Liz Bicknell at Candlewick has acquired world rights to Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen's next work, The Skull. It tells the spooky story of an unexpected friendship between Otilla and a skull that inhabits a big house deep in the woods, and is based on a classic folktale that Klassen discovered while browsing in a library in Alaska. Publication is scheduled for July 2023; Steve Malk at Writers House negotiated the deal.
Tricia Lin at Random House has bought, at auction, North American rights for Descendants of Dragons and Heirs of Power, a contemporary YA fantasy duology by Katie Zhao. Pitched as The Shadowhunter Chronicles meets Legendborn and These Violent Delights, the story combines Chinese folklore and dark academia at a boarding school glamoured from mortal eyes. When a student is killed over a priceless ancestral artifact, the Descendants, those who possess Chinese Zodiac magic, assemble a crew to heist it back and avenge the murder. Publication will begin in fall 2024; Penny Moore at Aevitas Creative Management did the deal.
Claire Stetzer at Inkyard Press has acquired Eric Smith's new YA novel, With or Without You, a rom-com about two teens whose families have orchestrated a feud between their South Philadelphia cheesesteak food trucks in order to drive up business. But when the fake rivalry lands them a gig on reality TV, the teens have to hide their very real romance from the world. Publication is set for fall 2023; Jennifer Azantian at Azantian Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Lily Kessinger at Clarion has bought What Stalks Among Us by Sarah Hollowell (A Dark and Starless Forest). This speculative story follows two best friends who find themselves trapped in a mysterious maze that shouldn't exist; their curiosity turns into horror when they discover a corpse in the maze, a corpse that looks exactly like one of them. Publication is slated for 2023; Thao Le at Dijkstra & Associates handled the deal for North American rights.
Margaret Raymo at Little, Brown has acquired, in a preempt, Amelia Brunskill's Wolfpack, a YA mystery written in verse, about a group of teenage girls living in a cult, and the suspicion and paranoia that emerges when one of them goes missing, pitched as Wilder Girls meets Yellowjackets. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal for world rights.
Tara Weikum at HarperTeen has preempted Ellen O'Clover's debut novel Seven Percent of Ro Devereux. When her senior project—a future-predicting app based on the game MASH—goes viral, 18-year-old Ro and her app-selected match/ex-best friend Miller become the public faces of a phenomenon that spirals out of control. Publication is set for winter 2023; Katie Shea Boutillier at Donald Maass Literary Agency did the six-figure, two-book deal for world English rights.
Wendy McClure at Sourcebooks Fire has bought debut author Jennifer D. Lyle's Season of the Butterfly, a near-future YA thriller in which a group of teens band together to survive a climate change-related invasion of terrifying hybrid creatures; and a second untitled novel. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Amy Giuffrida at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency brokered the two-book deal for world English rights.
Nick Thomas at Levine Querido has acquired Phalaina, written by Alice Brière-Haquet (l.) and translated from the French by PEN Translation Prize winner Emma Ramadan. The speculative upper middle grade thriller follows a mysterious young orphan in 19th-century London as she deciphers the unanswered questions that mark her past and what exactly Darwin meant by the origin of species. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Johanna Brock handled the deal for world English rights on behalf of Rouergue Jeunesse.
Wesley Adams at FSG has signed Corey Egbert (l.) to adapt and illustrate Jack Gantos's Joey Pigza quintet in graphic novel form. Originally published between 1998 and 2015, these acclaimed novels about a middle-school boy surmounting challenges with ADHD and his off-the-wall family include a National Book Award finalist and a Newbery Honor book. Publication of the first title, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, is planned for spring 2024; Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 represented Egbert, and Amy Berkower at Writers House represented Gantos.
