Rachel Sonis at Penguin Workshop has won at auction North American rights to Robert Mgrdich Apelian's Fustuk, a Ghibli-esque Persian/Armenian YA fantasy graphic novel that follows 17-year-old Kouchka Fustuk, the youngest child in a family of chefs, who must prove he can cook a dish to rival his legendary father's and please a Djinn enough to save his dying mother's life. Publication is set for fall 2025; Jennifer Azantian at Azantian Literary Agency did the deal.
Foyinsi Adegbonmire at Feiwel and Friends has acquired, in a preempt, Love in 280 Characters or Less by Ravynn K. Stringfield, in which a Black college freshman figures out what it means to be black and collegiate all the while falling in love for the first time on Twitter. The story will be told in a mixed-media format of texts, tweets, DMs, and blog posts. Publication is planned for spring 2024; Leah Pierre at Ladderbird Literary Agency sold world English rights.
Arthur A. Levine at Levine Querido has bought CG Malburi's debut YA novel Markless, set in a world where a person's worth is determined by the strength of the mark on their palm, until a Markless witch and a powerful princess fall in love and upend everything. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Tamar Rydzinski at Context Literary Agency sold world English and Spanish rights.
Sarah McCabe at McElderry Books has acquired The Revenant Games by Morris Award finalist Margie Fuston, a YA fantasy pitched as All of Us Villains meets Kingdom of the Wicked. When Bly enters a competition held by warring vampire and witch kingdoms, she has one goal: deliver a vampire prince to the witches so they'll resurrect her sister, who's only dead because of Bly. But things get complicated when she starts to fall for the vampire she's supposed to hand over. Publication is slated for spring 2024; Rebecca Podos at Rees Literary Agency sold world rights.
Samia Fakih at First Second has bought Flora, a YA fantasy romance graphic novel by Paulina Ganucheau (Lemon Bird), about an independent loner who is making her way in the world by working odd jobs, until she meets Briar, a mysterious (and hot) plant man with Big Himbo Energy and a sinister secret. Publication is scheduled for 2025; Charlie Olsen at InkWell Management sold world rights.
Kelsey Horton at Delacorte has acquired, at auction, bestselling author Natalie D. Richards' middle grade debut, 15 Secrets to Survival. After a school project ends in disaster, four childhood enemies must spend a weekend with eccentric ex-camp counselor Uncle Hornsby to learn the value of teamwork. When Hornsby disappears, they have to navigate the wilderness with nothing but pages from his survival handbook and each other before the sun goes down. Publication is planned for fall 2023; Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media sold world English rights.
Emilia Sowersby and Emily Feinberg at Roaring Brook Press have won at auction, in a six-figure, two-book deal, Craig Kofi Farmer's debut middle grade fantasy novel Kwame Powell: The Escape from Asamando. After the death of his grandmother, 12-year-old Kwame, who never fully identified with his Ghanian roots, is dropped into the Ghanian Underworld, where he embarks on a journey of self-discovery and uncovers his connection to the dead Mother Earth, and needs to outsmart trickster gods to find his way back to the living. Publication is set for spring 2024 and spring 2025; Emily Forney at BookEnds Literary sold world English rights.
Liz Kossnar at Little, Brown has bought, in an exclusive submission, Crushed by Melanie Conklin. In this #MeToo story, 12-year-old Sophie Valentine attempts to get her best friend back by infiltrating a group of bullies and agrees to a series of dangerous social media dares, which includes a Greek chorus of voices from Sophie's world speaking on their experiences with misogyny, sexism, and sexual harassment. Publication is scheduled for winter 2024; Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties negotiated the deal for U.S. rights.
Alyson Day at HarperCollins has acquired Call Me Adnan and another untitled middle grade novel in verse by Reem Faruqi, in an exclusive submission, in which Pakistani American Adnan Zakir dreams of making it to the Ultimate Table Tennis Championship in Florida, but when tragedy strikes, he must find a way back to the sport he loves as his family struggles to heal. Publication is slated for summer 2023; Rena Rossner at the Deborah Harris Agency sold world English rights.
Jenna Lettice at Random House has acquired world rights to Ron Roy's (l.) A to Z Animal Mysteries, a new spin-off of his original A to Z Mysteries series, written by Kayla Whaley (c.) and illustrated by Chloe Burgett, which follows Abigail "Abbi" Wallace and her friends Daniel and Lydia as they track animal facts and solve mysteries that correspond with each letter of the alphabet, starting with the first book, The Absent Alpacas, set for 2023; Nancy Gallt represented Roy and Beth Phelan represented Whaley, both at Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented Burgett.
Andrew Arnold at HarperAlley has bought Best Tool for the Job and an untitled companion title by Sarah Lynne Reul, two I Can Read Comics about tools working together and getting creative to solve problems. Emily Mitchell at Wernick & Pratt Agency brokered the two-book deal for world rights, with the first book scheduled for winter 2024.
