Erika Turner at Little, Brown has acquired, in a preempt, Benjamin Dean's The King Is Dead, a gay YA romantic thriller set against the backdrop of a reimagined Royal Family, about a newly crowned young Black king facing media scrutiny and blackmail, pitched as Ace of Spades meets Red, White and Royal Blue. Publication is set for summer 2023; Chloe Seager at Madeleine Milburn Ltd. sold North American rights.
Calista Brill at First Second has bought Corpse de Ballet, Megan Kearney's YA graphic novel about two students at a private ballet academy who investigate the disappearance of another dancer, who they believe has been murdered, all while being haunted by an unseen force. Kiara Valdez will edit. Publication is scheduled for 2024; Susan Graham at Einstein Literary Management negotiated the deal for world rights.
Andrea Colvin at Little, Brown has acquired Hello Sunshine, a YA graphic novel by Keezy Young. When Noah returns from a summer at church camp, he is shocked to discover that his (secret) boyfriend Alex has gone missing. Now Noah must now enlist the help of an unlikely team of worried friends and family to find him. Publication is slated for 2025; Kurestin Armada at Root Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Mekisha Telfer at Roaring Brook has bought Z.R. Ellor's debut YA fantasy, No Better Than Beasts, a dark retelling of The Nutcracker. To escape their abusive elder brother, a ballerina and a soldier with forbidden magic take opposite sides in the war between the Rat King and the Pinewood Prince, fighting for their lives and the fate of their homeland in an icy forest that transforms all who enter into beasts. It will publish in winter 2024; Kaitlyn Johnson at the Belcastro Agency handled the deal for North American rights.
Ali Fisher at Starscape has acquired, at auction, Abeni's Song by P. Djèlí Clark, the Nebula, Locus, and Alex Award-winning author of Ring Shout. Clark's middle grade debut, which draws on African and Diaspora myths and folklore, is a fantasy adventure about a reluctant magic apprentice, her spirit friends, and the village she sets out to save from the evil Witch Priest. Publication is planned for summer 2023; Seth Fishman at the Gernert Company did the three-book deal for North American rights.
Ari Lewin while at Putnam bought the first four books in the middle grade series Monsterious by debut author Matt McMann. Book one, Escape from Grimstone Manor, in which three friends are trapped inside a haunted house ride overnight, and book two, The Snatcher of Raven Hollow, in which two friends investigate mysterious disappearances in their town, are scheduled for summer 2023, with the third and fourth installments to follow in fall 2023. Stephanie Pitts will edit. Michael Bourret at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret sold world rights.
Megan Ilnitzki at HarperCollins has acquired Lulu Sinagtala and The Tagalog Gods by Gail D. Villanueva (My Fate According to the Butterfly). In book one of this middle grade fantasy duology, 11-year-old bisexual and epileptic Lulu discovers that the Philippines she thought she knew is actually full of magical creatures and meddling gods. When Lulu and her sister set out to rescue their kidnapped mother, the girls find themselves fighting a powerful enemy—a vengeful evil spirit whose centuries-old grudge could end the world. Publication for book one is set for fall 2023; Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Birch Path Literary negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Emily Feinberg at Roaring Brook has bought Learning to Be Wild: How Animals Achieve Peace, Create Beauty, and Raise Families by Carl Safina, a young readers' adaptation of his 2020 book Becoming Wild. Learning to Be Wild takes readers deep into the cultural lives of free-living chimpanzees, macaws, and whales while traveling into some of the wildest places on Earth. Publication is slated for winter 2023; Jennifer Weltz at Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency sold world rights.
Jessica Yang at Quirk Books has acquired world rights to Insha Fitzpatrick's Hanging with Vampires, first in the middle grade nonfiction series A Totally Factual Field Guide to the Supernatural, an exploration of the myths and legends that haunt our imaginations and shape our world. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Maria Vicente at P.S. Literary Agency brokered the two-book deal.
Donna Bray at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has bought Simon and the Better Bone, the next picture book read top to bottom rather than left to right by Caldecott Honor artist Corey R. Tabor (Mel Fell). Simon the dog is happy with the bone he's found until he spots a dog with a much better bone than his own; he's determined to get his paws on that bone... in the water... guarded by a dog that looks a lot like Simon. Publication is set for fall 2023; Rebecca Sherman at Writers House did the two-book deal for world rights.
Martha Mihalick at Greenwillow has acquired Merdaddy, a picture book written and illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan. This bath-time reverie takes readers deep into the ocean on an adventure with merdaddy and merbaby; when fingers start to prune, it's time for bed. Publication is scheduled for winter 2024; Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 sold world rights.
Jonathan Eaton at Tilbury House has bought Sew Sister: The Untold Story of Jean Wright and NASA's Seamstresses by debut author-illustrator Elise Matich. In this picture book biography, Jean achieves her childhood dream of working for NASA through her skill and passion for sewing: crafting by hand the specialized thermal blankets that covered the space shuttles and protected astronauts from deadly heat and radiation. Publication is slated for fall 2023; Jessica Saint Jean at Jill Grinberg Literary Management handled the deal for world rights.