Annie Kelley at Random House Studio has bought, at auction, North American rights to The Mona Lisa Vanishes: A Legendary Painter, a Shocking Heist, and the Birth of a Global Celebrity, by journalist Nicholas Day (l.), illustrated by Brett Helquist (A Series of Unfortunate Events). This debut middle-grade nonfiction title tells the twisting, turning story of how the Mona Lisa was stolen, how the robbery made the portrait the most famous artwork in the world—and how the painting should never have existed at all. A second untitled work of nonfiction was part of the deal for the author. Publication is set for fall 2023; Brenda Bowen at the Book Group represented the author, and Steven Malk at Writers House represented the artist.
Kate Meltzer at Roaring Brook has acquired, in a preempt, author-illustrator Lucy Brown's debut middle-grade graphic novel, The Nightwoods, and an untitled graphic novel. The story follows Flora, a lonely girl who lives in an antique shop at the edge of the woods. When items from the shop start to go missing, she's drawn to the woods where she encounters a wolf girl who introduces her to a world of incredible wonders, curious creatures, and new friends. Publication is scheduled for fall 2024; Natascha Morris at the Tobias Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Rotem Moscovich at Knopf has bought world rights, at auction, to Bibsy Cross, the debut chapter book series in verse by Liz Garton Scanlon (l.), illustrated by Dung Ho. The first installment, Bibsy Cross and the Bad Apple, follows a precocious student as she navigates a relationship with her teacher, who thinks that Bibsy is a bit too much. Publication for the first two titles is planned for summer 2024; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency negotiated the four-book deal for the author; the illustrator represented herself.
Kate Meltzer at Roaring Brook has bought Sprout Branches Out and an untitled sequel by Jessika von Innerebener. In this twist on the age-old wisdom "there's no place like home," the story follows Sprout, a small plant who lives on a small porch in a small town, but who yearns for big things. Publication is set for winter 2023; Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary Agency brokered the two-book deal for world rights.
Paula Wiseman at S&S/Paula Wiseman Books has acquired world rights to Love Is My Favorite Color, a picture book by Nina Laden (l.), illustrated by Melissa Castrillon, in an exclusive submission. The book explores how to live life fully and appreciate the richness of the world and all it has to offer. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Jessica Garrison at Dial has bought world rights to Patchwork Prince, written by Baptiste Paul (l.) (The Field) and illustrated by Kitt Thomas, based on the author's experience growing up in St. Lucia. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Chad Beckerman at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Ariel Richardson at Chronicle has acquired world rights to Jane Yolen's (l.) picture book How to Spot a Mermaid, a step-by-step guide to finding and befriending a mermaid, illustrated by Sally Deng (Warrior Princess: The Story of Khutulun). The book will publish in spring 2025; Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown represented the author, and Tracy Marchini at BookEnds represented the illustrator.
Samantha Gentry at Little, Brown has bought world rights to A Crown for Corina by Pura Belpré Honor author Laekan Zea Kemp (l.), a debut picture book about the symbolism behind Mexican flower crowns, told from the perspective of a girl picking flowers from her abuela's garden to make a crown for her birthday, illustrated by Pura Belpré Honor artist Elisa Chavarri. Publication is slated for winter 2023; Andrea Morrison at Writers House represented the author, and Claire Easton at Painted Words represented the artist.
Tamar Mays at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to the autobiographical Can You Hear the Plants Speak? by Indigenous habitat restoration expert, plant activist, and teacher Nicholas Hummingbird (l.) and co-author Julia Wasson (c.), illustrated by Chickasaw Nation member Madelyn Goodnight (r.) (Powwow Day), a call to listen that inspires us to bring nature back, one native plant at a time, to apartments, balconies and parkways. Publication is set for winter 2024; Deborah Warren at East West Literary represented the authors, and Studio Goodwin Sturges represented the illustrator.
