Alexa Pastor at Simon and Schuster has acquired, at auction, debut contemporary YA thriller, Their Vicious Games by Joelle Wellington. The novel, described as Ready or Not meets The Bachelor, follows a Black teen, Adina Walker, who knows what it means to be twice as good to get half as much. But after a rash lapse in control, Adina's only way back into the Ivy League is to participate in a prestigious competition in which ambitious young women are selected to compete in three mysterious events. When the stakes turn deadly, will being twice as good be enough to survive? Publication is set for summer 2023; Quressa Robinson, now at Folio Literary, sold North American rights while at Nelson Literary.
Alyssa Miele at Quill Tree has bought, at auction, The Girl Next Door by Cecilia Vinesse. The YA romantic comedy follows bisexual film club nerd Cleo's attempts to make her ex jealous by pretending to date his new girlfriend's ex-girlfriend, who happens to be Cleo's ultra-cool next-door neighbor. As Cleo gets deeper into the charade, she realizes why "fake dating" is such a tried-and-true movie trope—and that her heart's in danger of being broken again. Publication is planned for summer 2023; Molly Ker Hawn at the Bent Agency did the two-book deal for North American rights.
Brittany Rubiano at Disney Hyperion has acquired, in a two-book deal, YA author Morgan Matson's Promchanted, a YA rom-com about two teens who, en route to the prom, find themselves in the Disney film Sleeping Beauty and must team up to keep the film's events on track. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Emily van Beek negotiated the deal for world rights.
Eliza Swift and Wendy McClure at Sourcebooks Fire have bought Natalie D. Richards's Four Found Dead, a YA thriller in which a group of movie theater employees must fight for their lives when they end up trapped in an abandoned mall complex. But one of them is keeping a secret, and their manager will kill them off one by one if it means nobody ever finds out. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media brokered the deal for world English rights.
Holly West at Feiwel and Friends has acquired MarcyKate Connolly (l.) and Kathryn Holmes's feminist/STEMinist middle grade, The Thirteenth Circle. In this dual POV novel, two seventh-grade girls—Cat, a true believer in the paranormal, and Dani, a science-minded skeptic—team up to investigate a crop circle phenomenon for the chance to win a science award. But as the girls get closer to the truth, it becomes clear someone else is also looking for answers, and will take down anyone who gets in their way. Publication is set for winter 2024; Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media represented Connolly, and Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Birch Path Literary represented Holmes.
Charlie Ilgunas at Little Bee Books/Yellow Jacket has bought North American rights to The Secret of the Dragon Gems, an epistolary middle grade novel co-authored by Sydney Taylor Notable author Chris Baron (l.) and Newbery Honor author Rajani LaRocca. The story follows two kids who keep in touch by letter, email, and video chat after they discover some strange rocks together at a summer camp, and wonder whether they might be more than just rocks. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Rena Rossner at the Deborah Harris Literary Agency represented Baron, and Brent Taylor at Triada US represented LaRocca.
Annette Pollert-Morgan at Sourcebooks Young Readers has acquired world rights to Bram Stoker Award-winning author Jeff Strand's middle-grade debut, It Watches in the Dark, about twins who seek medical help in a remote village after their father is in a canoeing accident, only to discover the scarecrow that stands watch in town may have a stronger hold over the residents than expected. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; the author represented himself in the two-book deal.
Anna Bloom at Scholastic Press has bought world rights to JaNay Brown-Wood's Love Puppies, a four-book chapter book series that follows a team of magical puppies as they use their powers to help children through tough social situations. It will be edited by Jenne Abramowitz and Lerina Velazquez, for publication beginning in spring 2023. Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author.
Deirdre Jones at Little, Brown has acquired Only by Airlie Anderson (Neither). Exploring the spectrum between introversion and extroversion, the picture book tells the story of a bird that doesn't like the same loud and boisterous activities as its friends, but also doesn't want to feel lonely. Publication is slated for winter 2024; the author represented herself in the deal for world rights.
