmering world, breaking hearts and wreaking havoc on the elite island community, she realizes her new friends have a shockingly violent secret. Publication is set for summer 2023; Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger Literary Agency did the deal for world English rights.
Jess Harold at Henry Holt has acquired, at auction, A Guide to the Dark by Meriam Metoui, debut author and assistant editor at Viking Children's Books. In the YA novel, two teen girls on a college tour road trip get stranded in a haunted motel room that is trying to kill them. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023, with a second untitled speculative suspense novel to follow; Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the six-figure deal for world rights.
Hannah Smith at Owl Hollow Press has bought world rights to Dallas Woodburn's (The Best Week That Never Happened) YA contemporary novel Before & After You & Me. Told in alternating before and after chapters, high school junior Emma Mason blames herself for the accident that leaves the town's rising track star, her former boyfriend, paralyzed from the waist down. When she begins obsessively painting portraits of his legs and feet, what started as therapeutic ends up deepening her guilt, until she learns to reconcile the before and after parts of herself. Publication is slated for fall 2023; the author represented herself.
Donna Bray at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has acquired, in a preempt, world English rights to Miya T. Beck's debut novel, The Pearl Hunter and an untitled middle-grade novel, the first based on Japanese fairy tales and pre-Shogun era Japan in which a young pearl diver travels across the empire to take a powerful jewel from a pack of supernatural foxes in order to rescue her twin sister. Publication is planned for winter 2023; Victoria Wells Arms of HG Literary handled the deal.
Chris Duffy, in his debut acquisition at Sterling, has bought a middle grade graphic novel series, Puppy Knights, by The Wizerd co-creator Michael Sweater (l.), illustrated by Josue Cruz, in a three-book preempt. The animal fantasy stars overconfident and brash Sparky, and his faithful companion Pugsly, as they seek adventure and treasure in an out-of-control kingdom. Publication of the first volume is set for spring 2024; Timothy Travaglini at Transatlantic Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Kristin Rens at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has acquired world English rights to Rebecca Mix's middle-grade fantasy debut, The Mossheart's Promise. When 12-year-old Ary Mossheart sets out in search of a cure for the mold that's eating her mother alive, she makes a horrifying discovery: her entire world is actually trapped inside of a giant, rotting terrarium they were meant to leave 100 years ago. Now Ary has only five days to find the exit—or they'll be trapped for good. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Jim McCarthy of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret did the two-book deal.
Joy Bean at Arctis Books USA has bought a middle grade novel by Kirsten Boie, titled Alhambra. The time-travel adventure, which takes place during the Spanish Inquisition, follows a student on a class trip to Spain as he comes across a portal in time and must go on the run as he raises suspicion at the royal Spanish court. David Henry Wilson will translate from the German. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Lucy Flynn at Andrew Nurnberg Associates brokered the deal for world English rights.
Cheryl Klein at Lee & Low has acquired world rights to Connor Kissed Me, the debut picture book from author Zehava (l.), illustrated by debut illustrator Sarah Turner. After Connor kisses Sarah on the playground, she tells a number of people who have differing reactions to the incident, until her mother encourages her to listen to and stand up for her own feelings. Publication is slated for fall 2023; the author represented herself, and Lillian Mazeika at Tugeau 2 represented the illustrator.
Jen Adams at Sounds True has bought world rights to Forest Bath Right Down This Path by Lisa Robinson (l.), illustrated by Khoa Le. In this picture book, a child convinces her father to put away his cell phone during a stroll through the forest. Publication is set for spring 2023; Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Birch Path Literary represented the author, and Christina Doffing at Astound US represented the artist.
Liz Bicknell at Candlewick has acquired world rights to The Den That Octopus Built by Randi Sonenshine (l.), illustrated by Anne Hunter, a nonfiction picture book about the many ingenious ways an octopus constructs dens, captures prey, outsmarts predators, and cares for her eggs. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Kendra Marcus at BookStop Literary represented the author, and Rosemary Stimola of Stimola Literary Studio represented the illustrator.
