Bria Ragin at Delacorte has acquired Lisa Springer's There's No Way I'd Die First, a YA contemporary horror comedy debut pitched as There's Someone Inside Your House meets Get Out, in which a horror movie buff hosts an elaborate Halloween party but finds the festivities upended as she and her guests are forced to put their survival skills to the test in a deadly game of tag started by the low-budget It clown she hired. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Danielle Burby at Mad Woman Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Aimee Friedman at Scholastic has bought world rights to I Like Me Better by TV writer/producer Leah Benavides Rodriguez (Dune: The Sisterhood; Washington Black). Pitched as a YA Latinx Roman Holiday, the book tells the story of Camila Torres, a Mexican-American teen movie star, who takes time off in Puerto Rico after a devastating and very public breakup, and falls for a charming local who works at an old-school cinema. Together they work to restore a theater damaged by a tropical storm, until a secret is revealed that threatens to tear their fairy tale love story apart. Publication is set for 2023; Leslie Conliffe of Intellectual Property Group and Gordon Bobb of Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein and Lezcano represented the author.
Vicki Lame at Wednesday Books has acquired Kristen Ciccarelli's The Crimson Moth, a romantic Scarlet Pimpernel-inspired YA fantasy duology. Set in the aftermath of a revolution that has diminished witches from rulers to outcasts, it follows the dangerous dance of a strategic courtship between Rune, a socialite with a hidden identity who illegally rescues witches, and Gideon, the witch hunter loyal to the revolution who is out to unmask her; the closer they get, the more treacherous their romance becomes. Publication is slated for 2023; Danielle Burby at Mad Woman Literary Agency did the deal for North American rights.
Annie Berger at Sourcebooks Fire has bought, in an exclusive submission, K.L. Walther's (If We Were Us) YA contemporary novel, After the Bell. Set at a boarding school on the Rhode Island coast, a pair of exes must work together to pull off the most epic senior prank ever involving yearbooks, a scavenger hunt, and long-held school traditions—and while new sparks fly between them—old hurts and painful secrets refuse to be ignored. Publication is planned for summer 2023; Eva Scalzo of Speilburg Literary brokered the two-book deal for world rights.
Anuoluwapo Ohioma at Penguin Workshop has acquired world rights to Firsts and Lasts, a YA anthology including multiple genres from classic contemporary to suspense to fantasy that celebrates all of the thrilling first experiences and momentous last experiences of your teenage years. Edited by Laura Silverman, the contributors include Adi Alsaid, Keah Brown, Monica Gomez-Hira, Kika Hatzopoulou, Shaun David Hutchinson, Amanda Joy, Loan Le, Joy McCullough, Yamile Saied Méndez, Anna Meriano, Nina Moreno, Tess Sharpe, Rachel Lynn Solomon, Diana Urban, and Julian Winters. Publication is set for fall 2023; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal.
Nancy Siscoe at Knopf has bought Wendelin Van Draanen's middle grade mystery Mister Whiskers and the Shenanigan Sisters. Mister Whiskers is a stray dog with nose for trouble and a fondness for two intrepid girls he calls the Shenanigan Sisters. When the girl's professor father is dadnapped, Whiskey and the girls are on the case—sniffing out clues, finding hidden treasure, and saving the day. Publication is scheduled for summer 2023; Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown did the deal for North American rights.
David Levithan and Talia Seidenfeld have acquired Elizabeth Eulberg's Scared Silly, a new middle grade series pitched as The Goonies meet Goosebumps, about four unlikely students forced together to defeat a witch's curse that unleashes a series of frightening creatures onto their hometown of Cauldron's Cove. In book one, My Clone Did It! , the kids realize their mad science teacher is creating clones of them, and it's up to this group of misfits to stop the clone army from destroying their town. Publication will begin in spring 2023; Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media handled the deal for world English rights.
Mekisha Telfer at Roaring Brook has bought, in an exclusive submission, Hidden Tails, a standalone middle-grade fantasy by Van Hoang (Girl Giant and the Monkey King). Two orphaned siblings are taken in by a mysterious hotel owner on an island filled with secrets—strange creatures, wicked adults, and clues about where the siblings truly come from. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Mary C. Moore at Kimberley Cameron & Associates negotiated the deal for world rights.
Andrew Arnold at HarperAlley has acquired world rights to the middle-grade contemporary graphic novel Taki's Belt by Fumio Obata, about a boy named Taki who takes up martial arts lessons when his classmates begin bullying him. But when things start to get out of hand and new friendships are on the line, Taki must figure out what strength truly means. Publication is slated for fall 2024; Chad W. Beckerman at the CAT Agency brokered the deal.