Lauri Hornik at Rocky Pond Books has bought world rights to Tree of Hope: How a Holocaust Sapling Inspired the World, written by Elisa Boxer (l.), illustrated by Alianna Rosentsveig. The story is based on a true story of how a Nazi guard smuggled a sapling into the Terezin concentration camp that was nurtured by Jewish children and their teacher—and how a descendant of that tree was planted at New York City's Museum of Jewish Heritage. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Steven Chudney at the Chudney Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Josh Gregory at Albert Whitman has acquired world rights to Hope for Ryan White, a picture book biography about the young AIDS activist from the 1980s, by Dano Moreno (l.), who has worked with HIV prevention and care programs for more than 15 years; Jean Claude will illustrate. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Charlotte Wenger at Prospect Agency represented the author, and Atlanta Japp at Advocate-Art represented the illustrator.
Andrea Hall at Beaming Books has bought world rights to Sometimes Shy, a picture book by Julie Bliven (l.), illustrated by Dang Khoa Tran, a contemplation of one child's sense of quiet vs. shyness, and how shyness can be situational. Publication is slated for spring 2023. Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Christina Doffing at Astound US represented the illustrator.
Hannah Lambert at Little Simon has acquired world rights to Peek-a-Boo Haiku, a lift-the-flap book by Danna Smith (l.), illustrated by Teagan White, which celebrates the poetic form and animals in their natural habitats. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Tracy Marchini at Bookends Literary represented the author, and Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 represented the illustrator.
Renee Yama at Hazy Dell Press has bought world rights to A Kraken Called Klyde by Brooke Hartman (l.), illustrated by Laura Borio. This picture book tells the story of a kraken named Klyde who desperately wants a friend, but squeezing every sea creature in sight only leaves him swimming alone, until he learns that there is more than one way to make a friend. Publication is set for spring 2023; Sera Rivers at Martin Literary & Media Management represented the author, and Atlanta Japp at Advocate Art represented the illustrator.
Peggy Schaefer at WorthyKids/Hachette has acquired world rights to Moonlight Memories by Amanda Davis (l.) (30,000 Stitches), illustrated by Michelle Jing Chan. This picture book about the loss of a loved one shows how to find hope and healing during difficult times. Publication is slated for summer 2023; Jennifer Unter at the Unter Agency represented the author, and Jemiscoe Chambers-Black at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Cherrita Lee at Beaming Books has bought author-illustrator Brittany Jacobs's picture book Duck, Duck, Tiger, about a girl who feels different from everyone around her, like she's a tiger and everyone else is a duck. The story explores the nuances of queerness at an early age. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Adria Goetz at Martin Literary sold world rights.
Megan Peace at Scholastic/Graphix has acquired Stars in Their Eyes, a queer YA rom-com graphic novel by Jessica Walton (l.) and Aśka about two teens who meet at a fan convention, and—among crowds of cosplay and celebrity appearances—connect with each other in ways they never expected. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Daniel Lazar at Writers House sold world English rights (minus Australia and New Zealand) on behalf of Jane Fraser at Fremantle Press in Australia.
Becky Monds at Thomas Nelson has bought, in an exclusive submission, The Houdini Murders in a three-book deal by Court Stevens. In a small town, friends wrestle with the death of a childhood friend, the horrific guilt of a former town hero, and a hydroelectric dam project that may sink the entire town before the answers can be found. Publication is slated for September 2023; Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Polo Orozco at Putnam has acquired Deaf author Anna Sortino's Give Me a Sign, a YA contemporary debut novel pitched as Jenny Han meets Crip Camp, in which a teen girl with hearing aids returns to camp for the Deaf and Blind as a counselor, eager to improve her ASL and find her place in the community—not expecting to also find summer romance along the way. Publication is planned for summer 2023; Kari Sutherland did the deal for world English while at Bradford Literary Agency.
Charlotte Greenbaum at Abrams/Amulet has bought, in an exclusive submission, The Hollow by Che Grayson (l.), illustrated by Taylor Keith. This YA debut horror graphic novel, set in the Great Smoky Mountains, follows Ruby James, a young podcaster who takes a trip with her three best friends to her ancestral home, the mysterious ghost town of Cure, where urban legends are real and monsters lurk around every corner. Publication is set for spring 2025; Anjali Singh at Ayesha Pande Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Ashtyn Stann at Flux has acquired debut author Kate Anderson's sapphic paranormal YA novel Here Lies Olive, in which a 16-year-old girl summons a ghost to find out what happens after people die, unleashing an otherworldly danger that threatens everyone she loves. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Sharon Belcastro at Belcastro Agency handled the deal for world rights.