Wiley Blevins at Reycraft has bought world rights to Footprints Across the Planet, a nonfiction picture book by Jennifer Swanson, which explores how every footprint—from the physical to the digital and the permanent to the fleeting—leaves a mark on Earth telling a story of the past, the present, or the future. Publication is planned for summer 2022; the author represented herself.
Claire Stetzer at Inkyard Press has acquired Margo Zimmerman Gets the Girl by Brianna R. Shrum (l.) and Sara Waxelbaum. This YA rom-com follows Margo, who realizes that she's gay but has no clue how to express her identity, so she enlists out-and-proud Abbie to act as her tutor on everything "Queer 101." Publication is planned for summer 2023; Rebecca Podos at Rees Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Arthur A. Levine at Levine Querido has bought world English, Spanish, and Dutch rights to Nine Color Deer, written and illustrated by Kailin Duan (l.), a picture book inspired by the 1,500-year-old Mogao Cave paintings in Dunhuang, China. Jeremy Tiang will translate from the Chinese; publication is scheduled for fall 2022. The author-illustrator and translator were unagented; Cher Jiang did the deal on behalf of Hangzhou Beautiful Flower Network Technology Co.
Noella James and Sarah Shumway at Bloomsbury have acquired Hair Oil Magic, author-illustrator Anu Chouhan's first authored picture book, a generational story about the bonding experience between a mother and daughter during their weekly hair ritual that was inspired by the author's own memories with her mother. Publication is slated for winter 2024; Thao Le at the Dijkstra Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Connie Hsu at Roaring Brook Press has bought world rights to Ordinary Days by Angela Joy (l.) (Black Is a Rainbow Color), a picture book biography about musician and songwriter Prince, to be illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara (Jump at the Sun). It follows young Prince Rogers Nelson through his childhood in Minneapolis, and the sounds, sights, and feelings he experienced: the jazz from his father's piano, the boom of the basketball court he played on, and the purple bloom from the lilacs he walked by while searching for a place to call home. Publication is set for fall 2023; Jamie Weiss Chilton at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, and Adriana Dominguez at Full Circle Literary represented the illustrator.
Karen Chaplin at Quill Tree has acquired Take Me to Laolao, author Kelly Zhang's (l.) picture book debut, illustrated by Evie Zhu, in which a girl with a big heart and an even bigger imagination goes on a Chinese mythology-inspired adventure to visit her laolao (grandmother) during the spring lantern festival. Publication is planned for winter 2024; Hilary Harwell at KT Literary represented the author, and Paige Terlip at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator in the two-book deal.
Christy Ottaviano at Little, Brown/Ottaviano has bought, in a two-book deal, world rights to Sparrow Learns Birds, written by ornithologist Murry Burgess (l.) and illustrated by Tamisha Anthony. This picture book follows a girl named Sparrow as she uses her eyes, ears, and sketchbook to learn about the birds around her. Publication is scheduled for winter 2024; Gillian MacKenzie at the Gillian MacKenzie Agency represented the author, and Anne Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Chris Krones at Clarion Books has acquired, at auction, True You by Shelley Rotner (l.) and Gwen Agna, a photographic picture book of trans and gender nonconforming kids that leads with inclusivity, love, and empathy, accentuating trans and genderfluid joy. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Liz Nealon of Great Dog Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Barb McNally at Sleeping Bear Press has bought world rights to Fix and Stitch by Barbara Nass (l.), illustrated by Liza Woodruff, a picture book in which Squirrel, a clever tailor, sets out to build his winter home, but is delayed when he can't refuse helping his woodland neighbors. Publication is set for fall 2023. Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Andrea Cascardi at Transatlantic Agency represented the illustrator.
Vicky Holifield at Peachtree has acquired world rights to Galápagos by Leslie Bulion (l.), illustrated by Becca Stadtlander. Galápagos tells the story of this young, volcanic ecosystem where food energy moves through integrated land and sea communities, each in its own season of growth and renewal. Publication is plannned for spring 2023; the author represented herself, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Suhani Parikh at Modern Marigold Books has bought world rights to See Us Bloom by Korean American author Kyunghee Kim (l.) , a debut picture book that features poems on compassion, acceptance and bravery, illustrated by South Korean artist Emily Paik. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; the author was unagented, and Rosie Barlow at Astound US represented the illustrator.