Jen Besser and Kate Meltzer at Roaring Brook have acquired Stars and Smoke and its sequel, two YA novels by Marie Lu (Skyhunter; Legend; Warcross). The Bodyguard meets Kingsman when Winter Young, the world's hottest superstar, is recruited by a covert organization to take down a criminal tycoon and finds himself paired with Sydney Cossette, a fierce and unpredictable secret agent. Suspicions soon turn to sparks as the two are drawn into a tangled web of secrets and deception. The first book will be published in winter 2023, with the second to follow in winter 2024. Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary Agency did the seven-figure deal for North American rights.
Samantha Gentry at Little, Brown has bought An Appetite for Miracles by Pura Belpré Honor-winning author Laekan Zea Kemp, a YA novel-in-verse told in alternating perspectives about two teens who must come together to heal the people they love, and themselves, from the pain of the past. Publication is scheduled for winter 2023; Andrea Morrison at Writers House negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Connolly Bottum while at Inkyard Press acquired What Is This Feeling? , a YA rom-com from Robby Weber (If You Change Your Mind). High school theater star Teddy just wants to win a scavenger hunt and meet his Broadway idol on the drama club trip to New York City, but when he's stuck sharing a room with Sebastian, the snarky loner from the tech department, the last thing he expects is to form a friendship... and maybe more. Publication is set for summer 2024, with a second untitled novel set for summer 2025. Kristy Hunter at the Knight Agency brokered the two-book deal for world English rights.
Gianna Lakenauth at Knopf has bought North American rights to Benny Ramírez and the Nearly Departed, pitched as Coco meets It's a Wonderful Life, plus an untitled second book by José Pablo Iriarte. This magical realism contemporary middle grade tells the story of 12-year-old Cuban American Benny, who must help the ghost of his rich, famous, and morally bankrupt musician grandfather, Ignacio—whose Miami mansion Benny's family has recently inherited—cross over to the other side before Ignacio's New Year's Eve deadline. Publication is slated for spring 2024 and spring 2025, respectively; Kristin Ostby at Greenhouse Literary negotiated the deal on behalf of Working Partners, and Cameron McClure at Donald Maass represented the author.
Alison Weiss at Pixel + Ink has acquired The Winterton Bee by Janet Sumner Johnson plus a second book in the middle-grade series, in which twins Hope and Gordon Smith enter an elite spelling bee to meet the wealthy family of the father they never knew, only to discover through an elaborate clue hunt the truth behind what happened the night he died. The first book will publish in fall 2023, with the second a year later; Lauren Galit at LKG Agency sold world rights.
Alex Borbolla at Bloomsbury has bought Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic's Hummingbird Season, a middle grade novel-in-verse following Archie, who finds himself isolated and lonely as his family grows emotionally distant at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. A sense of hope and renewed connection arrives in the form of a shared love of the hummingbirds feeding at their windows, but when the worst wildfires in California history flare and their favorite hummingbird disappears, it's hard to see if hope or normalcy will ever return. Publication is planned for winter 2024; Jordan Hamessley at New Leaf Literary and Media handled the deal for world rights.
Alessandra Balzer at Balzer + Bray has acquired Ritu Hemnani's debut historical middle-grade novel-in-verse, Three Colors of Hope. Based on family history, this is a coming-of-age story of 12-year-old Raj's journey during the 1947 Partition of India as the country is split into two. Raj is thrust into a tumultuous world where he must fend for himself, find the sister he lost, and keep his family together before the bully at his new school pushes him past breaking point. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Rubin Pfeffer at Rubin Pfeffer Content sold world English rights.
Marilyn Brigham at Amazon Crossing Kids has bought August Prize-winning novel The Night Raven and its sequel, written by Johan Rundberg (l.), and translated from Swedish by A.A. Prime. The middle grade novels follow a smart and scrappy orphan girl in 1880s Stockholm as she teams up with a detective to solve a murder in the city. Publication is set for summer and fall 2023; Carin Bacho at Koja Agency represented Natur & Kultur in the deal for world English rights.