Kaylan Adair at Candlewick has bought Something Good by Kenneth Kraegel in an exclusive submission. In this picture book, a bad day (and a bad attitude) gets turned around in a miraculous way. Publication is planned for fall 2024; Allison Remcheck at Stimola Literary Studio handled the deal for world rights.
Christianne Jones at Capstone has acquired world rights to Together, the debut picture book by author-illustrator Patricia Kreiser. The story, which addresses the topics of loss and separation, follows two otters who are always connected—until suddenly they are not. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Ronnie Ann Herman at the Herman Agency negotiated the deal.
Emma Ledbetter at Abrams has bought world rights in a seven-house auction to The Carpet and Sour Cherries by debut author Dezh Azaad (l.). Both picture books explore the concept of home from the perspective of an Afghan refugee child: The Carpet tells the story of a carpet that connects the family, and Sour Cherries is a love letter to the child's mother and memories of picking and preparing sour cherry delicacies together. Debut children's book illustrator Nan Cao will illustrate both titles. Publication is set for spring 2023 and spring 2024 respectively; Erzsi Deak at Hen&ink Literary Studio did the two-book deal.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books has acquired world rights to The Day Madear Voted, a picture book by author and publisher Wade Hudson (l.), inspired by his mother voting for the first time as a Black American in 1969; Don Tate will illustrate. Publication is slated for summer 2024; the author represented himself, and Caryn Wiseman at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Catherine Laudone at S&S/Paula Wiseman Books has bought world rights to Lights Out: A Movement to Save Migrating Birds, written by Jessica Stremer (l.) and illustrated by Bonnie Pang. This nonfiction picture book illuminates the Lights Out movement and celebrates the role that children and communities play in saving migratory birds. Publication is slated for spring 2024; Natascha Morris at the Tobias Literary Agency represented the author, and Kate Kendrick at Astound US represented the illustrator.
Susan Dobinick at Astra Young Readers has acquired The Birthday Party by Rainie Oet (l.), illustrated by Mathias Ball, a picture book about a nonbinary child who is swept off to their surprise birthday party full of dreamlike creatures and magical moments. Publication is planned for spring 2024; Abigail Frank at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates represented the author, and Natascha Morris at the Tobias Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Meriam Metoui at Viking has bought world rights to The Tugboat and the Silver Moon, a picture book in which the titular friends help a cargo ship on its way after it gets stuck in a canal, which also informs readers about tides and gravitational forces, by Red Truck author Kersten Hamilton (l.), illustrated by Barry Gott (Moon Camp). Publication is set for summer 2024; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary represented the illustrator.
Allison Cohen at Running Press Kids has acquired world rights to I Am a Thundercloud by Leah Moser (l.), illustrated by Marie Hermansson, a picture book that teaches children how to self-regulate a storm of big feelings. Publication is scheduled for winter 2024. Dan Cramer at Page Turner Literary Agency represented the author, and Caryn Wiseman at Andrea Brown Literary represented the illustrator.
Karen Boss at Charlesbridge has bought world rights to Kindred Spirits: Shilombish Ittibachvffa, a picture book by Leslie Stall Widener (Choctaw) (l.) and illustrated by Johnson Yazzie (Navajo). This book tells the true pay-it-forward story of the friendship between the Choctaw Nation, the Irish people, and the Navajo and Hopi Nations that grew from a shared experience of unjust suffering and has spanned seven generations. Publication is slated for spring 2024; Kelly Dyksterhouse represented the author while at Raven Quill Literary Agency, and the illustrator represented himself.