Brian Geffen at Henry Holt has acquired, in an exclusive submission, Okra Stew by fine artist Natalie Daise, co-star and cultural consultant of Nickelodeon's Gullah Gullah Island. Set in the Carolina Lowcountry, it's a picture book about a child and his father making okra stew—from picking the okra to chopping and simmering to sharing with family. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Brenda Bowen at the Book Group sold world rights.
Macmillan Children's has bought world rights to You Will Do Great Things by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Amerie (l.), a celebration inspired by her own family that speaks to the hopes and dreams a parent holds for their child, and all the amazing things that child can achieve when strength is passed down through generations, illustrated by Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honoree Raissa Figueroa. The book was originally acquired by Weslie Turner and Erin Stein, with Connie Hsu and Mekisha Telfer at Roaring Brook Press now editing. Publication is slated for winter 2023; Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary & Media represented the author, and Natascha Morris at the Tobias Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Andrea Spooner at Little, Brown s has acquired world rights to What Are You Waiting For? by Marcy Campbell (l.) (Something Good), illustrated by Beatrice Zinker series creator Shelley Johannes. The picture book explores the roller coaster of emotions that comes with anticipation, as well as what happens when the actual experience doesn't match one's expectations. Publication is set for winter 2025; Steven Malk at Writers House represented the author, and Stephen Barr at Writers House represented the artist.
Daria Harper at Chronicle Books has bought world rights to My Hair Is Like the Sun and a second, untitled book by St. Clair Detrick-Jules (l.), photographer, filmmaker, and author of My Beautiful Black Hair, in her first books for young readers. This set of board books celebrates Black hair in all its shapes, styles, and textures, through simple rhyming text and joyful photographs; Tabitha Brown will contribute illustrations. Publication is planned for fall 2023, with the second book to follow in spring 2024; Rita Rosenkranz at Rita Rosenkranz Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Andrea Welch at Beach Lane Books has acquired world rights to How to Cheer Up a Friend by Stephanie Calmenson (l.), illustrated by Shannon McNeill, a picture book that begins with and answers the question: What should you do when your friend feels blue? Publication is scheduled for fall 2024; Susan Cohen at Writers House represented the author, and Andrea Morrison at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Luana Kay Horry at HarperCollins has bought world rights to Ashlee Hashman's (l.) debut Girls Belong in Space, illustrated by Gillian Gamble. This rhyming picture book celebrates the unbreakable spirit of women who pioneered the way in space travel like mathematician Katherine Johnson and Svetlana Savitskaya, the first woman to go on a spacewalk. Publication is slated for winter 2025; Elisa Houot at the Seymour Agency represented the author, and Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Feeding Minds Press has acquired world rights to the picture book Our Christmas Tree Farm by Lisa Amstutz (l.), illustrated by Christina Forshay, and edited by Emma D. Dryden, which follows Kate and her family on a winter day as they care for Christmas trees and customers on their farm before choosing and trimming their own tree. Publication is set for winter 2023. Victoria Selvaggio at Storm Literary Agency represented the author, and Kelly Sonnack at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Amy Fitzgerald at Lerner/Carolrhoda has acquired Here Goes Nothing by Emma K. Ohland (Funeral Girl). This femme queer update of Much Ado About Nothing finds across-the-street neighbors Beatrice and Bennie endlessly feuding and just maybe falling in love, sparking questions for Beatrice about her asexual identity, her place in their friend group, and her plans for the future. Publication is slated for fall 2024; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret sold world rights.
Abigail McAden at Scholastic has bought Play the Game, first in a middle grade trilogy by debut author and Emmy-winning writer/producer Amar Shah. In the novel, NBA fanatic Raam lands a ticket to HoopCon and is beaten in a mortifying one-on-one matchup in front of a crowd, including his favorite pro player; when his best friend posts the video online, Raam reaches viral infamy overnight. Publication is set for fall 2023; Jas Perry at KT Literary brokered the three-book deal for world rights.
Brian Geffen at Henry Holt has acquired world rights to Chickenpox by Remy Lai (Pawcasso; Pie in the Sky) in an exclusive submission. In this semi-autobiographical middle grade graphic novel, oldest child Abby Lai is sick of her four annoying siblings, and it's the end of her world when all five kids catch chickenpox and have to be quarantined at home, together 24/7, for a week. Publication is planned for winter 2025; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret did the two-book deal.
Sally Morgridge at Holiday House has bought world rights to Counting Backward, Anne Rellihan's debut middle grade novel described as a modern-day Harriet the Spy, about a girl in a small midwestern town who is navigating two friendships: the best friend she betrayed and the new friend she is determined to help. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Elizabeth Bennett at Transatlantic Agency negotiated the deal.