Shaina Olmanson at Lerner/Zest Books has bought the YA nonfiction title Nearer My Freedom by Monica Edinger (l.) and Lesley Younge. Using Olaudah Equiano's autobiography as a source text, the title shares Equiano's life story in found verse supplemented with annotations. The book follows Equiano from his birth in the Igbo region of western Africa and his enslavement at a young age to his liberation and his work as an abolitionist. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Stephen Barbara at InkWell Management represented both authors and brokered the deal for world rights.
Karen Lotz and Susan Van Metre at Candlewick won a seven-house auction for John Schu's debut middle grade novel-in-verse, Louder Than Hunger, a fictionalized version of the author's experiences and emotions as a young teen while living in residential treatment facilities due to an eating disorder. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Molly O'Neill at Root Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Kate Prosswimmer at Simon & Schuster has acquired, at auction, Finch House by Ciera Burch. This middle grade debut, aimed at fans of Coraline and Doll Bones, follows 12-year-old Micah who gets trapped in an old Victorian house while looking for her grandfather who was last seen there. If she has any hope of escaping, she must outsmart the house and get it to release its hold not just on them, but on the other souls it has trapped over the years. Publication is set for fall 2023; Patrice Caldwell at New Leaf Literary & Media did the two-book deal for world English rights.
Miriam Newman at Candlewick has bought world English rights, at auction, to Caroline Carlson's middle grade novel Wicked Marigold, about a princess who fails at being perfectly good and decides to be perfectly wicked, only to discover that life as an evil wizard comes with its own challenges and that people are, in fact, more complicated that she thought. Allison Hellegers at Stimola Literary Studio brokered the deal for publication in spring 2024, and a second untitled middle grade novel, in spring 2025.
Taylor Norman at Chronicle Books has acquired Anna E. Jordan's debut middle grade novel, Shira and Esther Double the Wonder, pitched as The Prince and the Pauper meets The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. A rabbi's daughter and a performer's daughter who share a remarkable resemblance swap places to pursue their forbidden dreams of the theater stage and the synagogue bima, until they must team up to save the theater from closing and bring their families together. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Janine Le handled the deal while at Sheldon Fogelman Agency.
Annie Berger at Sourcebooks Young Readers has bought MarcyKate Connolly's next middle grade novel, A Breath of Mischief. In this standalone fantasy, a young Windling named Aria must go on a quest when her parent, The Wind, goes missing and their cloud castle falls from the sky. But when all the natural elements begin to vanish one by one, Aria realizes that there is a darker mischief at play. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Christy Ottaviano at Little, Brown/Ottaviano has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to The Number Nine Plaza by Winterhouse trilogy author Ben Guterson. In this middle grade mystery duology, 11-year-old Herbert Olinga is determined to save his grandmother's 19-story out-of-this-world department store from an unknown adversary. Publication of the first book is planned for winter 2024; Rena Rossner at the Deborah Harris Agency did the deal for the author.
Joy Bean at Arctis Books USA has bought the first two books in the middle grade Franny Cloutier series by Stéphanie Lapointe (l.). Written in diary format, a 14-year-old humorously chronicles her life after she is sent to live in a small town with her aunt after her mother dies and her father moves to Japan to pursue his research. The first book in the series, The Year My Life Turned Upside-Down, will be translated from the French by Ann Marie Boulanger. Publication is set for spring 2023; Mathilde Pineau-Valencienne at Tilly Ink brokered the deal for world English rights.
