Katherine Harrison and Gianna Lakenauth at Knopf have acquired, in an exclusive submission, Temporary Bodies by Anuradha D. Rajurkar, a YA gothic thriller about a teen girl who seeks a fresh start in India after the death of her sister, but discovers that the abandoned building her parents are renovating into a boutique hotel has a dark history as a birthing hospital, haunted by restless spirits and the twisted legacy of colonialism. Publication is set for summer 2024; Alexander Slater at GreenburgerKids did the deal for North American rights.
Rachel Diebel at Feiwel and Friends has bought Ophelia After All author Racquel Marie's This Is Me Trying, about two estranged childhood best friends who reconnect over the course of their senior year of high school to heal, forgive, and grieve their mutual soulmate years after his death tore them apart. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Thao Le at the Dijkstra Agency negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Christen Karniski at Rowman & Littlefield has acquired Elisa Boxer's YA anthology, Dear Younger Me: What 30 Trailblazing Women Wish They'd Known as Girls. This anthology features profiles of inspirational women from international fields, along with life advice they have written to their younger selves. Publication is slated for March 2024; Steven Chudney at the Chudney Agency sold world English rights.
Laura Schreiber at Union Square Kids has bought The Champion of Draeland, a debut middle-grade fantasy graphic novel written and illustrated by Eric Lide, in a six-figure preempt. In the story, Orin's life is uprooted when he discovers he is the reincarnation of a great hero and destined to defeat the evil Fiendlord, a quest that would be much easier if he didn't keep befriending the Fiends he's supposed to destroy. Publication is planned for fall 2024; Tori Sharp at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency handled the two-book deal for world rights.
Alyson Day at HarperCollins has acquired North American rights to Haru, Zombie Dog Hero, written by Ellen Oh (Spirit Hunters), co-founder of We Need Diverse Books. The middle grade story follows a kidnapped dog, Haru, who has undergone illegal animal testing at an evil laboratory that causes a zombie apocalypse. When Haru turns into a zombie himself, it is his love for his human boy that keeps him from turning into a monster and helps save his family. Marietta B. Zacker at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency did the deal, with publication set for summer 2023.
Mary Kate Castellani at Bloomsbury has bought world rights to Camp Monster, first in a middle grade graphic novel series by Kate Messner (l.), illustrated by Falynn Koch. It's about a Yeti-operated summer camp that opens its doors to all kinds of monsters, leading to a season of unexpected challenges, pranks, and interlopers. Publication for the first book is scheduled for 2025, with two sequels to follow; Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Justin Krasner at Odd Dot has acquired world rights to The Me Experiment, written by Alli Brydon (l.) and illustrated by Harry Briggs, an interactive middle grade nonfiction book containing experiments—from silly to sweet to sincere—that will help kids become more aware of their bodies, their minds, their feelings, and the world around them. Publication is slated for fall 2023; Lori Nowicki and Claire Easton Morance at Painted Words brokered the deal.
Christy Ottaviano at Little, Brown/Ottaviano has bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to Big Bulldozer by Elise Broach (l.), illustrated by Kelly Murphy, the team behind Masterpiece and the Masterpiece Adventures series. This chapter book series features a lovable bulldozer living in a human family as he overcomes universal childhood milestones by staying true to himself. Publication for book one is planned for fall 2024; the author and illustrator represented themselves.
Maria Modugno at Random House Studio has acquired, in an exclusive submission, Stickler Loves the World by Lane Smith, a picture book about an unusual forest creature called Stickler who loves sharing his world and everything nature has to offer. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Steve Malk at Writers House negotiated the deal for world rights.
Angus Yuen-Killick at Red Comet Press has bought Yellow Butterfly by Ukrainian illustrator Oleksandr Shatokhin. The 72-page wordless picture book is the artist's response to the war in Ukraine seen through the eyes of a girl, providing an emotional journey through images of a war-torn land, as well as a message of hope for peace and freedom in the future. Publication is set for January 2023, ahead of the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Old Lion Publishing House in Ukraine sold world English rights.
Arthur Levine at Levine Querido has acquired world rights to Watercress author Andrea Wang (l.) and illustrator Youa Vang's picture book Worthy: The Brave and Capable Life of Joseph Pierce, based on the true story of a Chinese boy who was sold as a slave and worked to prove himself, eventually becoming a corporal during the Civil War and later, an American citizen, exemplifying the complexity of being Chinese American in the years before and after the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed. Publication is slated for spring 2024; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself.
Sylvie Frank at Disney-Hyperion has bought world rights to Impossible Possums by Justin Colón (l.), illustrated by James Rey Sanchez. In this picture book, a lonely possum with a flair for villainy attempts to create his very own henchman, but ditches the instructions to his new possum-making machine, leading to a series of mishaps. Publication is planned for fall 2024, with an untitled sequel in fall 2025; Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books has acquired world rights to Family of Friends, a picture book by Varsha Bajaj (l.) that celebrates chosen family when a girl's neighbor steps in to help make her birthday party special when her Nani is unable to attend. Ishaa Lobo will illustrate; publication is expected in summer 2025. Caryn Wiseman represented the author and Jennifer Rofé represented the illustrator, both with Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
Lauri Hornik at Penguin/Rocky Pond Books has bought, in a two-book deal, world rights to Searching for Mr. Johnson's Song, a picture book by debut author Ariel Vanece (l.), illustrated by Jade Orlando. This intergenerational story touches on community, dementia, and the power of music. Publication for the first book is set for summer 2025; Ana Crespo at East West Literary Agency represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Andrea Hall at Beaming Books has acquired world rights to Butterfly Dreams by Christine Van Zandt (l.) (A Brief History of Underpants), a narrative nonfiction picture book that shows how a monarch butterfly's life cycle continues after overwintering in Mexico; Alejandra Barajas will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Liza Fleissig at Liza Royce Agency represented the author, and Erin Tisdel at Advocate Art represented the illustrator.