Emily Daluga at Abrams has acquired world English rights to The Many Hauntings of the Manning Family by Lorien Lawrence, a middle grade novel told through the alternating POVs of twin mediums who are living in the shadow of their famous ghost-hunting grandparents. The twins will need to use their gifts to confront the ghosts of their family's pasts and take down the actual demon threatening to possess them. Publication is slated for fall 2024; Kathleen Rushall at Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the deal.
Lauri Hornik at Rocky Pond Books has acquired the middle grade novel Dear Amie, an inspirational story about living courageously despite disability, co-written by Amie Specht (l.)—who has Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP), one of the rarest genetic disorders in the world—and Shannon Hitchcock (Flying Over Water). Publication is planned for spring 2024; Deborah Warren at East West Literary Agency represented both, for world rights.
Stephanie Pitts at Putnam has bought at auction Wild Places, written and illustrated by husband-and-wife team John Rocco (l.) (How We Got to the Moon) and Hayley Rocco (How to Send a Hug), a picture book biography of British broadcaster and conservationist David Attenborough, which showcases how Earth has changed over one person's lifetime and offers hope that humans may restore the balance of nature through rewilding our planet; publication is set for spring 2024. Pitts also acquired world rights for the first four books in a new picture book series, Meet the Wild Things, introducing young readers to lesser-known endangered animals from the perspectives of the animals themselves, with publication beginning in summer 2024. Rob Weisbach at Rob Weisbach Creative Management sold world rights.
Dana Chidiac at Holt has acquired, at auction, North American rights to A Map for Falasteen by debut author Maysa Odeh (l.) and illustrator Aliaa Betawi. Falasteen can't find her homeland on a map; when her teacher cannot help, the members of her close-knit Palestinian family take turns answering her big questions with humor, courage, and a lot of heart. Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties negotiated the deal for publication in spring 2024.
Kendra Levin at Simon and Schuster has bought world rights for Charlotte Huck Award Honoree Shelly Anand's (l.) In This Family, a picture book about multicultural families and how they look and feel about how they look and feel, inspired by her own multiracial, multiethnic, and multi-religious family; Meenal Patel will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for summer 2024; Saba Sulaiman at Talcott Notch Literary Services represented the author, and Lilly Ghahremani at Full Circle Literary represented the illustrator.
Erinn Pascal at Andrews McMeel has acquired world rights to The Kids' Creative Writing Playbook by Megan Wagner Lloyd (l.), illustrated by Madeline Garcia. This interactive workbook is meant to inspire creativity and expand on what creative writing can be. It will publish in summer 2023; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Madelyn McZeal and Irene Vázquez at Levine Querido have bought Night: A Children's Fable, an ecological picture book that draws on the culture and landscape of Malawi, written by debut author Katherine L. Jumbe (l.) and illustrated by Shana Dixon. When the animals of the savannah complain every evening about losing the sun, they drive the Dark to take back the night, creating an arid world that's more than they can handle. It will take one girl, Alekachawo, to travel the sky road and convince the Dark that her gifts are wanted on earth. Publication is slated for fall 2024; the author and illustrator represented themselves in the deal for world rights.
Kayla Tostevin at Page Street Kids has acquired world rights to When a Rhino Has to WAIT by Dazzle Ng (l.), illustrated by Estrela Lourenço, a little rhino's romp of encounters with this common, charge-stopping word and how to handle it with patience. Publication is planned for winter 2025; Lisa Amstutz at Storm Literary represented the author, and James McGowan at BookEnds Literary represented the illustrator.
Peter Phillips and Tara Walker at Tundra Books have bought Thomas King's (l.) The Green Baby Swing, a picture book exploring family and grief in the setting of an attic clean-up, illustrated by Yong Ling Kang. Publication is scheduled for summer 2024; Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative Artists represented the author, and Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management represented the illustrator.
Bunmi Ishola at WaterBrook has acquired world rights to Not Pop-Pop by Angela DeGroot (l.), illustrated by MacKenzie Haley. The picture book is a testament to how curiosity, courage, and compassion can transform an ordinary day into an extraordinary friendship. Publication is set for fall 2023; Liza Fleissig at Liza Royce Agency represented the author, and Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 represented the illustrator.
Sarah Rockett at Sleeping Bear Press has bought world rights to Dancing the Tinikling by Bobbie Peyton (l.), illustrated by Diobelle Cerna, a picture book about a boy learning the traditional Philippine tinikling, where dancers leap between poles tapping and clapping at their feet. The boy compares the feeling to dancing between two cultures. Publication is slated for fall 2023; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Christine Hong at Astound US represented the illustrator.
Andrea Hall at Beaming Books has acquired world rights to Chantal Bourgonje's Home, a picture book about friendship, togetherness, and hope—and how the unexpected might just be what you were looking for all along. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Erzsi Deak at Hen&ink Literary represented the author-illustrator.