Ruta Rimas at Razorbill has acquired, at auction, world rights to Lying in the Deep by Diana Urban (All Your Twisted Secrets). In the YA romantic murder mystery, a young woman jilted by her ex and best friend discovers they're onboard her semester-long cruise study program and develops an unhealthy obsession, leading to a shocking murder; desperate to clear her name, the young woman and her new crush must race to find the killer. Publication is set for summer 2023; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich, & Bourret did the deal for the author and Temple Hill Entertainment.
Daniel Ehrenhaft at Blackstone Publishing has bought The Last Love Song by 19-year-old debut author Kalie Holford. A queer YA romance inspired by Mamma Mia with a dash of Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes, the story follows the daughter of a late country superstar who wrestles with leaving home, first love, and her true ambitions—all while following clues on a journey through her celebrity mother's hidden past. Publication is tentatively scheduled for summer 2024; Alex Rice at CAA sold North American print, ebook, and audio rights.
Eileen Rothschild at Wednesday Books has acquired Ellie Haycock Is Totally Normal by debut author Gretchen Schreiber, about 16-year-old Ellie who, after a mystery illness sends her back to the hospital where she spent most of her childhood, finds a group of friends that help her renegotiate her feelings around romance, friendship and what the word "normal" really means. Publication is planned for spring/summer 2024; Alex Rice at CAA brokered the two-book deal for North American rights.
Lauren Knowles at Page Street has bought Tori Bovalino's My Throat an Open Grave, a Labyrinth-inspired horror in which a struggling high school student must brave the dangers of the wood that borders her small town to save her baby brother from the being that took him, and face the truth of how her life went so wrong. Publication is slated for winter 2024; Amelia Appel and Uwe Stender at Triada US negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Krista Vitola at Simon & Schuster has acquired, in a two-book deal, Min and the Perilous Pipe and an untitled middle grade novel by debut author Avione Lee. Pitched as Amari and the Night Brothers meets Nevermoor and inspired by the Pied Piper fairy tale, the story centers on a boy discovering his lost magical culture and finding his place in a dangerous new world. Publication is set for 2024; Chloe Seager at Madeleine Milburn did the deal for North American rights.
Kelsey Horton at Delacorte Press has bought middle grade horror novel Dread Detention by Jennifer Killick. Detention turns even scarier when a group of classmates who discover the dangers lurking in their school. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Juliette Clark of Farshore handled the deal for U.S. rights.
Karen Boss at Charlesbridge has acquired world rights to The Kid, a middle grade historical fiction debut by Jeff Schill. The Western follows young Henry, who's desperately trying to keep his orphaned brothers together on the family farm; Herbert from Philadelphia, who edits famous magazine stories written by and about The Kid; and Snake-Eye Sam, who reckons he can take down The Kid in a blaze of glory. Everything comes to a head at high noon in Destiny, Colo. Publication is planned for spring 2024; the author represented himself.
Alison Weiss at Pixel+Ink has bought Edgar Award finalist Erin Dionne's Shiver-by-the-Sea chapter book series, beginning with Bella and the Vampire, in which a girl and her mother move to a run-down Massachusetts beach community to fix up the old movie theater, only to discover the town is filled with magic and that the monsters who secretly live there need her help. Publication is slated for summer 2023; Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the three-book deal for world rights.
Margaret Raymo at Little, Brown has acquired world English rights to The Snips by Raúl the Third and Elaine Bay, a young graphic novel series about a crew of scissor-wielding hairdressers saving their city from evildoers bent on tonsorial destruction. Books one and two are scheduled for fall 2024; Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency did the three-book deal.
Catherine Frank at Peachtree has bought world rights to Buddy and Bea, a chapter book series by Jan Carr (l.) (Star of the Party), illustrated by Kris Mukai, in a three-book deal. The series follows dreamy Buddy and irrepressible new-girl Bea, two second graders thrown together as classmates, whose combustible personality combo ignites numerous, humorous flare-ups. The first two books, Not Really Buddies and Tiny Tornadoes, will publish in summer 2023, with another title to follow in spring 2024. Andrea Cascardi at Transatlantic Agency represented the author, and the illustrator was unagented.
