Karen Lotz and Andrea Tompa at Candlewick Press have acquired Ferris, a middle-grade novel by Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo. A love story about a girl, a ghost, a grandmother, and growing up, it takes place the summer before fifth grade, which for Ferris Wilkey is a summer of sheer pandemonium: her little sister, Pinky, has vowed to become an outlaw; Uncle Ted has left Aunt Shirley and, to Ferris's mother's chagrin, is holed up in the Wilkey basement to paint a history of the world; and Charisse, Ferris's grandmother, has started seeing a ghost at the threshold of her room. But the ghost is not there to usher Charisse to the Great Beyond; rather, she has other plans. How can Ferris satisfy a specter with Pinky terrorizing the town, Uncle Ted sending Ferris to spy on her aunt, and her father at war with an invasion of raccoons? Publication is set for March 2024; Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties negotiated the deal for world rights.
Nancy Mercado at Dial has bought the anthology Sing Me a Story: Short Stories in Verse by Latine Authors, edited by Aida Salazar. The middle grade collection is a celebration of the interconnected nature of poetry, stories, and music and how they have touched those in the U.S. whose roots stem from Latin America. Contributors include Andrea Beatriz Arango, David Bowles, Stephen Briseño, Margarita Engle, Raquel Vasquez Gilliland, Juan Felipe Herrera, JP Infante, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Jasminne Mendez, Rico Pabon, NoNieqa Ramos, Yaccaira Salvatierra, John Santos, Ari Tison, and Elisabet Velasquez. Publication is slated for August 2024; Marietta B. Zacker at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency represented Salazar and did the deal for English and Spanish North American rights.
Alyssa Miele at HarperCollins/Quill Tree has preempted Pushcart Prize winner Rebecca Stafford's Rabbit and Juliet, a YA debut that mixes queer love with snark, heartache, and violence. Rabbit, a grieving girl in a small Georgia town, meets the enigmatic daughter of a famous actor and embarks on a revenge plot to hold local boys accountable for a series of assaults. What starts as a fierce, feminist sisterhood shifts to a cult-like allegiance that borders on anarchy, leaving Rabbit to grapple with what it means to be the victim or the villain. Publication is planned for fall 2024; Marcy Posner at Folio Literary brokered the two-book deal for North American rights.
Krista Vitola at Simon & Schuster has acquired The Hunt for the Outlaw's Treasure by Janet Fox (Carry Me Home; The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle), a contemporary adventure set on a Montana dude ranch, in which a group of kids work to uncover the treasure of Pearlhandle Pete, a Robin Hood-type figure in the Old West, for publication in fall 2024. Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency handled the deal for world English rights.
Siobhan Ciminera at Simon Spotlight has bought world rights to Pizza for Pia!, by former HMH publisher Betsy Groban, illustrated by Allison Steinfeld, an early reader for the Ready-to-Read line. The book is a playful story about a girl whose family assumes she loves pizza (don't all kids love pizza?) until she bravely informs them that she doesn't. It's scheduled for summer 2024; the author represented herself, and Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Andrea Spooner at Little, Brown has acquired Mr. Parker's Garden by Caldecott Honoree Oge Mora, about an introverted child and her elderly neighbor who bond over their garden, but must face the challenge of change when the neighbor moves away. Publication is slated for winter 2026; Steven Malk at Writers House negotiated the deal for world rights.
Jonah Heller at Peachtree has bought Leo and the Pink Marker, a debut picture book by Mariyka Foster. Leo has a big imagination and loves to doodle with his favorite pink marker. So when Mom and Mama aren't looking, it's the perfect opportunity to add some color to their dusty scrapyard. Publication is planned for summer 2024; Janine Le at the Janine Le Literary Agency sold world rights.