Gianna Lakenauth at Knopf has acquired world rights to Love, Lah Lah by Trinidadian singer and songwriter Nailah Blackman (l.), illustrated by Jade Orlando. A girl and her Papa dance through the streets of Trinidad and Tobago, taking part in the festivities of Carnival in this story inspired by the author’s grandfather, the renowned soca legend Ras Shorty I. Publication is planned for spring 2024; Karen Kilpatrick at East West Literary Agency represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Carly Blake at Templar Books has bought two children's books from science author and journalist Lela Nargi (l.), Day and Night and Stop and Go, illustrated by Xuan Le, which take a look at living things that are active at different times around the clock, the science of movement in the natural world—plants and animals that move or stay put to survive. Day and Night will publish in April 2023, and Stop and Go will publish in 2024. Essie White at Storm Literary Agency represented the author, and Inkling Illustration Agency represented the artist.
Megan Abbate at Bloomsbury has acquired world rights to Goodnight Sounds, a picture book written by Debbie S. Miller (l.) (Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights), illustrated by Michelle Jing Chan, which introduces the sounds a child might hear while falling asleep—from the foghorns of the Golden Gate Bridge to the steady ticking of an old clock or a croaking frog under an open windowsill. Publication is set for spring 2024; the author represented herself, and Jemiscoe Chambers-Black at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Jonathan Eaton at Tilbury House has bought world rights to Enough by Jessica Whipple (l.), illustrated by Nicole Wong, about the concept of contentment and a child who discerns the fuzzy boundary between wants and needs. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; the author represented herself, and Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Rebecca Glaser at Amicus Ink has acquired world rights to Simply Skye by Pamela Morgan (l.), illustrated by Heather Bell, about a child who doesn't fit into gender norms navigating expectations with their family. Publication is planned for fall 2023; the author represented herself, and Kaitlyn Sanchez at Context Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Jo Lal at Welbeck Balance/Upside Down Books has bought world rights to Vroom, Vroom, Beep-Beep! by Lezlie Evans (l.) (I'm a Feel-o-saur) and illustrated by Kate Chappell, which features a thoughtless little jeep who discovers the ride is more pleasurable— and friends more plentiful— when you're kind. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Deborah Warren at East/West Literary represented the author, and Lucy Craig at Plum Pudding represented the illustrator.
Tiffany Liao at Zando Young Readers has acquired, in a preempt, Vanessa Montalban's A Tall Dark Trouble, a YA contemporary fantasy pitched as Practical Magic meets Don't Date Rosa Santos, about three generations of Cuban brujas navigating love, magic, and murder, split between present-day Miami and 1980s Cuba under Castro's regime. When twins Ofelia and Delfi Sanchez receive visions of mysterious deaths, they must harness their forbidden gifts—and uncover the secrets in their Mami's past—to save not only innocent lives, but their own. Publication is set for spring 2023; Danielle Burby at Mad Woman Literary Agency did the two-book deal for world rights.
Maggie Lehrman at Abrams has bought, in a mid-six-figure preempt. the Forge & Fracture saga, a YA historical fantasy trilogy for fans of Holly Black and Justina Ireland, written by debut author Brittany N. Williams. The first book, That Self-Same Metal, follows Joan Sands, a Black girl who uses her secret ability to control metal to create swords for Shakespeare's company, The Kings' Men. But when malicious Fae invade mortal London, Joan finds herself at the center of a war that only her family's legacy can prevent, even as she falls for a boy in the company and a girl wrapped up in the fight. Publication of book one is planned for spring 2023; Alexandra Levick at Writers House handled the deal for world English rights.
Lauri Hornik at Rocky Pond Books has acquired Ashley Wilda's debut YA novel, Raeth, a magical realism tale about a teen struggling with heartbreak and depression. When she is sent to a remote mountain retreat to recover, she soon discovers that her surreal surroundings change each time she ventures out, challenging her reality. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Liz Nealon at Great Dog Literary sold world rights.
Nicholas Magliato at Penguin Workshop has bought documentarian James Robinson's Whale Eyes, an illustrated memoir-style exploration of seeing and being seen, inspired by his New York Times Opinion video in which he invites viewers to see the world through his disabling eye conditions, questioning our perceptions of the world and appealing for more meaningful human connections. Publication is set for fall 2024; Stephen Barr at Writers House brokered the deal for world rights.
Kate Fletcher at Candlewick has acquired world rights to the first two titles in Suma Subramaniam's (l.) debut middle grade series. V. Malar: Super Host and a second untitled book star a spirited and mistake-prone nine-year-old. These illustrated contemporary STEM-inspired adventures take place against the backdrop of vibrant cultural celebrations and settings. Archana Sreenivasan will illustrate; publication is slated for 2024 and 2025. Miranda Paul at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary represented the illustrator.
