Justin Chanda at Simon & Schuster has acquired, in an exclusive submission, Emmy-winning journalist and What the Fact?! author Seema Yasmin's debut YA novel, Unbecoming, the coming-of-age tale of Muslim girls in Texas forced to navigate bodily autonomy in a post-Roe landscape, while uncovering secrets within their family and community. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Lilly Ghahremani at Full Circle Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Britny Brooks-Perilli at Running Press Kids has bought Queer Beasties, a speculative YA anthology that celebrates the monster as a positive and empowering metaphor for the otherness of being queer. Edited by Rob Costello (Dancing Bears), the anthology features contributions from Costello, Kalynn Bayron, David Bowles, H.E. Edgmon, Michael Thomas Ford, Naomi Kanakia, Claire Kann, Sam J. Miller, Alexandra Villasante, and others. Publication is slated for May 2024; Marie Lamba at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency sold world English rights.
Mora Couch at Holiday House has acquired Joined at the Joints by Marissa Eller, a YA rom-com debut about Ivy, a socially anxious, baking-obsessed teen more comfortable with pies than people, who meets a charismatic and super-attractive boy with the same diagnosis as her (juvenile arthritis) at a support group for sick kids. Publication is planned for summer 2024; Emmy Nordstrom Higdon negotiated the deal for world rights.
Ashley Hearn at Peachtree Teen has bought, at auction, Before the Devil Knows You're Here by Autumn Krause, a folk horror YA novel for fans of Maggie Stiefvater and Erin Craig, blending the tall tales of Johnny Appleseed and Paul Bunyan with Faustian elements, starring a fierce Mexican-American poet on a journey through the Wisconsin wilderness to free her brother from the mysterious Man of Sap and confront her destiny written long ago in cursed seeds. Publication is set for fall 2023; Susan Hawk at Upstart Crow Literary did the two-book deal for world rights.
Lisa Sandell at Scholastic has acquired Gut Reaction, the first contemporary middle grade novel from Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson (r.) (Hattie Big Sky), co-written with her daughter, Quinn Wyatt. The book follows Tess, a gifted baker looking to take the crown in a local baking competition, who must learn to navigate a new normal after being diagnosed with Crohn's disease. Publication is slated for spring 2024; Jill Grinberg at Jill Grinberg Literary Management represented the authors in the deal for world English rights.
Meg Gaertner at Jolly Fish Press has bought debut author Lucille Abendanon's The Songbird and the Rambutan Tree, a middle grade historical fiction set in the Dutch East Indies in 1942. When the Japanese army invades Batavia in WWII and sends women and girls to the Tjideng internment camp, 11-year-old Emmy must overcome a tragedy in her past to reclaim her voice and freedom. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Thérèse Coen at Susanna Lea Associates London brokered the deal for North American English rights.
Erinn Pascal at Andrews McMeel has acquired world rights to author-illustrator Adam Foreman's Slice of Mallow, a young middle grade graphic novel series based on the webcomic of the same name, about an excitable but pessimistic marshmallow who has slice-of-life adventures with his friends Pizza, Doughnut, Potato, and Ghost. Publication is planned for spring 2024; Maria Vicente at PS Literary negotiated the two-book deal.
Andrew Arnold at HarperAlley has won at auction, in a six-figure, two-book deal, world rights to Drawn Onward by Printz winner Daniel Nayeri (l.) (Everything Sad Is Untrue), illustrated by Matt Rockefeller. The palindromic picture book follows the fantastical yet heartfelt journey of a boy mourning the loss of his mother. Publication is slated for fall 2024; Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary & Media represented the author and illustrator.
Erika Turner while at Versify bought North American English rights to Juneteenth by Van G. Garrett (l.) (Kicks), illustrated by Reginald Adams (c.) and Samson Adenugba (r.), creators of the "Absolute Equality" mural in Galveston, Tex., celebrating the holiday; Weslie Turner will edit. The picture book traces a Black boy's trip with his family to the Juneteenth parade in Galveston, weaving contemporary celebrations with historical context of the Black experience in the U.S. Publication is set for summer 2023; Emily Mitchell at Wernick & Pratt Agency represented the author, and the illustrators represented themselves.
Sara Schonfeld at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to Martina's Muy Bad Day and a second untitled picture book by Melanie Wick Singer (l.), at auction. Natalia Jiménez Osorio will illustrate the first book, which follows a girl as she returns home after a bad day. While searching for a distraction, she finds Abuela making magic en la cocina and realizes that bad days are worth celebrating, too. Publication is planned for summer 2024; Ramona Pina and Naomi Davis at BookEnds represented the author, and Aurora Barlam at Astound US represented the illustrator.
Kate Farrell at Henry Holt has bought It's Holi! by Courtney Pippin-Mathur (l.) and Sanyukta Mathur, illustrated by Pippin-Mathur. The picture book is about a boy and his family celebrating Holi, the Hindu Festival of Colors. Publication is scheduled for winter 2024; Jennifer Unter at the Unter Agency represented both authors in the deal for world rights.