Mabel Hsu at HarperCollins/Tegen has acquired Mr. S, the second picture book of a previously announced deal for author-illustrator Monica Arnaldo. A kindergarten class arrives for the first day of school but can't find their teacher—only a delicious-looking sandwich and the words "Mr. S" scribbled on the chalkboard; chaos ensues as the kids argue whether or not the sandwich must be their teacher. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Alexandra Levick at Writers House represented the author-illustrator for world rights.
Allyn Johnston and Danielle Collins at S&S/Beach Lane Books have bought author-illustrator Sharon Fujimoto-Johnson's debut picture book, The Mochi Makers. In this story of intergenerational connectedness and love, a girl and her grandmother spend the day making Japanese rice cakes together, honoring their family members who passed down the tradition and making new memories of their own. Publication is slated for spring 2024; Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency sold world rights.
Anne Hoppe at Clarion Books has acquired world rights to the picture book, Smiling Eyes, written by Newbery Medalist Linda Sue Park (l.), illustrated by Lenny Wen. Written in rhyme, the book expresses joy in the variety of Asian eyes and how eyes help us experience the world. Publication is scheduled for fall 2024; Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown Ltd. represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Neal Porter at Holiday House/Neal Porter Books has bought world rights to Nothing (John Cage and 4' 33"), written by Nicholas Day (l.) (The Mona Lisa Vanishes) and illustrated by two-time Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka. The nonfiction picture book focuses on the premiere of Cage's seminal silent work, 4' 33", a breakthrough moment in 20th-century American art. Publication is scheduled for March 2024; Brenda Bowen at the Book Group represented the author and artist.
Clarissa Wong while at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to Two Homes, One Heart by Jessica Young (l.), illustrated by Chelsea O'Byrne; Megan Ilnitzki will edit. A child adjusts to a new living situation post-divorce, with the help of the constant love and support of their parents. Publication is set for winter 2024; Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Hannah Mann at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Lauri Hornik at Rocky Pond Books has bought world rights to Charlotte Cheng's (l.) Icy Fruit, a picture book biography about how her grandfather started a thriving and delicious popsicle company in Taiwan; it will be illustrated by Vivian Mineker, for publication in summer 2024. Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Liza Kaplan at Viking has acquired world rights to Myrlie: A Voice of Hope by Nadia Salomon (l.) (Goodnight Ganesha), about the life of Myrlie Evers-Williams, the wife of civil rights activist Medgar Evers and the first woman to chair the NAACP, illustrated by London Ladd. Publication is slated for fall 2024; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Lori Nowicki at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Carol Hinz at Lerner/Carolrhoda has bought world rights to Best Believe by NoNieqa Ramos (l.) (Your Mama), a picture book biography in verse about Evelina López Antonetty, Lillian López, and Elba Cabrera, three sisters born in Puerto Rico who came to New York City as children and grew up to become activists. They worked to transform schools, libraries, and the arts, becoming known as the Tres Hermanas. Nicole Medina will illustrate in her picture book debut. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Karly Dizon at Fuse Literary Agency represented the author, and Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Emma Parkin at Barefoot Books has acquired The Perfect Sushi by Emily Satoko Seo (l.) (Our World: Japan), illustrated by Mique Moriuchi (Fresh Delicious). Miko wants to make the perfect sushi for her grandmother's birthday but must overcome her frustrations to discover the key ingredient. Publication is planned for spring 2023; the author and illustrator represented themselves in the deal for world rights.
Maria Dismondy and Adam Blackman at Cardinal Rule Press have bought world rights to Time Machine by playwright, author, and educator Pauline David-Sax (l.), illustrated by Melquea Smith. After saying something mean to her dear friend, a girl tries to travel back in time to erase her mistake, before learning that there might be an easier way to make amends. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; the author and illustrator were both unagented.
Joni Sussman at Kar-Ben has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to the picture book The Promise, written by Bridget Hodder (l.) and Fawzia Gilani-Williams (c.) (The Button Box) and illustrated by Cinzia Battistel (r.). In 1940s Morocco, a Sephardic Jewish boy, Moshe, must flee the village where he grew up, leaving behind his Muslim friend Hassan, who promises to keep their beloved Spanish-style garden alive. Will Moshe ever see Hassan or the garden again? A testament to the enduring power of friendship, inspired by real historical events. Publication is set for fall 2023; the authors represented themselves, and Tina Doffing at Astound US represented the illustrator.
