Jean Lucas at Andrews McMeel has acquired Cherry Zong's Red, a YA graphic novel that's a twisted version of "Little Red Riding Hood." Red lives in a forest that has been dying for years, and her grandmother instructs her to hunt the monsters at the cause of the decay, until she meets a wolf-girl named Sil. As she begins to develop a relationship with her, Red begins to uncover the somewhat sinister truth behind everything she's ever known, in a story pitched as Tangled meets Princess Mononoke. Publication is set for 2024; Claire Draper at the Bent Agency did the deal for world English rights.
Alison Romig at Delacorte has bought, in a preempt, debut author Matthew Hubbard's Last Boyfriends, a YA coming of age novel pitched as Heartstopper meets The First Wives Club, featuring three queer teenage boys in small-town Alabama who set out to get revenge on their ex-boyfriends and end up fighting their school's anti-LGBTQ+ initiatives, and a second untitled book. Publication is slated for summer 2024; Katie Shea Boutillier at Donald Maass Literary Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.
Lily Kessinger at Clarion has acquired an untitled book by Molly Horan (Epically Earnest), a contemporary YA novel in which 17-year-old Mia accidentally finds herself at the center of her classmates' drama when her role as the theater club's unofficial counselor goes public and her advice on life and love becomes a hot commodity, to mixed results. Publication is scheduled for fall 2024; Laura Crockett at Triada US negotiated the deal for world rights.
Trisha de Guzman at FSG has bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to Cyrena Lee's (l.) debut YA graphic novel tentatively titled Prodigy, illustrated by Julia Kuo (I Dream of Popo), which follows Japanese American Ashima Shiraishi's swift ascent in the climbing world as a child prodigy and how she dealt with the immense pressure from her parents, her peers, and the media spotlight to continually be the best. Publication is planned for fall 2025; Britt Siess at Britt Siess Creative Management represented the author, and Emily Van Beek at Folio Literary Management represented the illustrator.
Sylvan Creekmore while at Wednesday Books acquired Canto Contigo by Pura Belpré Honor author Jonny Garza Villa (Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun; Ander & Santi Were Here); Tiffany Shelton will edit. In this rivals-to-lovers contemporary YA novel, Rafie Álvarez, star of his hometown mariachi group, transfers schools his senior year and expects to be handed the lead vocalist spot of his new group. What he gets instead is a tenacious current lead with a very familiar (and very kissable) face. Publication is set for winter 2024; Claire Draper at the Bent Agency handled the deal for world English rights.
Emily Settle at Feiwel and Friends has bought The Wicker King and Darling author K. Ancrum's untitled retelling of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein for the publisher's Remixed Classics line, pitched as a love letter to the consequences of necromancy. Publication is slated for spring 2024; Eric Smith at P.S. Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Sydnee Monday at Kokila has won in a preempt, world rights to Bless the Blood by writer, mental health advocate, and stem cell transplant survivor Walela Nehanda. The YA poetry collection explores what it means to be a young, queer Black nonbinary medical patient facing racism and abuse within and outside of the hospital, meditating on traumas both physical and unseen, and celebrating the courage to grieve and strength it takes to go on. Publication is set for spring 2024; Katherine Latshaw at Folio Literary Management brokered the deal.
Martha Mihalick at Greenwillow has acquired world English rights to bestselling author Alex London's The Princess Protection Program, a new middle grade series about a boarding school where a fairy godmother hides fairy tale princesses (and one prince) who don't like the endings to their timeless tales. But not everything in the program is what it seems, and Sleeping Beauty and her new friends will have to risk everything to take control of their own happily ever afters. Publication will begin in winter 2024; Robert Guinsler at Sterling Lord Literistic negotiated the two-book deal.
Lisa Sandell at Scholastic Press has bought three historical middle-grade novels by bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen, including Iceberg, set on the doomed Titanic; Uprising, following the startling and moving events in Warsaw in the fall of 1944; and a third as-yet untitled project. The books will publish in spring 2023, spring 2024, and spring 2025 respectively; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency handled the deal for world rights.
Jess Harold at Henry Holt has acquired, in a six-figure auction, the middle grade fantasy graphic novel Wayward: Fractured Shadows by Liza Singer. The town of Wayward sits on top of a mirror realm of demons who feed on emotions—the bigger, the better. Thankfully, Guardians and BFFs Ryan and Owen have the power to fight them. But starting middle school brings changes neither of the demon hunters expected, and now they must face an even bigger challenge than any demon: growing apart. Publication is slated for fall 2025; Jennifer Azantian at Azantian Literary Agency did the deal for North American rights.
Lisa Yoskowitz and Caitlyn Averett at Little, Brown have bought Just Shy of Ordinary by A.J. Sass (Ellen Outside the Lines), a contemporary middle grade novel in which a 13-year-old nonbinary homeschooler attempts to find a "new normal" post-pandemic as they start public school, meet new friends, and learn about their Jewish identity. Caitlyn Averett will edit, with publication scheduled for winter 2024; Jordan Hamessley at New Leaf Literary & Media sold world English rights.
