Liesa Abrams at Labyrinth Road has acquired, in a competitive auction, playwright, filmmaker, and screenwriter LaDarrion Williams's YA trilogy Blood at the Root, set at a magical HBCU in the South pitched by the debut author in a viral tweet. The story follows a Black teen who must choose to embrace his long-lost family's legacy—and the love, warmth, secrets, and power that come with it. Publication for the first book is slated for 2024; Pete Knapp at Park & Fine Literary negotiated the three-book deal for North American rights.
Jennifer Ung at HarperCollins/Quill Tree has bought world rights to Messy Perfect by Tanya Boteju (Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens), a YA novel that explores questions of faith, sexuality, and responsibility in the story of overachieving teen Cassie Perera's efforts to run an underground Gender and Sexuality Alliance and the complications that arise—because not only does she attend a Catholic high school, but she also happens to be closeted. Publication is scheduled for summer 2025; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret brokered the two-book deal.
Alex Borbolla at Bloomsbury has acquired, at auction, in a six-figure deal, Not Like Other Girls by debut author Meredith Adamo. The YA mystery follows Jo, who lost everything after her nude photos were leaked. When her ex-best friend Maddie goes missing and is written off as a runaway, Jo teams up with an old fling to get back in with her former clique and figure out what really happened. Publication is set for spring 2024; Andrea Morrison at Writers House did the two-book deal for North American rights.
Julia McCarthy at Atheneum has bought world rights to All the Noise at Once, a contemporary YA novel by DeAndra Davis, as well as an untitled second book. After 16-year-old Aiden experiences an overstimulation meltdown after a football game, his older brother, Brandon, is arrested while defending him. Now, Aiden must clear Brandon's name while navigating the intersections of race and neurodiversity as a Black, autistic teen. Publication is planned for spring 2025; Kat Kerr at Donald Maass Literary Agency handled the deal.
Lauren Knowles at Page Street YA has acquired The Word by Mary G. Thompson. After being kidnapped by her father at age seven and growing up in a cult, Lisa is reunited with her mother and faced with a life-altering decision: risk everything to return to her father or discover what life can be when she makes her own choices. Publication is slated for spring 2024; Jennifer Azantian at Azantian Literary Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.
Lauri Hornik at Rocky Pond has bought Lauren Seal's debut YA novel-in-verse, Light Enough to Float. Scheduled for fall 2024, the novel follows a teen over the course of one winter as she is admitted to an inpatient treatment facility for anorexia and learns to love herself and her body again. Ismita Hussain at Great Dog Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Sally Morgridge at Holiday House has acquired Marker Snyder's debut upper middle grade graphic novel, First Kiss with Fangs, in which a 13-year-old vampire gets his adult fangs on the first day of school and struggles to know where he fits in. Publication is planned for fall 2025; Brent Taylor at Triada US brokered the deal for world rights.
Christy Ottaviano at Little, Brown/Ottaviano has bought, at auction, world rights to two middle grade novels by Lisa Graff. One Through Six follows a 13-year-old with a mysterious scar on her face—and a big secret she feels pressured to keep—in a coming-of-age story about confronting trauma from the past as a way to heal in the present. Publication is set for summer 2025, with the second untitled novel planned for fall 2026; Stephen Barbara at InkWell Management handled the deal.
Claudia Gabel and Ben Rosenthal at HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books has acquired Stompin at the Ave by Maurice Broaddus (The Usual Suspects; Unfadeable). It's a middle grade historical novel about the Great Migration in which a boy moves from the family farm down south to Indianapolis, where he sees for the first time what it is to be a Black man in America. Publication is slated for winter 2025; Bridget Smith at JABberwocky sold world English rights.
Feather Flores at Atheneum has won, in a five-house auction, Australian storyboard artist Ranran Zhou's graphic novel debut, a middle grade tentatively titled Momo, and a sequel. Both books star precocious young witch Momo Lim, who lives in a retirement home for magical creatures and yearns to become a detective like her late father; in book one, Momo bites off more than she can chew by trying to solve a poisoning that takes place at a garden party. Publication of the first book is scheduled for 2026; Britt Siess at Britt Siess Creative Management did the two-book deal for North American rights.
Jessica Smith at Aladdin has bought debut author Alex Thayer's Because I'm Everything, a middle grade novel about a girl who, upon being ditched by her best friend, begins dispensing advice to classmates through a grate in the girls' bathroom. Publication is planned for fall 2024; Alex Slater at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates negotiated the deal for world English rights.