Emily Settle at Feiwel and Friends has bought, in a two-book deal for world rights, Hanh Bui's (l.) debut The Yellow Áo Dài, a story of family and identity, in which a girl preparing to perform a Vietnamese Fan Dance learns of her grandmother's loving legacy through mending a traditional dress, and gathers her courage to share her culture and believe in herself. Minnie Phan (c.) will illustrate: publication is slated for spring 2023. Naomi Davis at BookEnds represented the author, and Andrea Morrison at Writers House represented the illustrator. The second book in the deal, Ánh's New Word, tells the story of a refugee child embracing her voice and speaking her first English word aloud with the help of her teacher, for publication in 2024. It will be illustrated by Bao Luu (r.), represented by Christine Hong at Astound US.
Zareen Jaffery at Kokila has acquired Aisha Saeed's YA magical realism novel, Forty Words for Love, in an exclusive submission. The love story follows two teens, Yas and Raf, as they reel from a tragic death and the economic collapse of their town. When a mysterious family arrives full of questionable promises, the townspeople must decide whether to break apart or heal. Publication is scheduled for August 2023. Taylor Martindale Kean at Full Circle Literary brokered the deal for world rights; Saeed is now represented by Faye Bender at the Book Group.
Sara Miller at DC Comics has bought world rights to The Strange Case of Harleen and Harley, a YA graphic novel by (l.) Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely), illustrated by Jenn St-Onge. A sapphic spin on Harley Quinn, Harleen finds herself sharing her body with Harley in this Jekyll and Hyde story and discovering that maybe evil isn't so bad—as long as she doesn't get caught. Publication is set for May 2023; Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House represented the author, and Charlie Olsen at InkWell Management represented the illustrator.
Eileen Rothschild at Wednesday Books has acquired Romina Garber's YA fantasy Castle of the Cursed, in an exclusive submission. Veronica Mars meets Mexican Gothic in this story about a teen who is the sole survivor of a mysterious attack that claims the lives of her parents and is determined to use the skills she learned from her father to seek the killer. Her investigation leads her to her family's ancestral Gothic castle in Spain, where she unearths long-buried family secrets and a lineup of suspects, including an undead boy only she can see. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary Agency did the deal for North American rights.
Liz Szabla at Feiwel and Friends has bought, in a preempt, debut-author Kalela Williams's YA novel, The Tangleroot Papers. When a Black teen finds the grave of an unmarried white teen and her baby in a plantation cemetery, she feels compelled to uncover her story—even if it means inflaming the scars of a racially troubled town, and widening a longstanding rift with her mother. Publication is slated for winter 2024; Allison Remcheck at Stimola Literary Studio handled the deal for North American rights.
Patty Rice at Andrews McMeel has acquired a new novel by Schneider Family Book Award winner Shari Green, titled Song of Freedom, Song of Dreams. Set against the 1989 Leipzig protest movement that brought about the collapse of the Berlin Wall, it follows a 16-year-old classical pianist whose dreams of a life shaped by music and travel are challenged when the Stasi pressure her to act as an informant against a fellow piano student and friend, and she must decide between integrity or duty, family or love. Publication is set for March 2024; Amy Elizabeth Bishop at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal for world rights.
Hannah Hill at Delacorte Press has bought, in a preempt, It Happened to Anna by Tehlor Kay Mejia (the Paola Santiago series) and a second standalone book. This middle grade contemporary horror novel follows a girl who is being literally haunted by loneliness in the form of a vengeful ghost, until a new friendship upends her life and threatens the ghost's hold over her. Publication is scheduled for summer 2024; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret brokered the deal for world rights.
Dana Chidiac at Holt has acquired a middle grade novel by Sarah Kapit, author of Schneider Family Honor-winning Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen. Second Chance Summer follows two ex-best friends who inadvertently sign up for the same summer theatre camp, and major drama ensues. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Jennifer Laughran at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
Emilia Rhodes at Clarion Books has bought Sarah Everett's middle-grade debut The Probability of Everything, a contemporary novel about Kemi Carter, an aspiring scientist who loves statistics and facts, as she navigates grief and loss at a moment when life as she knows it changes forever. Publication is slated for summer 2023; Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media handled the deal for world rights.