Carolina Ortiz at HarperAlley has acquired, at auction, Red Dryer's debut Ghosted, and a second untitled graphic novel. The contemporary middle grade with elements of magical realism centers around 12-year-old Dominic as he navigates his grief of his father abandoning the family, and the manifestation of that grief as he moves to a new town and meets a cute, shy boy going through a similar situation. Publication of the first book is planned for 2025; Britt Siess at Britt Siess Creative Management negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Joy Bean at Arctis Books USA has bought two nonfiction middle grade books: Understanding Adolescence: A Body-Positive Guide to Puberty, with one for girls and one boys, written by Barbara Pietruszczak (l.), illustrated by Anna Rudak (c.), guides to the changes in the body during puberty, with the aim to build a positive relationship with the body by taking out the awkwardness normally associated with this subject. The books will be translated from the Polish by Agnes Monod-Gayraud (r.) and publish in fall 2024; Karolina Jaszecka at KaBooks brokered the deal.
David and Stephanie Miles at Bushel & Peck Books have acquired world rights to The Honey Jar by Joan Schoettler, a middle-grade novel about an Armenian boy's story of his family's journey to freedom set during the Armenian Genocide. Publication is set for spring 2023; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary sold world rights.
Andrew Karre at Dutton has bought, at auction, Nina Chhita's The Healers of Harlem: The Lost History of the Black Women Medical Pioneers in America's First Desegregated City Hospital. From the creator of Instagram account @nina.draws.scientists, this illustrated middle grade narrative follows the women doctors and nurses who broke new ground personally, socially, and medically in one of America's most historic and influential neighborhoods. Publication is projected for early 2025; Mackenzie Brady Watson at Stuart Krichevsky Agency negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Alison Deering at Capstone has acquired The Magic Lunch Box, the first title in a debut chapter book series called Ben Lee by AAPI author Hanna Kim (l.), in a two-book deal for world rights. After moving from L.A.'s Koreatown to a Michigan suburb, fourth-grader Ben Lee is anxious to make new friends. But when some kids at school act grossed out by the homemade kimbap in his lunch box, Ben makes an impulsive wish, and soon strange things start happening. Emily Paik will illustrate; publication is slated for fall 2023. Jennifer Mattson at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Tina Doffing at Astound US represented the illustrator.
Margaret Raymo at Little, Brown has bought at auction Dance Fast by AR Cribbins, a debut picture book celebrating Pomo culture about a Pomo child who runs into challenges while making their regalia for an upcoming dance. Publication is scheduled for fall 2024; Hannah VanVels Ausbury at the Belcastro Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Julie Matysik at Running Press Kids has acquired My Mama Is a Work of Art by debut author-illustrator Hana Acabado, a love letter from a child to their mama and the stories she tells and the tattoos she wears. Publication is planned for spring 2024; Erzsi Deak at Hen&ink Literary Studio did the deal for world rights.
Donna Bray at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has won at auction, in a two-book deal, North American rights to I May Just Call You Home by musician, director and author Amyra León (Concrete Kids; Freedom We Sing), illustrated by Patrick Dougher. The picture book is an ode to children raised in foster care, as told through the voice of a child reflecting on the excitement and fear of their many "moving days," who ultimately learns to define home as a place that can always be found within; it is based on the author’s own experience coming of age in the system and illustrated with photographs from her personal archive. Publication is set for winter 2024; Erin Harris and Katherine Latshaw at Folio Literary Management represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself.
Kendra Levin at Simon & Schuster has bought world rights to two picture books by Justin Colón (l.). The first, The Quacken, tells the tale of a young camper who inadvertently releases a gigantic duck of legend and must escape it through a series of horror-spoofing situations to avoid being eaten. Pablo Pino will illustrate; publication is slated for fall 2024. Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Atlanta Japp at Advocate Art represented the illustrator.
Ariel Richardson at Chronicle has acquired world rights to Bernard Mensah's (l.) picture book My Child, a letter from a Black father to his son illustrating the unconditional love of parents, the inevitability of failing, and the wonder of tomorrow’s possibilities, all with the constant reminder that the child is "a rare gem," worthy of the world and belonging among the stars. Talia Skyles will illustrate; publication is planned for fall 2025. Natalie Lakosil at Irene Goodman Literary Agency (while at Bradford Literary Agency) represented the author, and Shadra Strickland at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Janine O'Malley at FSG has bought world rights to On the Last Day of School by Maggie Rudd (l.) illustrated by Taia Morley, a picture book exploring the mixed emotions of the final day of school, along with the excitement for new things to come. Publication is scheduled for winter 2025; Mary Cummings at Great River Literary represented the author, and Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 represented the illustrator.
Jonathan Westmark at Albert Whitman has acquired world rights to Mud Angels by Karen M. Greenwald (l.) (A Vote for Susanna), the true story of when the normally calm Arno River nearly drowned parts of Florence, putting much of the city’s fragile, historic art and literature on the verge of destruction, until a different kind of wave washed over the city—as told by a Florentine girl; Jordi Solano will illustrate. Publication is set for 2024; Liza Fleissig at Liza Royce Agency represented the author, and Lucy Craig at Plum Pudding represented the illustrator.