Laura Godwin at Godwin Books has bought Animal Climate Heroes: Critters Combating Climate Change by Alison Pearce Stevens. This nonfiction middle grade novel highlights the mega-heroes and unsung heroes within the animal kingdom fighting back against the supervillain that is climate change, and how young readers can join the fight. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Alexandra Weiss at Azantian Literary Agency did the deal for world English rights.
IDW has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to the first in the graphic novel series Secret of Athria: The Inventor's Eye by Brandon Hoàng (l.), illustrated by Kevin Hong; Megan Brown will edit. When 12-year-old inventor Fuller Ngô is swept away into an alternate dimension full of talking animals and hyper-advanced technology, he and two friends are reluctantly recruited as a secret weapon against the planet's evil, energy-hoarding dictator. Publication is set for summer 2026; Alyssa Jennette at Stonesong represented the author, and Jennifer Azantian at Azantian Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Diane Landolf at Random House has bought world rights to Wilma Pearl Mankiller: The First Woman Cherokee Chief by Patricia Buckley (l.), illustrated by Aphelandra, a Step into Reading biography about the extraordinary life of Wilma Pearl Mankiller. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Tara Walker at Tundra Books has acquired Boy Here, Boy There by Chuck Groenink, in his debut as an author-illustrator. The picture book is an unexpectedly emotional study of Neanderthals meeting humans for the first time 40,000 years ago. Publication is planned for spring 2024; Stephen Barr at Writers House brokered the two-book deal for world rights.
Emily Feinberg at Roaring Brook has bought world rights to Rescue Cat by New York Times Best Illustrated author-artist Stephen Savage. In this picture book, a lonely, TV-watching rescue cat spots a big cat in danger and jumps into the digital world to attempt a daring rescue. Publication is slated for winter 2024; Brenda Bowen at the Book Group negotiated the deal.
Mary-Kate Gaudet at Little, Brown has acquired, in an exclusive submission, the North American picture book debut by Junghwa Park currently titled Big Girl Eats Tteokguk, about the Korean Lunar New Year celebration of Seollal, and one eight-year-old's quest to eat enough bowls of rice cake soup to become a "big girl." Publication is scheduled for winter 2024; Sean McCarthy at Sean McCarthy Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
Rosemary Brosnan and Cynthia Leitich Smith at HarperCollins/Heartdrum have bought Stitches of Tradition by Marcie Rendon (l.) (White Earth Anishinaabe), in an exclusive submission, illustrated by Joshua Mangshing Pawis-Steckley (Ojibwe). This picture book chronicles the journey of a girl into womanhood through the bond she shares with her Nookomis as they sew ribbon skirts for ceremonies celebrating the women around them, culminating in her own coming of age ceremony. Publication is set for fall 2024; Jacqui Lipton at Raven Quill Literary Agency represented the author, and Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative Artists represented the illustrator.
Elena Rittinghausen at NordSüd Verlag and Beth Terrill at NorthSouth Books have acquired world rights to Big Sister, Long Coat by Nelly Buchet (l.) (Cat Dog Dog), illustrated by Rachel Katstaller (Ada Lovelace and the Number-Crunching Machine), about a little sister's recounting of what was supposed to be a perfect day spent with her big sister, and its unexpected outcome. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Erzsi Deak of Hen&ink Literary Studio represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Kristie Choi and Reka Simonsen at Atheneum have bought world rights to Tricky Chopsticks, a picture book by debut author Sylvia Chen (l.), illustrated by Fanny Liem. In this story loosely inspired by Chen's childhood, a girl determined to hold her own in her family's annual chopsticks challenge creates a solution through STEAM trial and error to master those slippery, oh-so-tricky chopsticks. Publication is slated for spring 2024; Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Birch Path Literary represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the artist.
Jill Davis at Astra/Hippo Park has acquired world rights to On the Air with Dr. Doodlebug by Susan E. Goodman (l.) (The First Step), illustrated by Merrill Rainey (Asteroid Goldberg), in which a wise and educated insect expert, who happens to also be a bug, answers questions sent in by young bugs. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Elizabeth Bennett at Transatlantic Agency represented the author, and Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary represented the illustrator.
Barb McNally at Sleeping Bear has bought rights to Gertie, the Darling Duck of World War II by Shari Swanson (l.), illustrated by Renée Graef. Based on a true story, it retells how a mama duck's perilous birthing of her ducklings in downtown Milwaukee during a torrential storm provided some much-needed good news to people at home and soldiers abroad during the dark days of WWII. Publication is set for spring 2023; John Rudolph at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret represented the author, and the artist represented herself.
