Carolina Ortiz at HarperAlley has acquired, in a four-house auction, Kiara Valdez's (l.) debut Stepping Up, a YA graphic novel inspired by the author's life and illustrated by Diana Tsai Santos, and a second untitled graphic novel. Stepping Up follows Kiara as her hard-fought place on the stepping team helps her navigate freshman year as one of the only Black students at a predominantly white boarding school, Phillips Academy Andover. Publication of the first book is planned for 2024; Britt Siess at Britt Siess Creative Management did the deal for North American rights.
Alessandra Balzer at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has bought The Luis Ortega Survival Club by Sonora Reyes (The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School), the second YA novel of a previously announced deal. In the vein of John Tucker Must Die, but tackling serious topics, a group of students team up to get revenge on a popular boy who has ruined each of their reputations—and in some cases, done far worse than that. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Alexandra Levick at Writers House negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Phoebe Yeh at Crown has acquired My Father, the Panda Killer by debut YA author Jamie Jo Hoang in a six-way auction. Told in the dual timelines of 1975 and 1999, teens Phúc and Jane explore how the Vietnam War disrupted their pasts, is inescapable in their present, and shadows their hopes for the future. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Jennifer Weltz at Jean V. Naggar Agency sold USPCOM English rights.
Sarah Barley and Caroline Bleeke at Flatiron Books have bought The Black Girl Survives in This One, edited by Saraciea J. Fennell (l.) (Wild Tongues Can't Be Tamed) and Desiree S. Evans, a YA anthology of horror stories centering Black girls who battle monsters, both human and supernatural, and who survive to the end, featuring Erin E. Adams, Monica Brashears, Charlotte Nicole Davis, Tananarive Due, Zakiya Dalila Harris, Daka Hermon, Justina Ireland, Jessica Lewis, L.L. McKinney, Brittney Morris, Maika and Maritza Moulite, Zin E. Rocklyn, Eden Royce, Vincent Tirado, and a new voice to be selected through an open submissions call. Publication is set for 2024; Patrice Caldwell at New Leaf Literary brokered the deal for North American rights.
Kelsey Horton at Delacorte has acquired debut author Victoria Vinuesa's YA romance, See You on Venus. An American girl convinces a guy reeling from the guilt of a recent accident to help track down her biological mother in Spain. But the journey is more romantic than either of them expect, and she has a secret that could break both of their hearts. Publication is slated for summer 2024; Mandy Hubbard at Emerald City Literary handled the deal for world English rights.
Janine O'Malley at FSG has bought North American rights to Greenwild, a middle grade series debut by Pari Thomson (l.), illustrated by Elisa Paganelli. The first book in the series, in which a girl on a quest to locate her missing mother finds herself transported to a world of botanical wonders, will launch in summer 2023, simultaneously with Macmillan UK and Macmillan Germany, as part of a global publication strategy. Books two and three will follow in 2024 and 2025; Peter Knapp at Park and Fine Literary did the deal.
David Linker at HarperCollins has acquired Peter Lerangis's new middle-grade adventure, Beasties, about the most improbable heroes ever, pitched as Animorphs meets Spy School. When 13-year-old goofball misfit Riley Trent transforms into a rat after finding an alien object in Central Park, he must battle the odds to find the cure that will make him and his friends human again. Publication is planned for 2024; Sarah Landis at Sterling Lord Literistic negotiated the two-book deal for world English rights.
Emily Seife at Scholastic has bought Daphne Benedis-Grab's (I Know You're Lying) new middle grade thriller I Will Find You, to be published in fall 2023. Pitched as One of Us Is Lying for middle grade readers, the story, set in a single day, finds the seventh grade on a camping trip; Olivia, Leo and Gracie go to sleep with Nicky in their cabin, only to wake up the next morning to find him missing. Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties did the deal for North American rights.
Katie Carella at Scholastic Branches has acquired world rights to the first four books in Kwame's Magic Quest, an early chapter book series by Bernard Mensah (l.), inspired by Ghanaian culture and folklore, about eight-year-old Kwame's adventures in a magical land where powers are activated by spells cast in a calabash, illustrated by Natasha Nayo. Publication will begin in spring 2024; Natalie Lakosil at Irene Goodman Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Susan Rich at Little, Brown has bought If I Was a Horse, a picture book by two-time Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall, in which a child imagines what it would be like they if they were a giant, unruly, majestic horse living inside their house, engaging with their siblings, and even going to school. The book is set for fall 2023; Nancy Gallt at Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Neal Porter at Holiday House/Neal Porter Books has acquired, in a best bid auction, Hyewon Yum's (Luli and the Language of Tea) next picture book, Toto, about a girl with a facial birthmark that she nicknames Toto, but worries that her classmates will only see Toto and little else. Publication is planned for summer 2024; Sean McCarthy at Sean McCarthy Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Victoria Rock at Chronicle has bought, at auction, Noor by author-illustrator Baljinder Kaur, which follows a child who summons impossible bravery to fight a creature terrorizing her village. This picture book is inspired by the heroism of Jaswant Singh Khalra, about finding bravery in life's darkest moments and empowering others in kind. It's slated for summer 2025; Wendi Gu at GreenburgerKids did the deal for world rights.