Renee Kelly at Penguin Workshop has bought world rights to Bug Catchers and Beetle Mania, the first two books in the Dirt & Bugsy early reader series by Megan Litwin (l.), illustrated by Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn; Kelly and Alex Wolfe will edit. The books introduce two friends with contagious curiosity, creative problem solving, and passion for bugs. Publication is slated for spring 2023 and summer 2023; Lindsay Auld at Writers House represented the author, and Chad W. Beckerman at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Andrew Smith at Abrams has acquired Matthew Reinhart's Marvel Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book, a pop-up book of Marvel super heroes—from Spider-Man to the Avengers to the Fantastic Four. Meredith Mundy is editing; publication is planned for fall 2022. Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management negotiated the deal for world rights.
Luana Kay Horry at HarperCollins has bought author-illustrator Bob Holt's picture book The Red Jacket, about a seagull named Bob who finally feels appreciated by his flock after he receives a red jacket—until he loses it. Publication is set for summer 2023; Rachel Orr at Prospect Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Karen Lotz at Candlewick has acquired, on exclusive submission, world English rights to The Poetry Place Is Our Space by John Schu (l.), a celebration of poetry, possibility, and the power of creative collaboration; Holly Hatam will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Molly O'Neill at Root Literary represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Liz Bicknell at Candlewick has bought world rights to Everyone Starts Small, a picture book about the growth cycle and interconnectedness of all things by All the World author Liz Garton Scanlon (l.), illustrated by Dominique Ramsey, for publication in spring 2024. Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Kelly Sonnack of Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Kristen Mohn at Capstone has acquired world rights to Yoshi's Big Swim: One Turtle's Epic Journey Home by Mary Wagley Copp (l.) (Wherever I Go), illustrated by Kaja Kajfež. This picture book tells the true story of an injured loggerhead turtle rescued by fishermen, rehabilitated in an aquarium in South Africa, and released on her journey home—recorded to be two years and 22,000 miles. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Charlotte Wenger at Prospect Agency represented the author, and Erin Tisdel at Advocate Art represented the illustrator.
Andrea Welch at S&S/Beach Lane Books has bought world rights to City Song by Ishta Mercurio (l.), illustrated by Erin Robinson. City Song is a picture book ode to cities and the people that give life to a city as it changes across generations. Publication is planned for spring 2024; Jennifer Weltz at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency represented the author, and Marlena Torzecka at Marlena Agency represented the illustrator.
Amanda Ramirez while at Simon and Schuster acquired world rights to Remembering, a picture book of children building an ofrenda in memory of their dearly departed pets on Día de los Angelitos, one of the ritual celebrations of Día de Muertos. It's written by Xelena González (l.) and illustrated by Pura Belpre Honor recipient Adriana M. Garcia, in their third collaboration; Celia Lee will edit. Publication is set for summer 2023; Marietta Zacker at Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency represented the author, and Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary represented the illustrator.
Emily Settle at Feiwel and Friends has bought world English rights to Henna Is… by Marzieh Abbas (l.), illustrated by Anu Chouhan, a picture book celebrating the traditional and cultural significance of henna. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Lynnette Novak at the Seymour Agency represented the author, and Thao Le at Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Elizabeth Schleisman at Beaming Books has acquired North American rights to the debut picture book Big Truck Playdate by Laurie Carmody (l.), illustrated by Jennica Lounsbury. When his school hosts a semi-truck event and is swarmed by interested kids, a boy with a singular passion for semi-trucks must find a way to be his unique, enthusiastic self. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Natascha Morris at the Tobias Literary Agency represented the author, and Christina Doffing at Astound Agency represented the illustrator.
Dena Neusner at Apples & Honey Press has bought world rights to The Porridge Pot Goblin, a picture book by Jacqueline Jules (l.), illustrated by Hector Borlasca. The book follows a brother and sister as they outwit an invisible goblin who gets in their way as they try to let their mother rest while they get ready for Shabbat. Publication is planned for September 2022; the author represented herself; MB Artists represented the illustrator.