Peng Shen at Yeehoo Press has acquired world rights to Long Goes to Dragon School by Helen H. Wu (l.) (Tofu Takes Time), illustrated by Mae Besom (What Do You Do with an Idea?). Inspired by the author's experience as a minority immigrant student, this picture book follows a Chinese dragon who struggles to breathe fire in his new Western dragon school, only to discover he must carve his own path to finding a sense of belonging. Publication is slated for spring 2023 in the U.S. and mainland China; the author represented herself, and Amary Tang at IllustrationX represented the illustrator.
Jennifer Newens at West Margin Press has bought world English rights to Otto and Zoom by Nora Nickum (l.), illustrated by Bao Luu, about a friendship between an orca and a "flying whale" seaplane. Publication is planned for June 2023; Lynnette Novak at the Seymour Agency represented the author, and Aurora Barlam at Astound US represented the illustrator.
Jennifer Ung at HarperCollins/Quill Tree has acquired, in a preempt, The Space Between Here and Now, a speculative YA novel by Sarah Suk (Made in Korea). It follows a teen with a mysterious condition that causes her to briefly transport back in time whenever she smells a scent linked to her memories, who discovers that all the answers she's seeking about herself and her past may lie in finding her estranged mother living in Korea. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Linda Epstein at Emerald City Literary negotiated the two-book deal for world English rights.
Alex Borbolla at Atheneum has bought two YA novels from author Laura Taylor Namey. The first is a companion to Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, following Flora Maxwell from England to Miami after the death of her mother. The second novel, Echo Park, pitched as Clap When You Land meets Gilmore Girls, follows Clary who clashes with lifelong frenemy Emilio as she fights to preserve the unique Cuban history of her community and reconcile a family secret. Publication is set for fall 2023 and fall 2024, respectively; Natascha Morris at the Tobias Literary Agency did the deal for world English rights.
Elizabeth Agyemang at Clarion Books has acquired Rebecca Schaeffer's City of Nightmares, a YA fantasy for fans of Gotham and Holly Black. In a world where people go to sleep and can wake up as their worst nightmare, Ness, a certified coward, is forced to face her fears when she ends up tangled in the aftermath of an explosion that killed hundreds and left only two survivors—Ness, and a Nightmare boy who she suspects might be planning to eat her. Publication is slated for winter 2023; Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media brokered the two-book deal for North American rights.
Kiara Valdez at First Second has bought, in a preempt, Scholar's Mate, a YA graphic novel by Chris Kindred (l.) and Coleman Engle about the valedictorian at a science and tech high school who discovers a passion for competitive chess in his senior year, putting him into conflict with his parents' plans for his future. Publication is planned for 2024; Charlie Olsen at InkWell Management handled the deal for world English rights.
Krestyna Lypen at Algonquin has acquired world rights to the first three books in Nicole Melleby's The House on Sunrise Lagoon, a new middle grade series about a blended family with two moms, five daughters, and one giant dog crammed into a ramshackle seaside home in coastal New Jersey, pitched as being "charmingly queer" and "in the spirit of The Vanderbeekers." Publication of the first two books, Sam I Am and Marina in the Middle, is scheduled for summer 2023; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal.
Tracey Keevan at Union Square Kids, with Chris Duffy, has bought, in a preempt, the illustrated middle grade novel Quest Kids and the Dragon Pants of Gold, and two sequels, by Mark Leiknes (creator of the Cow & Boy comic strip). The story follows 11-year-old Ned and his fellow adventurers—a precociously bearded wizard, a rock troll, a 700-year-old elf, and a pig-dog-thing—as they attempt to clothe a dragon in golden loungewear. Publication is set for fall 2022; Stephen Barr at Writers House brokered the three-book deal for world English rights.
Shelly Romero, while at Scholastic, acquired 13 Nightmares, Creepypasta influencer and author-illustrator Trevor Henderson's middle grade debut, pitched as Channel Zero meets the "Welcome to Night Vale" podcast for young readers, in a two-book deal; Zack Clark will edit. The planned series will explore the strange and occasionally horrifying happenings of a fictional town called Beacon Point. It's slated to launch in fall 2023; Veronica Park at Fuse Literary did the deal for world rights.
Nancy Siscoe at Knopf has bought The Bluest Sky by Christina Diaz Gonzalez. In this historical middle grade novel, Héctor and his family make the difficult decision to try to leave Cuba during the Mariel Boat Lift in 1980—a decision with unintended and deadly consequences. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Jennifer Rofé at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Jenne Abramowitz at Scholastic Press has acquired Cattywampus author Ash Van Otterloo's next middle grade novel, Sparrow Shining Bright. When Sparrow is sent to live at their estranged aunt's home after their mother is sent to rehab for opioid addiction, Sparrow encounters a mysterious shadow that encourages them to take exciting new risks, including embracing their true gender identity. Publication is set for 2023; Lauren Spieller at TriadaUS Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Sally Morgridge at Holiday House has bought Ode to a Nobody by Caroline Dubois (The Places We Sleep). The middle grade novel-in-verse is the story of 13-year-old Quinn, who has to choose between homes, friendships, and versions of herself after a devastating tornado hits her community. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Louise Fury at the Bent Agency handled the deal for world rights.