Harold Underdown at Kane Press has acquired Firefighters to the Rescue and two additional books in the Neighborhood Helpers series by author-illustrator R.W. Alley (illustrator of Paddington Bear). The picture books will star animal characters who do important jobs to help their community, and will feature maps, diagrams, and cross-section illustrations of the vehicles and equipment they use. The first is set for publication in fall 2023; Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Mary Lee Donovan at Candlewick Press has bought Paloma Voló by author-illustrator María J. Guarda, and a second untitled picture book. In this story about family, childhood and the journey towards identity, the country in which Paloma lives is no longer the same, and like the birds, she will have to migrate with her parents in search of a new home. Publication is slated for fall 2024; Essie White at Storm Literary Agency did the two-book deal for world rights, all languages except Spanish.
Jonah Heller at Peachtree has acquired We Light Up the Sky, an authorial debut for illustrator Nick Maland. This picture book follows Little Bear as she cheers up Old Bear, who isn't thrilled to be outdoors. But when they discover an old instrument and work together to fix it, Old Bear finds his spirit lifted with music and good company. Publication is planned for spring 2024; Alan Lynch at Alan Lynch Artists sold world rights.
Esther Cajahuaringa at Union Square Kids has bought, in a preempt, author-illustrator Pam Fong's picture book, Hedgehog and the Log, about a hedgehog who finds a way to move forward and rebuild when his house falls apart. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Abigail Frank at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates negotiated the deal for world rights.
Lee Wade at Random House Studio has acquired the picture book adaptation of U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo's (l.) renowned poem Remember, illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Michaela Goade. This book by two acclaimed Indigenous creators invite young readers to pause and reflect on family, nature, their heritage, and the world around them. Publication is set for March 21, 2023; Jin Auh at the Wylie Agency represented the author, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the illustrator.
Clarissa Wong at Scholastic has bought, in a 10-way auction, Not Yet: The Story of an Unlikely Skater, a picture book by Zahra Lari (l.), the first figure skater to compete in a hijab in the Olympics trials; Hadley Davis (c.), who penned the classic Ice Princess movie that inspired Zahra to learn to skate; and illustrator Sara Alfageeh (r.), co-author of Squire, about Lari's drive to become a figure skater from gliding across the floors of her house in her socks to her first time on ice, as she repeatedly says "not yet" to naysayers—including herself—who try to convince her to stop trying. Publication is planned for 2024; Charlie Olsen at InkWell Management represented the authors for world English rights.
Jennifer Besser and Brian Geffen at Macmillan have acquired for Roaring Brook Basketball Dreams by NBA All-Star and philanthropist Chris Paul (l.), illustrated by Courtney Lovett. This picture book chronicles young Chris's passionate pursuit of his basketball dreams and the lessons he learned both on and off the court from his beloved grandfather Papa Chilly. Publication is slated for January 2023; Jessica Holtz and Anthony Mattero at CAA represented the author, and Jemiscoe Chambers-Black at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Margaret Anastas at Flamingo has preempted world rights to Tara Lazar's (l.) Flat Cat, illustrated by Pete Oswald, about a cat who is flat, and likes it like that, until one day everything changes he becomes… fluffy. The two-book deal was brokered by Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency for the author, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions for the illustrator, for publication in fall 2023.
Courtney Code at Abrams has bought world rights to the picture book Dare to Be Daring by Chelsea Lin Wallace (l.), which follows a cast of children daring to try something that scares them, like playing a sport, trying a new food, and sitting in the dentist chair; Lian Cho will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Jennifer Rofé at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Rebecca Sherman at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Luana Kay Horry at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to the Legends of Hip Hop board book series by music producer Pen Ken (l.), illustrated by Emmy-nominated animation director Saxton Moore, in a four-book deal. Some of hip hop's most influential luminaries, including 2Pac, Queen Latifah, and Biggie Smalls, will be celebrated in these short biographies. The first two books are set for fall 2023; Karen Kilpatrick at East West Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself.
Holly Rice at Disney Press has bought world rights to Stitch Crashes Disney by Phaea Crede (l.), illustrated by Steph Laberis, which features Stitch (of Lilo & Stitch fame) as the lovable monster who crashes his way through many iconic Disney films, constantly escaping and outsmarting the reader. Publication is planned for summer 2024; Moe Ferrara at BookEnds Literary represented the author, and Robbin Brosterman at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Allison Hunter Hill at Starry Forest Books has acquired world rights to Busy Feet by Marcia Berneger (l.), illustrated by Susanna Chapman, a rhyming picture book that follows busy children's feet through an active day. Publication is slated for spring 2023; the author represented herself, and Andrea Morrison at Writers House represented the illustrator.