Lee Wade at Random House Studio has acquired at auction My Sister the Apple Tree by Jamal Saeed (l.) and Jordan Scott (c.) (I Talk Like a River), illustrated by Zahra Marwan (r.), a picture book about a child who, upon realizing that he must leave everything behind when war tears through his homeland, finds a way to take his beloved apple tree with him, in a story inspired by Saeed's experience. Publication is set for spring 2025; Chris Casuccio at Westwood Creative Artists represented Saeed, Hilary McMahon at Westwood Creative Artists represented Scott, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Sue Tarsky at Albert Whitman has bought world rights to Suka's Farm, a picture book by Ginger Park (l.) and Frances Park (c.), illustrated by Tiffany Chen (r.). Set in Korea in 1941, when the country was under Japanese rule, a Korean boy steps out of his prescribed place and pushes societal boundaries by entering a farm owned by a Japanese man. Publication is slated for fall 2024; Jennifer Unter at the Unter Agency represented the author, and Jemiscoe Chambers-Black at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Karen Smith while at Knopf acquired world rights to As Edward Imagined, a picture book biography about Edward Gorey by Matthew Burgess (l.), illustrated by Marc Majewski; Esther Cajahuaringa will edit. Publication is scheduled for fall 2024; Erica Rand Silverman at Stimola Literary Studio represented the author, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the illustrator.
Kathleen Merz at Eerdmans has bought world rights to Bless Our Pets: Poems of Gratitude for Our Animal Friends, one of the last books edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins (l.), illustrated by Lita Judge. With poems by Lois Lowry, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, and 11 other poets, this anthology expresses thanks for animal companions including cats, dogs, mice, goldfish, and ponies. Publication is planned for spring 2024; Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Sandra Sutter at Gnome Road has acquired world rights to Kai Po Che: Mini's Perfect Diamond by Suhasini Gupta (l.), illustrated by Devika Oza, a picture book about a girl who must rely on creativity, confidence, and courage to help avert an impending kite-astrophe while celebrating the Indian kite festival of Makar Sankranti. Publication is set for spring 2025; the author represented herself, and Analieze Cervantes represented the illustrator while at Harvey Klinger Literary.
Stephanie Pitts at Putnam has acquired North American rights for Kill Her Twice by Stacey Lee (The Downstairs Girl), a YA murder mystery noir set in 1930s Los Angeles in which three Chinese American sisters investigate the murder of a Hollywood starlet, once a childhood friend, even if it means going behind the scenes into a world bent on destroying Chinatown. Publication is scheduled for summer 2024; Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary Agency negotiated the deal.
Joy Peskin at Farrar, Straus and Giroux has bought, in an exclusive submission, an untitled debut YA novel by Sahar Jahani, a first-generation Iranian-American Muslim writer. This coming-of-age dramedy follows Sana Saeidi as her world turns upside down when she decides to lean into her Muslim identity and wear a hijab on the first day of her sophomore year of high school for not entirely the right reasons, a choice that leads her on a journey of self-discovery and uncovering decades of family secrets. Publication is set for spring 2025; Danny Alexander at APA Agency sold world English rights.
David Linker at HarperCollins has acquired, in an exclusive submission, I Put a Spell on You by Clare Edge. In this contemporary YA fantasy-romance, a heartthrob enby spellcaster must teach the new girl in school how to wield magic in order to save their emerging powers in a rivals to lovers game of wits. Publication is slated for fall 2025; Jennifer Azantian at Azantian Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Weslie Turner at Versify has bought Castles and Cholos, a YA graphic novel by Samuel Teer (l.), illustrated by Alex Moore, about a group of Latin American teenagers who play a tabletop role-playing game called Castles & Creatures, and how one teen's return to the game after a long absence permanently changes the group dynamics. Publication is planned for 2027; Jas Perry at KT Literary handled the deal for world rights.
Lauren Knowles at Page Street YA has acquired Call Forth a Fox by Markelle Grabo, a sapphic twist on Snow White and Rose Red, in which a girl saves a fox from an attacking bear only to realize both are actually humans caught in a deadly faerie curse. Publication is scheduled for winter 2024; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books has bought world rights to two middle grade novels by Lisa Fipps, author of Printz Honor winner Starfish, starting with And Then, Boom!, a novel in verse about an impoverished boy whose love for comics helps him deal with all the storms life throws his way. Publication is slated for summer 2024; Liza Fleissig at Liza Royce Agency negotiated the deal.
Mabel Hsu at HarperCollins has acquired The Ordinary and Extraordinary Auden Greene by Edgar Award nominee Corey Ann Haydu, in a two-book deal. Pitched as a fairy tale version of Freaky Friday, this middle grade tale follows a 12-year-old girl who exists in two universes. In one, she's a shy middle schooler struggling with being her mother's caretaker and hoping to land the lead role in her school's production of The Wizard of Oz. In another, she's the last remaining princess of a kingdom overrun by dragons. When the two switch places, they must navigate life in the other's shoes and find a way home. Publication is set for fall 2025; Victoria Marini at Irene Goodman Agency sold world English rights.