Luana Kay Horry at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to Kellie DuBay Gillis's (l.) debut picture book Big Bike, Little Bike, illustrated by Jacob Souva, about an old bike (or is it new?) that takes readers on a journey exploring perspective and opposites, and encouraging kids and adults alike to restore and reuse. Publication is planned for winter 2025; Ana Crespo at East West Literary Agency represented the author, and Jennifer Rofé at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Jess Harold at Henry Holt has acquired, in a seven-house auction, I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast Is Me, a YA horror novel by debut author Jamison Shea, which follows a Black teen ballerina's dark descent after she bathes in the blood of an eldritch god for the power to best her competition. Publication is planned for fall 2023, with a second YA speculative suspense novel to follow; Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Nick Thomas at Levine Querido has acquired Alebrijes, the next novel from Donna Barba Higuera, author of the Newbery and Pura Belpré Medal-winning The Last Cuentista. 400 years into a post-apocalyptic Earth, 13-year-old pickpocket Leandro takes the fall for his little sister and has his consciousness placed in an ancient drone, exiled from the lone surviving human settlement. Outside the walls lie mutant monsters, wasteland pirates, a hidden oasis, and the truth. Publication is set for fall 2023; Allison Remcheck at Stimola Literary Studio did the deal for North American English and Spanish and world Dutch rights.
Caitlyn Averett at Little, Brown has bought Instafamous by Erika J. Kendrick, a contemporary middle grade novel about 12-year-old Lyric, who secretly auditions for a TV singing competition so she can make it big like her famous mother, but she'll have to decide whether she's willing to sacrifice relationships with her family and friends for a chance in the spotlight. Publication is scheduled for fall 2024; Marcy Posner at Folio Literary Management negotiated the deal for world rights.
Ben Rosenthal at HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books has acquired Kristin O'Donnell Tubb's middle-grade novel, Fowl Play, in an exclusive submission. Pitched as Nancy Drew meets Knives Out for readers who like humor with their (suspected) homicide, the novel follows 13-year-old Chloe Alvarez, who inherits her uncle's prized possession—an African grey parrot with a bad English accent—who, Chloe soon discovers, may have been witness to some serious foul play. Publication is planned for winter 2024; Josh Adams at Adams Literary brokered the deal for North American rights.
David Saylor at Scholastic/Graphix has bought, in a six-figure deal, two middle grade graphic novels, Jaimal Yogis (l.) and Vivian Truong's City of Dragons: The Journey East and City of Dragons: Underworld. As dangers mount, Grace, Nate, and friends go on the offensive and wake the other Dragon Kings, but as they fly to wake the eastern king, miscommunication leads to disaster—as they deal with death, grief, and healing. Publication is slated for 2024 and 2025; Mark Gottlieb at Trident Media Group sold world rights.
Shawna Gore while at Oni Press acquired the graphic novel The Happy Shop from self-published graphic novelist and webcomics creator Brittany Long Olsen; Grace Scheipeter will edit. This middle-grade story follows 11-year-old Darcy in a new town, who wanders into a strange shop and breaks an expensive jar that she can't pay for. She makes a deal to help clean the place to pay off her debt, and learns this is no ordinary shop: the shopkeepers collect and re-sell very specific happy feelings in the jars—a skill they teach Darcy. Publication is set for spring 2024; Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis sold world rights.
Mora Couch at Holiday House has bought debut author Sandra W. Headen's historical middle-grade novel, Warrior on the Mound, about a Black boy living in the tinderbox environment of prewar North Carolina, whose dream to become a legendary pitcher must withstand the realities of segregation and injustice. Publication is slated for spring 2024; Victoria Selvaggio at Storm Literary Agency negotiated the two-book deal for world rights.
Rebecca Baines at National Geographic Kids Books has acquired world rights to a five-book series with young explorers in Trudi Trueit's Explorer Academy series, a new set of adventures from a new character's perspective, along with exposure to the work of real-life National Geographic Explorers who inspired the series. The first book is scheduled for spring 2024; Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio brokered the deal.
Jessica Garrison at Dial has bought, in a preempt, world English rights to How to Make Your Mark, a picture book memoir by America's first known Black female tattoo artist and shop owner Jacci Gresham (l.) and co-author Sherry Fellores (c.), illustrated by David Wilkerson (r.). First-person vignettes chronicle how, starting from her childhood in Detroit, Jacci expressed herself through an "outside the lines" style, made art that countered stereotypes, helped her New Orleans community for decades, and developed better techniques for melanated skin. Publication is planned for spring 2025; Miranda Paul at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the co-authors, and James Burns at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Justin Chanda at Simon & Schuster has acquired world rights to Emilio Sloth's Modern Manners by Renée Ahdieh (l.), illustrated by Alea Marley. Emilio the Sloth may take a long time to tie his cravat, but he always arrives on time and gives his friends his full attention because he knows the value of being on time, being polite, and truly listening. Publication is set for summer 2024; Barbara Poelle at Irene Goodman represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Jill Davis at Astra/Hippo Park has bought Bill the Dog by author-illustrator and political cartoonist Chris Britt (The Most Perfect Snowman), about a dog named Bill who, worried he's not good at being a dog, sets out to discover what he might be better at. Publication is slated for summer 2024; Timothy Travaglini at Transatlantic Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Kelsey Skea at Amazon/Two Lions has acquired, in an exclusive submission, Ged Adamson's picture book Brianosaurus, about a frog who decides he's a dinosaur and learns to be true to himself. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Isabel Atherton at Creative Authors sold world rights.
Luyang Xue at Yeehoo Press has bought world rights to Cynthia Mackey's (l.) debut picture book, If A Bumblebee Lands on Your Toe, illustrated by Vikki Zhang, a story of mindfulness and our connectedness with all creatures in nature and how we can overcome fear and uncertainty. Publication is planned for summer 2024 in the U.S. and mainland China; the author and the illustrator represented themselves.
Stephanie Mulligan at McSea Books has acquired world rights to Space Girl: The Journey of Jessica Meir by Suzanne Buzby Hersey (l.), illustrated by Inbal Gigi Bousidan. This picture book biography follows Jessica, who may become one of the first women on the moon, and her astronaut career, including her participation in the first all-woman spacewalk. Publication is set for spring 2024 Jennie Kendrick at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.