Kayla Tostevin at Page Street Kids has acquired world rights to Building a Beak: How a Toucan's Rescue Inspired the World by Becca McMurdie (l.), illustrated by Diana Hernández, the true story of Grecia, an injured toucan in Costa Rica whose rescue and 3-D-printed beak helped lead to big steps in protection for rainforest wildlife. Publication is set for spring 2024; Joyce Sweeney at the Seymour Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Kate DePalma at Barefoot Books has bought world rights to Our World: Brazil, by Ana Siqueira (l.) (If Your Babysitter Is a Bruja), illustrated by Ana Matsusaki (A Colecionadora de Cabeças); Autumn Allen will edit. Ride the ônibus to the beach, drink sugar cane juice at the feira, and more in this board book that draws on the author and illustrator's lived experience of daily life in Brazil. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Barb McNally at Sleeping Bear Press has acquired world rights to If the Rivers Run Free by Andrea Debbink (l.) (The Wild World Handbook), illustrated by Nicole Wong, a picture book inspired by "daylighting"—the process of excavating and restoring urban rivers that had once been rerouted underground—that follows the rivers locked up beneath cities around the world until a group of people forms a plan to set them free, igniting a movement. Publication is slated for fall 2023; Reiko Davis at DeFiore and Company represented the author, and Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary represented the illustrator.
Tiffany Shelton at Wednesday Books has acquired Night of the Living Queers, a YA horror anthology co-edited by Shelly Page (l.) and Alex Brown, and exclusively featuring queer authors of color putting fresh spins on classic horror tropes and tales. The anthology set on the same Halloween—during a blue moon, no less—explores a night when anything is possible. Contributors include Kalynn Bayron, Ryan Douglass, Sara Farizan, Maya Gittelman, Kosoko Jackson, Em Liu, Vanessa Montalban, Ayida Shonibar, Tara Sim, Trang Thanh Tran, and Rebecca Kim Wells. Publication is set for fall 2023; Rebecca Podos at Rees Literary represented Page, and Renee Nyen at kt literary represented Brown in the deal for world English rights.
Brittany Rubiano at Disney Hyperion has signed Jen Calonita to write three books in a new YA series, The Enchanters, which reimagines the origin stories of some of Disney's most beloved magical characters, starting with the Fairy Godmother. Publication for book one is scheduled for fall 2024; Dan Mandel at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates negotiated the deal for world rights.
Stacey Barney at Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books has bought world rights to Nadine Pinede's Home Before Dark, a debut YA historical novel-in-verse set in 1930s Haiti, where 15-year-old Lucille, inspired by a dream, challenges the authorities of her village and exposes corruption. As a result, she is forced to leave home and takes refuge as a servant for an American woman who is conducting fieldwork in Haiti on a Guggenheim fellowship. That woman is none other than Zora Neale Hurston; Lucille is based on a real person, briefly referenced in Hurston's nonfiction work Tell My Horse. Publication is slated for fall 2024; Rubin Pfeffer at Rubin Pfeffer Content did the deal.
Rachel Diebel at Feiwel and Friends has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to Elisa A. Bonnin's Exiles of Ellery West, a dark academia YA novel following a queer Filipino-American girl who returns as a probationary student to the acclaimed Ellery Academy of Magic, only to find her past—an accident involving dark magic that caused the death of her best friend—is far from behind her, and teams up with the other probationary classmates to prevent more deaths, even if it risks having her magic sealed away forever. Publication is planned for spring 2024; Natalie Lakosil and Antoinette Van Sluytman at Irene Goodman Agency represented the author.
Claire Stetzer at Inkyard Press has bought debut author Amaka Egbe's Run Like a Girl, which follows 17-year-old Jadera, a high school track star who moves in with her estranged father only to find out her new school doesn't have a female track team, so she joins the boys' team instead. Publication is scheduled for summer 2024; Jemiscoe Chambers-Black at Andrea Brown Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Cassandra Pelham Fulton at Scholastic/Graphix has acquired, in a limited submission, Status, a middle-grade graphic novel written by (clockwise from top l.) Crystal Luxmore and Conor McCreery, illustrated by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb. The semiautobiographical story features Crystal, who has always been effortlessly popular, but when her family moves from a small town to a big city, she goes from being a "somebody" to a "nobody." Enter Dark Crystal, the little voice in Crystal's head who demands that they find a way to regain the status that she's lost. Publication is set for 2024; Tanya McKinnon at McKinnon Literary handled the deal for world rights.