David Linker at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to Stinky's Stories, a new chapter book series by Mr. Lemoncello series author Chris Grabenstein (l.) and J.J. Grabenstein (c.), illustrated by Alex Patrick (r.), in which a skunk stuffed animal named Stinky, who lives in an elementary school library, retells classic children's stories with silly spins during story time. Publication of the first two books will begin with The Boy Who Cried Underpants, set for fall 2024; it's planned as a four-book series. Carrie Hannigan and Josh Getzler at HG Literary represented the authors, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Mabel Hsu at HarperCollins has bought Dragon Mama by Pura Belpré and Coretta Scott King Honor-winning creator C.G. Esperanza. The picture book follows an Afro-Latino child and their mama to a Bronx beachside attraction, where the mama's dragon tattoo inspires the child to imagine the tattoos of other festivalgoers and how they come alive to help save the day when a thunderstorm threatens their beach day. Publication is slated for winter 2025, with a second untitled picture book for summer 2026; Marietta B. Zacker at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency sold North American rights.
Lee Wade at Random House Studio has acquired world rights to A Cure for the Hiccups by Jennifer E. Smith (l.), illustrated by Brandon James Scott, in which a girl grows frustrated when her elaborate hiccup remedies prove futile, but with some advice from her grandmother, discovers that the ultimate cure takes a bit of patience. Publication is scheduled for summer 2025; Jennifer Joel at CAA represented the author, and Emily Van Beek at Folio Literary Management represented the illustrator.
Celia Lee at Simon & Schuster has bought world rights to The Story of a Roar by Beth Ferry (l.), illustrated by Andrew Joyner, a picture book about finding your voice to protect what you love. Julius is a small lion who watches as books are getting pulled from the shelves in his mother's library. They feel powerless until they remember they have a voice—they have a roar, and they use their roars to fight for what they believe in: books. Publication is set for fall 2024; Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties represented the author, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the illustrator.
Rosemary Brosnan and Cynthia Leitich Smith at HarperCollins/Heartdrum have acquired Yáadilá! (Good Grief!) by Forever Cousins author Laurel Goodluck (l.) (Mandan/Hidatsa/Tsimshian), illustrated by Jonathan Nelson (Diné). This humorous intergenerational story portrays the Diné expression for exasperation as a boy's seeming naughtiness is revealed to be a heartwarming welcome for his grandmother. Publication is planned for winter 2025; Nicole Geiger at Full Circle Literary represented the author and the illustrator for world rights.
Carter Hasegawa at Candlewick Press has bought world rights to My Huipil by Nydia Armendia-Sánchez (l.), illustrated by Dana Sanmar, the second part of a two-book deal. The picture book explores the author's roots and the Guatemalan Maya tradition of weaving story into textiles—and the huipil's colorful threads that bind families and generations together. Publication is slated for spring 2026; Lori Steel at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Charlie Ilgunas at Little Bee Books has acquired world rights to Sunshine Baby, Bofrot Cheeks by Bernard Mensah (l.), illustrated by Islenia Mil, a picture book about a rambunctious Ghanaian baby and his father as they wake up, eat, play games, take a bath, and go to bed, and includes common Twi words and phrases. Publication is scheduled for summer 2025; Natalie Lakosil at Irene Goodman Literary Agency represented the author, and Aliza Hoover at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Andrea Welch at S&S/Beach Lane Books has bought world rights to Sleepy by Jennifer Ward (l.) (Mama Built a Little Nest), illustrated by Robin Page, a rhyming nonfiction picture book that explores the many ways wild animals sleep, from a wee brown bat to a giant humpback whale and all kinds of critters in between. Publication is set for spring 2024; Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Maria Russo at Astra/Minerva has acquired world rights to Hang Tough, Horseshoe Crab!: How to Survive for 450 Million Years (and Counting) by Lenora Todaro (l.), illustrated by Sally Deng. In this nonfiction picture book, the horseshoe crab defies the odds—enduring ice ages, heating oceans and the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs—by doing something different: staying the same. Publication is slated for spring 2025; the author was unagented, and Tracy Marchini at BookEnds represented the illustrator.
Alyssa Mito Pusey at Charlesbridge has bought world rights to If Lin Can, a picture book biography of NBA star Jeremy Lin by Richard Ho (l.) (Year of the Cat; The Lost Package), illustrated by Huỳnh Kim Liên (c.) and Phùng Nguyên Quang (r.). The book offers hope and reassurance to young readers who have ever felt "less than" because of what they look like or what people expect from them, with particular resonance for kids of Asian descent. A spring 2024 publication is planned; Emily Mitchell at Wernick & Pratt represented the author, and Good Illustration Agency represented the illustrators.
Maria Dismondy and Adam Blackman at Cardinal Rule Press have acquired world rights to Pedro the Pirate by Spring Fling Kidlit cocreator Ciara O'Neal (l.), illustrated by Antonella Fant. The book follows a fiercely independent foster child who sails alone in his imaginative play, until he learns to treasure companionship. Publication is scheduled for fall 2024; Karly Casera at Fuse Literary represented the author, and Erin Tisdel at Advocate Art represented the illustrator.
Anna Sargeant at Sourcebooks has bought world rights to Digging for Dinosaurs, first in an interactive board book series by June Smalls (l.), illustrated by Grace Habib, which invites toddlers to explore, search, and dig (by lifting flaps) until they find a dinosaur. Publication is slated for summer 2025; the author represented herself, and Tina Doffing at Astound US represented the illustrator.