Margot Blankier at Tundra Books has acquired Zoe Persico's debut middle-grade graphic novel, How to Talk to Your Succulent. When Adara and her father move from California to Michigan after her mother's death, Adara discovers she has an unusual magical power and can talk to plants—but she learns that talking and communicating are two different things, in this story about loneliness, empathy, and learning to speak up for yourself. Publication is set for spring 2025; Natascha Morris at the Tobias Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Allison Cohen at Running Press Kids has acquired, at auction, author amanda lovelace's debut middle grade nonfiction, an illustrated young readers' adaptation of make your own magic: a beginner's guide to self-empowering witchcraft that helps aspiring witchlings build a realistic practice from the ground up. Publication is scheduled for fall 2024; Lauren Spieller at Triada US brokered the deal for world rights.
Joy Bean at Arctis Books USA has bought the first two books in the Dagfrid, Viking Girl early chapter book series written by Agnès Mathieu-Daudé (l.) and illustrated by Olivier Tallec (c.). Quirky and bold, Dagfrid is not like other Viking girls. For starters, she has no interest in following the rules for traditional Viking maidens such as wearing her hair in ear buns, sweeping the floors of the hut, and never getting to explore other lands. So she takes it upon herself to create the life she wants to live. Both books will be translated from the French by Nanette McGuinness (r.) and will be published in spring 2023. Holly Powell at L'école des loisirs did the deal for world English rights.
Allyn Johnston and Danielle Collins at S&S/Beach Lane Books have acquired world rights to Sourgrass by Hope Lim (l.), illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani. In this picture book about two best friends with a special connection, when one friend moves away, an unexpected reminder rekindles shared memories and inspires hope. Publication is slated for spring 2024; Tanusri Prasanna at DeFiore and Company represented the author, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the illustrator.
Angus Yuen-Killick at Red Comet Press has bought the picture book Too Many Rabbits (Troppi Conigli), written by Davide Calì (l.) and illustrated by Emanuele Benetti. The story tells of two children whose father finally agrees to take them to the pet store to buy a rabbit; a counting adventure ensues when they see an irresistible 2-for-1 offer. Yuen-Killick will translate and a spring 2023 publication is planned; Italian publisher Kite Edizioni sold world English rights.
Yasemin Uçar at Kids Can Press has acquired world rights to JaNay Brown-Wood's (l.) These Are the Seeds, a picture book written as a cumulative tale showing that while a number of elements are needed within a garden ecosystem to help a garden grow, balance is key. Katie Scott will edit and Olivia Amoah will illustrate, for publication in spring 2024. Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Paige Terlip at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Marilyn Brigham at Amazon/Two Lions has bought world English rights to Ruby and Lonely by Patrice Karst (l.) (The Invisible String), and illustrated by Kayla Harren. The picture book is about a girl who has a big problem with feeling lonely, and who is all alone with her problem, until one afternoon she gives her problem a name—Lonely—a seemingly small but significant decision. Publication is set for fall 2023; Suzy Evans at Suzy Evans Literary Agency represented the author, and Marietta B. Zacker at Gallt and Zacker Literary represented the illustrator.
Sarah Rockett at Sleeping Bear Press has acquired world rights to A Pigeon in Paris, written by Paige Howard (l.), daughter of director Ron Howard, to be illustrated by Joanie Stone. This story follows a young pigeon named Petite as she musters the courage to fly with her siblings and mother. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; the author represented herself, and Claire Easton Morance at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Kayla Tostevin at Page Street Kids has bought world rights to Piano Wants to Play by debut author-illustrator Colleen Kong-Savage, in which a piano learns the importance of voice through its bonds with the children who play it. Publication is planned for winter 2024; Caryn Wiseman at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author-illustrator.
Meg Gaertner at Jolly Fish Press has acquired Jack the Runaway Terrier, a picture book by author-illustrator Gill McLean. When a mischievous terrier seeks adventure beyond his farm, he bites off more than he can chew. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Gwen Bennett at the Rights Solution sold North American rights.