Emily Feinberg at Roaring Brook has acquired world rights to Everywhere, the debut picture book from Scott Westerfeld (l.), author of the Uglies and Leviathan series, illustrated by Jessica Lanan. The book shows young readers how they are made from the ingredients of the natural world, and intimately connected to that world at the level of elements, energy, and information. Publication is projected for fall 2024; Jill Grinberg at Jill Grinberg Literary Management represented the author, and Ed Maxwell at GreenburgerKids represented the illustrator.
Kait Feldmann at Clarion has bought world rights to playwright, breakbeat poet, and hip hop artist Idris Goodwin's (l.) debut picture books in a two-book deal at auction. The first book, to be illustrated by Lorraine Nam, is an adaptation of Goodwin's breakbeat poem Your House Is Not Just a House—a rhythmic invitation to children and the adults who raise them to find magic in even the most ordinary of places. Publication is set for 2024; Brandi Bowles at United Talent Agency represented the author, and Alexandra Levick at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Sarah Ketchersid at Candlewick Press has acquired world rights to What Coco Can Do by Maribeth Boelts (l.). Coco is a dog who can cuddle and even though he may not work as a lifeguard like Jax or live with cheetahs at the zoo like Luna, he is no less heroic because his cuddling brings comfort to those in times of trouble. Stephanie Laberis will illustrate; publication is scheduled for spring 2025. Scott Treimel at Scott Treimel NY Agency represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books has bought world rights to Sharing the Dream by Shelia P. Moses (l.), illustrated by Keith Mallett. The historical fiction picture book tells the story of a girl's empowering experience traveling to Washington, D.C., with her parents to join the March on Washington. Publication is planned for spring 2025; the author and illustrator both represented themselves.
Celia Lee at Simon & Schuster has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to All the Stars in the Sky by Art Coulson (l.) (Look, Grandma! Ni, Elisis!), illustrated by Winona Nelson. A Cherokee boy can hardly wait his turn to be named "star of the day" at his elementary school only to learn, through discussions with his grandmother, that no one person is the center of the universe and the sky would be a very dark place with only one star in it. Publication is slated for summer 2024; Jacqui Lipton while at Raven Quill Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Lauri Hornik at Penguin/Rocky Pond has bought world rights to Afikoman, Where'd You Go? by Rebecca Gardyn Levington (l.) (Brainstorm!), illustrated by Noa Kelner. Pitched as Where's Waldo? meets "The Gingerbread Man," this rhyming hide-and-seek romp stars a smug and sneaky piece of matzah on the run and a kid who will not quit until he's brought back to the seder table. Publication is set for spring 2024; Kaitlyn Sanchez at Context Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Andrea Welch and Danielle Collins at S&S/Beach Lane Books have acquired world rights to Bhangra Baby, written by Kabir Sehgal (l.) and Surishtha Sehgal (c.), and illustrated by Ani Bushry (r.). The book follows a boy learning to move with the rhythm of the popular Punjabi folk dance, bhangra. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; the authors represented themselves, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Amy Novesky at Cameron Kids has bought world rights to My Park to Playa by Nell Cross Beckerman (l.), illustrated by Sophie Diao, a picture book inspired by an urban trail system in Los Angeles, that follows several families as they connect to nature and to each other, all the way from the city to the beach. Publication is planned for spring 2024. Lara Perkins at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Hannah Mann at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Joan Powers at Candlewick has acquired, in collaboration with Jill Corcoran at Smithsonian, The Crane and Her Keeper: A True Tale of Saving a Species by Meeg Pincus (l.) (Cougar Crossing), illustrated by Gillian Gamble. It tells the behind-the-scenes story of a human-imprinted white-naped crane and her devoted keeper who have partnered up at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute—for 20 years—to save her species from extinction. Publication is set for fall 2024; Jenna Pocius at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Wendy McClure at Sourcebooks Jabberwocky has bought world rights to Katie, Big and Strong by Jennifer Cooper (l.), illustrated by Kayla Stark, a picture book that tells the true story of Katie Sandwina, a turn-of-the-20th-century circus strongwoman whose size and strength defied traditional conventions about women. Publication is slated for fall 2023; Joyce Sweeney at the Seymour Agency represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Christianne Jones at Capstone has acquired world rights to Moving and Grooving to Fillmore's Beat by Rachel Werner (l.), a picture book that explores how the inclusivity, music, and culture of the Fillmore District brought communities together. Jerrard Polk will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Savannah Brooks at KT Literary represented the author while at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, and Claire Easton Morance at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Sunita Apte at Reycraft Books has bought world English and Spanish rights to The Ramadan Drummer by Sahtinay Abaza (l.), illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova, a picture book about the Ramadan Drummer. The hours of fast are long and tiresome. Curious to find the identity of the mysterious drummer, while strolling the streets before sunrise, Adam learns the true meaning of Ramadan. Publication is planned for spring 2024; Lynnette Novak at the Seymour Agency represented the author, and Chrystal Falcioni at Magnet Arts Collective represented the illustrator.
Meg Bratsch at Free Spirit has acquired world rights to I Think I Think a Lot, about a neurodivergent child who notices and celebrates her way of experiencing the world, written by Jessica Whipple (l.) and illustrated by Josée Bisaillon. Publication is slated for 2023; Emily Keyes at Keyes Agency represented the author, and Gail Gaynin at Morgan Gaynin represented the illustrator.