Rosemary Brosnan at Quill Tree Books has bought U.S. and Canadian rights to the middle grade graphic novel adaptation of Neil Gaiman (top l.) and Michael Reaves's (top r.) InterWorld, to be adapted by Scott Bryan Wilson (bottom l.) and illustrated by Madeline Corrette-Bennett (bottom r.). Joey Harker is a very average kid who discovers that his world is only one of an infinite number of alternate earths, and he must team up with an army of Joeys from the metaverse to keep the balance of power between all the earths stable. Publication is planned for winter 2025; Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House represented Gaiman and Reaves, Wilson represented himself, and Natascha Morris at the Tobias Literary Agency represented Corrette-Bennett.
Andrea Colvin at Little, Brown has acquired world rights to They, a middle-grade graphic novel written by MariNaomi and illustrated by Trung Le Nguyen. A chance befriending of two members of a popular J-pop band helps Yuko learn to reconcile the two halves of her American and Japanese identity. Publication is scheduled for fall 2026; Gordon Warnock at Fuse Literary represented the author, and Kate McKean at Howard Morhaim Literary represented the illustrator.
Alison Weiss at Pixel+Ink has bought Clara Poole and the Long Way Round and the second book in the middle grade adventure series by debut author Taylor Tyng, in which a daredevil girl who, after an unintended flight over Michigan in a lawn chair held aloft by balloons, is invited to be the spokesperson for a round-the-world hot air balloon race and, against her worried father's wishes, runs away to Paris to take part. Publication is slated for spring 2023, with the second book to follow in spring 2024; Erin Clyburn negotiated the deal for world rights while at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.
Suzy Capozzi at Union Square Kids has acquired, in a preempt, The Fall of the House of Tatterly, the first middle-grade book by Shanna Miles plus an untitled work. In a magical modern-day Charleston, 12-year-old medium Theo must dodge witchy Aunties, an occasionally possessed cousin, and some ghostly grandparents to save his family from a demon with a grudge. Publication is set for spring 2023; John Cusick at Folio Literary Management / Folio Jr. did the two-book deal for world rights.
Amy Cloud at Clarion Books has bought Too Scared to Sleep by debut author Andrew Duplessie, an innovative collection of spooky stories and companion videos pitched as Scary Stories for the tech generation. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Laura Barbiea and Sara Shandler at Alloy Entertainment brokered the deal for North American rights.
Connie Hsu and Kate Meltzer at Roaring Brook have acquired North American rights to Tired Town by New Yorker contributors and creative collaborators Patricia Marx (l.) and Roz Chast. This subversive spin on the classic bedtime story is centered on a girl who will do anything to avoid going to sleep—until she finds herself doing just that. Publication is scheduled for winter 2024; Esther Newberg at ICM Partners represented the author, and Jin Auh at the Wylie Agency represented the illustrator.
Ellen Cormier at Dial has bought, on exclusive submission, world rights to Adib Khorram's (l.) Bijan Always Wins, a picture book about a child who sees every activity as something to be won, but risks losing his friends in the process; Michelle Tran will illustrate. Publication is slated for summer 2024; Molly O'Neill at Root Literary represented the author, and Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Tamar Brazis at Viking has acquired world rights to The Color of Love by CNN news anchors Laura Jarrett (l.) and Poppy Harlow (c.), to be illustrated by Elisa Chavarri (r.). The story centers around a classroom tasked with answering the question, "If love were a color, what color would it be?" and explores the different kinds of love in the world. Publication is set for summer 2024; Tina Dubois at ICM Partners represented the authors, and Claire Easton Morance at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Andrea Welch at S&S/Beach Lane has bought world rights to Singing Justice, Singing Peace, a picture book biography by Monica Brown (l.) about singer, songwriter, and social justice activist Joan Baez, to be illustrated by Molly Mendoza. Publication is scheduled for summer 2024; Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary represented the author, and Hannah Mann at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Marissa Moss at Creston Books has acquired world rights to Who's Writing This Story? by Robin Newman (l.) (Don't Call Me Fuzzybutt!), illustrated by Deborah Zemke. This picture book turns the traditional fairy tale of the three little pigs and the big, bad wolf inside out as the poor frustrated writer struggles to get a word in edgewise when the rebelling characters have their own ideas about the basic elements of a story. Publication is planned for spring 2024; Liza Fleissig at the Liza Royce Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Amy Novesky at Cameron Kids has bought world rights to Mama's Library Summers by Melvina Noel (l.), illustrated by Daria Peoples, a picture book about a girl who goes to the library every summer with her mama and reads Black history books, poetry books, story books—all books in which she can see herself. Publication is slated for fall 2023; The author represented herself, and Marietta B. Zacker at Gallt & Zacker represented the illustrator.
Madeleine Dunphy at Web of Life Books has acquired world rights to This Old Madrone Tree by Barbara Herkert (l.), illustrated by Marlo Garnsworthy, a picture book in which, season after season, an old Madrone tree welcomes animals and insects with her bounty—a story of one tree's resilience and the affirmation that life goes on. Publication is set for spring 2023; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.