Ellen Cormier at Dial has bought, in an exclusive submission, The Golem of Refuse by Newbery Honor author Kyle Lukoff, a middle grade fantasy about a Jewish trans youth fighting evil—human and otherwise—with his friends and community. Publication is slated for summer 2024, followed by an untitled middle grade novel; Saba Sulaiman at Talcott Notch Literary Services negotiated the deal for world rights.
Alyson Heller at Aladdin has acquired, in a preempt, The In-Between, a debut middle grade memoir told in verse by Katie Wingate. A girl and her family must start over after losing their home, all while Katie navigates life in-between homes, parents, childhood and young adulthood. Publication is planned for January 2023; Janine Kamouh at WME brokered the deal for North American rights.
Claire Tattersfield at Flamingo Books has bought world rights to Proper Badger Would Never! by debut author Lauren Glattly (l.). In the picture book, a rambunctious badger attends a human party and has some difficulty repressing his badger-like tendencies. Both will be illustrated by Rob Sayegh Jr. (I'm Not Scared, You're Scared!). Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Rachel Orr at Prospect Agency represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator in the two-book deal.
Emily Easton, while at Crown Books for Young Readers, acquired, in a two-book deal, world rights to See You on the Other Side, written by Rachel Montez Minor (l.) and illustrated by Mariyah Rahman; Sonali Fry will edit. It is a picture book about coping with loss, paired with the promise that loved ones will be reunited again. Publication is set for fall 2023; Lacy Lalene Lynch at Dupree Miller & Associates and Victoria Morris at Lexikat Artists represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Andrea Welch at Beach Lane has bought world rights to Not Just the Driver by Sara Ackerman (l.), illustrated by Robert Neubecker. This rhyming ode to transit workers who aren't always visible—mechanics, dispatchers, and maintenance workers—reminds readers that it takes a lot of us to make things go. Publication is planned for spring 2024; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Linda Pratt at Wernick & Pratt represented the illustrator.
Brett Duquette and Alli Brydon at Little Bee Books have acquired world rights to The Runaway Dosa by Suma Subramaniam (l.), illustrated by Parvati Pillai, a fairy tale mash-up of "The Gingerbread Man" and the traditional Tamil rhyme "Dosai Amma Dosai." Publication is slated for fall 2023; Miranda Paul at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and the artist represented herself.
Naomi Krueger at Beaming Books has bought world rights to Kiki Kicks by Jane Yolen (l.) (the How Do Dinosaurs… series) and debut author Ariel Stemple (c.), illustrated by John Ledda (r.) (Big Bear Was Not the Same). This picture book follows Kiki at her first karate lesson where she seeks to regain some of her power, peace, and confidence after being bullied at school. Publication is set for October 2023; Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown Ltd. represented the authors, and Ana Crespo at East West Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Esther Cajahuaringa at Union Square Kids has acquired, at auction, world rights to Goodnight School by Catherine Bailey (l.), illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld, a picture book about a school and everything in it settling down to sleep. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Kathleen Rushall at Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated a two-book deal for the author, and Rachel Orr at Prospect Agency represented the illustrator.
Lisa Rosinsky at Barefoot Books has bought world rights to Food for the Future: Sustainable Farms Around the World by Mia Wenjen (l.) (co-founder of Multicultural Children's Book Day), to be illustrated by Robert Sae-Heng. The book lists 12 ways we can grow food while caring for our planet, from vertical gardens in the skyscrapers of Singapore to ancient terrace farms in Chile. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Lary Rosenblatt at 22MediaWorks represented the author, and Jess Lomax at Inkling Illustration represented the illustrator.
Allison Hunter Hill at Starry Forest Books has acquired world rights to The Birds' Christmas by Olivia Armstrong (l.), illustrated by Mira Miroslavova. Birds of every feather flock to the Nativity with gifts for the newborn baby in this retelling of a traditional European folktale. Publication is slated for fall 2023; the author represented herself, and Chad W. Beckerman at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.