Chris Krones at Clarion Books has bought world rights to Marzieh Abbas's (l.) as yet untitled picture book biography featuring Pakistan's first woman architect, Yasmeen Lari, about how she innovated and engineered zero-carbon, low-cost rehabilitation for villagers. Hoda Hadadi will illustrate; publication is planned for fall 2024. Lynnette Novak at the Seymour Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Julie Strauss-Gabel at Dutton has acquired Star Splitter, a YA novel by Matthew J. Kirby. It's 2198, and 16-year-old Jessica Mathers wakes up in a lander that has crashed onto the surface of an alien planet—one she was supposed to be viewing from the research vessel orbiting above. The corridors of the lander are empty and covered in bloody handprints, and outside are the marked graves of strangers. Jessica must unravel the mystery of the destruction all around her—and the questionable intentions of a familiar stranger. Publication is set for April 2023; Michael Bourret at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret did the deal for North American rights.
Maggie Lehrman at Abrams has bought Grief in the Fourth Dimension, a speculative YA novel by Jennifer Yu (Four Weeks, Five People). After their deaths, two teens find themselves as roommates in a mysterious white room—one that shows them their loved ones' lives on a large TV, grants their wishes with a sardonic sense of humor, and reveals an unexpected connection between their lives... and deaths. Publication is slated for spring 2024; Elana Roth Parker at Laura Dail Literary Agency sold world English rights.
Andrew Karre at Dutton has acquired E.K. Johnston's YA novel The Good Girls, about five friends who use their privilege to exact revenge during their last year of high school. Publication is planned for 2024; Josh Adams at Adams Literary negotiated the two-book deal for world English rights.
Nick Thomas at Levine Querido has bought Those Who Saw the Sun, the debut work by journalist Jaha Nailah Avery. The YA nonfiction book collects oral histories told by African Americans who grew up in the South during the time of Jim Crow. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; the author represented herself in the deal for world rights.
Liz Szabla at Feiwel and Friends has preempted Gone Wolf by National Book Award finalist and Coretta Scott King–John Steptoe Award winner Amber McBride. In her debut middle-grade novel, McBride explores the effects of generational trauma, the pandemic, racism and ultimately, resilience and empowerment from the perspective of a girl who resides in an America where the Southern states have seceded from the rest of the country. Publication is set for fall 2023; Rena Rossner at the Deborah Harris Agency sold North American rights.
Della Farrell at Holiday House has acquired debut author Carol Williams's The Supernatural Files of CJ Delaney, in which 12-year-old cub reporter CJ investigates the biggest story in her small town's history—a mystery filled with lost pets, a witch, sacrifices, possession, and hellhounds. But when all answers point to someone close, CJ stands to not only lose her byline but the scariest thing of all—the people and pet she loves. Publication is planned for spring 2024; Jemiscoe Chambers-Black at Andrea Brown Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
David Linker at HarperCollins has bought world rights to a chapter book series, The Fintastical Tales of Mari A. Fisch by Monica Brown (l.) (the Lola Levine series), in a three-book deal. The books star a mermaid-princess-spy who's sent above-land to figure out why humans are polluting the ocean so much; Emily Mendoza will illustrate. Publication will begin in winter 2024; Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Dana Chidiac at Henry Holt has acquired, in a 10-bidder, eight-house auction, What Does a Mess Make?, a celebration of childhood, free play, and the messy magic of the imagination, plus two additional books by debut picture book author-illustrator Bee Johnson. The books are slated for publication in spring/summer 2024, fall 2025, and fall 2026, respectively. Molly O'Neill at Root Literary brokered the three-book deal for world rights.
Anne Hoppe at Clarion Books has bought North American rights to The Iguanodon's Horn, written and illustrated by Sean Rubin (This Very Tree: A Story of 9/11, Resilience, and Regrowth). The picture book traces the history of how artists and scientists have imagined dinosaurs, from the earliest days of paleontology to the present. Marietta B. Zacker at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency represented the author, with publication scheduled for fall 2023.
Farrin Jacobs at Little, Brown has acquired world rights to Daddy & Me, Side by Side, a picture book written by Grammy-nominated musician Pierce Freelon (l.), illustrated by Nadia Fisher in her picture book debut, which touches on grieving the loss of a loved one as a father and son recreate old memories and make new ones in a day-long hiking adventure. Publication is planned for summer 2023; Carrie Hannigan at Hannigan Getzler represented the author, and Jemiscoe Chambers-Black at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the artist.
Deirdre Jones at Little, Brown has bought two picture books: What Happened to You? by James Catchpole (l.) and a companion title You're So Amazing! by James and Lucy Catchpole (c.), both titles illustrated by Karen George (r). What Happened to You? tells the story of a boy with a limb difference who is trying to play pirates at the playground, but keeps being bombarded with questions and silly suggestions about what happened to his leg, until the group finally realizes there's no need for them to know—and that they're wasting valuable playtime. Lizzie Bishop sold North American rights on behalf of Faber & Faber, with U.S. publication set for winter 2023 and winter 2024.