Jerome Pohlen at Chicago Review Press has acquired Dawn Cusick's The Astrochimps, a nonfiction middle grade book about the chimpanzees that broke the boundaries of suborbital and orbital space travel. Based on extensive research and interviews with NASA veterinarians, handlers, and psychologists, it offers a new perspective on animal intelligence and the rise of the space age as well as calls to action for young readers to honor their legacy and advocate for the humane treatment of chimpanzees today. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Reiko Davis at DeFiore and Company did the deal for world rights.
Nancy Inteli at HarperCollins has bought world rights to La Guitarrista by Lucky Diaz (l.), leader of the two-time Latin Grammy-winning children's band, The Lucky Band; Micah Player (Friday Night Wrestlefest and Vote for Our Future) will illustrate. Set in the same neighborhood as the duo's first picture book Paletero Man, the picture book features a tenacious girl who achieves her wildest dreams with a little help from her community and a broken guitar. Publication is planned for summer 2023; Sara Camilli of the Sara Camilli Agency represented the author, and Lori Nowicki of Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Ann Kelley at Random House Studio has acquired world rights to World More Beautiful by Angela Burke Kunkel (l.) (Digging for Words), illustrated by Becca Stadtlander (On Wings of Words). The picture book biography introduces the life and art of Miss Rumphius creator Barbara Cooney. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Liza Fleissig at the Liza Royce Agency represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Mary Lee Donovan at Candlewick has bought Rising by Vine Award-winning author Sidura Ludwig (l.) (You Are Not What We Expected), at auction, illustrated by Sophia Vincent-Guy. This debut picture book chronicles the story of a girl learning how to bake challah with her mother, a staple of Jewish family and community gatherings for generations, focusing on the familial comfort of baking together, the continuity of traditions, and the beauty of the Sabbath. Publication is set for May 2024; Jacqui Lipton at Raven Quill Literary Agency represented the author, and Danielle Svetcov at Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Kimberly Von Fange at WaterBrook has acquired world rights to This Train Is Bound for Glory and I Gotta Sing by Alice Faye Duncan (l.) (Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop), illustrated by Paul Kellam. These picture books introduce well-known African American spirituals and offer a short history behind each song. Publication is planned for summer 2023 and summer 2024; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and Robbin Brosterman at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Megan Ilnitzki at HarperCollins has bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to Ramadan Kareem by M.O. Yuksel (l.), illustrated by Hatem Aly, the creative team behind In My Mosque. This picture book showcases the joys and traditions of Ramadan celebrated around the world. Publication is slated for winter 2024; Jenna Pocius at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Barb McNally at Sleeping Bear has acquired world rights to Good Morning, Sunshine! The Joey Moss Story by Lorna Schultz Nicholson (l.) in a preempt. Alice Carter will illustrate this picture book biography of Canadian hockey icon Joey Moss, a man with Down syndrome who worked in the Edmonton Oilers' dressing room for 30 years. Publication is set for fall 2022; Amy Tompkins at Transatlantic Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Luana Kay Horry at HarperCollins has bought world rights to The Amazing Word of Animals by author-illustrator Ji Lee, the son of social media stars Grandpa Chan and Grandma Marina. In this picture book, animals are introduced to curious readers in a word-as-image style. Publication is scheduled for summer 2023; Jennifer Unter at the Unter Agency negotiated the deal.
Reka Simonsen and Kristie Choi at Atheneum have acquired Stalactite and Stalagmite by author-illustrator Drew Beckmeyer, a humorous picture book about a stalactite and stalagmite who witness the entire history of the earth. Publication is slated for summer 2024; Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary did the deal for world rights.
Eliza Swift at Sourcebooks eXplore has bought world rights to We Also Served: The Brave Stories of Hero Dogs and Other Military Animals, a nonfiction picture book by author-illustrator Erin McGill that honors the often unsung stories of animals who have served in conflict throughout history. Publication is planned for November 2022 to coincide with Veterans Day; Julie Stevenson at Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents represented the author.
Melinda Rathjen at WorthyKids has acquired world rights for debut author-illustrator Juliann Law's picture book The World's Longest Sock, about a fierce knitting competition that spans the globe and knits the world together. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Adria Goetz at Martin Literary represented the author.