Martha Mihalick at Greenwillow Books has bought Heidi Heilig's debut middle grade novel, Cincinnati Lee and the Spear of Destiny. When 12-year-old Cincinnati Lee's great-great-grandfather took an ancient idol from an archeological dig, he unwittingly brought a curse home with it—and now Cincinnati is determined to return the idol to its rightful home, if she can outwit the nefarious auction house and the crusading hobby-store magnate who are after the artifact too. Publication is planned for winter 2025; Molly Ker Hawn at the Bent Agency brokered the two-book deal for North American rights.
Liz Bicknell and Miriam Newman at Candlewick have acquired world English rights to Newbery Medalist Laura Amy Schlitz's (l.) The Riddle-Wood, a picture book of riddles, the answers to which are to be found by taking a walk through the natural world. Melissa Sweet (Celia Planted a Garden) will illustrated. Publication is scheduled for spring 2026; Stephen Barbara at Inkwell Management represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Naomi Kirsten at Chronicle has bought world rights for I Am We by Leslie Barnard Booth (l.), illustrated by Alexandra Finkeldey, an informational picture book that explores how and why crows roost together by the thousands in winter, pitched as Packs: Strength in Numbers meets Giant Squid. Publication is slated for fall 2025; Claire Draper at the Bent Agency represented the author, and Adriann Zurhellen at Folio Literary Management represented the illustrator.
Mary Lee Donovan at Candlewick Press has acquired world rights to Hana's Hajj by Zainab Khan (l.), illustrated by Anait Semirdzhyan. While on her first Hajj pilgrimage with her father, Hana expects the journey to be like the camping trips in her scout group, only to find it is much different than her expectations in surprising and memorable ways. Publication is set for spring 2026; Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Caitlyn Dlouhy at Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books has bought North American English rights to You Are Loved, a picture book by Sujean Rim in which a child discovers how beloved his place on earth is as nature—from wind to birds to bitty bugs—embraces his very presence. Publication is planned for summer 2024; Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties negotiated the deal.
Kathleen Merz at Eerdmans has acquired North American English rights to Home, written and illustrated by Isabelle Simler, a picture book that invites readers into dwellings across the animal kingdom, from the hermit crab's secondhand shell to the marmot's underground burrow to the termites' skyscraper of clay. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Hannele Legras at Hannele & Associates did the deal.
Clarissa Wong at Scholastic has won, at auction, world rights to debut author Pasha Westbrook's (l.) semi-autobiographical picture book Braided Roots, in which a girl's single father braids her hair while telling her stories about her Choctaw and Chickasaw Freedmen ancestors and weaving their family history together into a strong whole—within her braid and herself; Madelyn Goodnight will illustrate. Publication is set for fall 2025; Lara Perkins at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Studio Goodwin Sturges represented the illustrator.
Kelly Barrales-Saylor at Sourcebooks eXplore has bought rights, in a two-book deal for the author, to Cute Animals That Could Kill You Dead by Brooke Hartman (l.), illustrated by María García, which introduces readers to the science behind cute but killer animals, including their scientific name, habitat, size, and conservation status. Publication is planned for 2025; Sera Rivers while at Martin Literary & Media Management represented the author, and Lillian Mazeika at Tugeau 2 represented the illustrator.
Ilona Oppenheim at Tra Publishing has acquired world rights to The Forest by Aimee Isaac (l.) (The Planet We Call Home), illustrated by Mark Janssen, which tells a story of deforestation from the perspective of the forest; Andrea Gollin will edit. Publication is slated for spring 2025; Alice Fugate at the Joy Harris Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself.
Sandra Sutter at Gnome Road has bought world rights to Ready to Smile Again by Katie Lee Reinert (l.), illustrated by Sara Aziz, a picture book in which a chipmunk whose home is destroyed tucks his remaining possessions inside his cheeks for safe-keeping and must then figure out how to let go of his fear (and belongings) in order to smile again. Publication is scheduled for spring 2025; the author was unagented, and Kayla Cichello at Upstart Crow Literary represented the illustrator.