Jenna Lettice at Random House has acquired Gabe Cole Novoa's These Vengeful Gods, a YA dystopian fantasy, part The Hunger Games, part An Ember in the Ashes, that follows a teen descended from the god of Death whose identity must be kept secret as they fight their way through a gladiator-style competition towards victory and rebellion against the gods who murdered their family. Publication is planned for spring 2025; Louise Fury at the Fury Agency sold world rights.
Anne Hoppe at HarperCollins/Allida has bought, in an exclusive submission, an untitled middle grade historical fiction novel by Karina Yan Glaser (the Vanderbeekers series). Told in alternating voices, two young people from New York City’s Chinatown in 1931 and China’s Tang Dynasty in 731 are connected through the silk routes and are faced with impossible decisions as they try to save their families and livelihoods. Publication is scheduled for winter 2025; Ginger Clark at Ginger Clark Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.
Aimee Friedman at Scholastic Press has acquired The Escaped Girl by Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award-winning author Victoria Bond (Zora and Me), a middle-grade novel told in alternating timelines about Verity, an enslaved girl in 1851 Missouri who sets out to escape to the north with her younger brother, and Maeve, a present-day girl who discovers that her house may have been a stop on the Underground Railroad— and may be haunted by Verity's ghost. Publication is projected for 2025; Tanya McKinnon at McKinnon Literary sold world rights.
Karen Wojtyla at McElderry Books has bought North American rights to Betsy Uhrig's next middle-grade novel, Mind over Monsters!, about an anxious seventh grader who tries out a new mindfulness app at school, only the calls to "face her fears" become increasingly literal, and oddly specific monsters start to appear—and multiply. Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency did the deal, for publication in summer 2024.
Mallory Kass at Scholastic has acquired The Witching Wind by Schneider Honor author Natalie Lloyd. The middle-grade contemporary fantasy follows two tweens as they try to track down their lost loved ones while a magical windstorm—that might have something to do with the disappearances—wreaks havoc on their small town. Publication is slated for fall 2024; Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media brokered the deal for North American rights.
Della Farrell at Holiday House has bought Serendipity, a debut middle-grade graphic novel by Gabbie Benda. In the story, when a carnival machine gives an overconfident middle schooler an ominous fortune, she decides that bad luck is to blame for her problems, rather than her own choices, and makes humorous attempts to reverse her luck. Publication is planned for spring 2026; Tori Sharp at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Robyn Chapman at First Second has acquired world rights to Ralph, Andy Hirsch's middle-grade graphic novel about an anxious boy and a rambunctious dog who bond while facing obstacles on and off the agility course. Jill Freshney will also edit. Publication is scheduled for 2025; the author represented himself.
Sarah Ketchersid at Candlewick Press has bought world rights to One Mad Cat by Vicky Fang (Ava Lin), a young graphic novel series about a mad cat and her not-so-mad friends who, along with young readers, use clues to solve simple mysteries. The first book will be published in fall 2025; Elizabeth Bennett at the Transatlantic Agency brokere the two-book deal.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books has acquired Michael Rex's The Hat Club, a whimsical satire that examines social pressures and body autonomy. Publication is slated for spring 2026; Timothy Travaglini at Transatlantic Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Zareen Jaffery at Kokila has bought world rights to Zuni and the Memory Jar by Aisha Saeed (l.), illustrated by Neha Rawat, that introduces sweet, silly, ever-so-charming Zuni, whose family keeps a memory jar for their greatest achievements, which Zuni has her own ideas about. Publication is set for summer 2024; Faye Bender at the Book Group represented the author, and Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary represented the illustrator, who is now represented by Lori Steel at Red Fox Literary.
Frances Gilbert at Doubleday has acquired world rights to Over in the Garden by Janna Matthies (l.), illustrated by Tisha Lee. In this rhyming picture book based on the counting song "Over in the Meadow," a group of children come together to bring a community garden to life. Publication is planned for spring 2025; Rachel Orr at Prospect Agency represented the author, and Susan McCabe at Lilla Rogers Studio represented the illustrator.
Connie Hsu at Roaring Brook has bought world rights for Bread Is Love by Pooja Makhijani (l.), illustrated by Lavanya Naidu, a picture book about a mother and her child sharing a beautiful bond during their ritual bread making, and another untitled picture book. Publication is scheduled for spring 2025; Saba Sulaiman at Talcott Notch Literary Services represented the author, and Aliza Hoover at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Rosemary Brosnan at Heartdrum has acquired Here Come the Aunties! by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee) (l.), author of Harvest House and Sisters of the Neversea, illustrated by Aphelandra Messer (Oneida), a celebration of beloved aunties, who are so important to Native families and many other families everywhere. Publication is set for winter 2026; Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown Ltd. brokered the deal for world English rights.
Suzy Capozzi and Emily Duffy at Union Square Kids have bought, at auction, world rights to Crossing the Finish Line by Thushanthi Ponweera (l.), illustrated by Maithili Joshi, a picture book about the courage and perseverance of 1964 Sri Lankan Olympian Ranatunge Karunananda, and the ways in which we define success. Publication is slated for spring 2025; Jacqueline Lipton at the Tobias Literary Agency represented the author, and Chad W. Beckerman at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Hilary Van Dusen with Carter Hasegawa at Candlewick has acquired world rights to The Fastest Drummer: Clap Your Hands for Viola Smith! by Dean Robbins (l.), illustrated by Susanna Chapman. The nonfiction picture book follows the story of Viola Smith, a small-town girl who falls in love with the drums while playing in her family's band in the 1920s, a time when no one takes female instrumentalists seriously. Publication is planned for spring 2024; Marietta B. Zacker at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency represented the author, and Andrea Morrison at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Amy Novesky at Cameron Kids has bought world rights to Cowgirl Dreaming by R.J. Owens (l.), illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow. This picture book, featuring a determined girl riding for the first time in Oakland's annual Black Cowboy Parade, celebrates the long tradition of Black equestrians. Publication is scheduled for fall 2025. Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Lori Nowicki at Painted Words represented the illustrator.
Marisa DiNovis at Knopf has acquired world rights to The Bi Book by A.J. Irving (l.) (The Wishing Flower) and Cynthia Alonso (Aquarium), a picture book exploration of words with the prefix 'bi'—and how bisexuality evolves its meaning. Publication is set for summer 2025; Jordan Hamessley at JABberwocky Literary Agency represented the author, and Erica Rand Silverman at Stimola Literary Studio represented the illustrator.
Wendy McClure at Sourcebooks Jabberwocky has bought world rights to How to Surprise Humans by Lucas Klauss (l.), illustrated by Mike Moran, about a dinosaur that learns that surprises aren't fun unless everyone is having fun. Publication is slated for spring 2025; Kate McKean at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency represented the author, and Freddie Dawson at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Katie Scott at Kids Can Press has acquired April dela Noche Milne's author-illustrator debut Nora at Night, a picture book about a creative girl who is sensitive to the noisy chaos daytime brings but finds joy and comfort in the softer nighttime sounds. Patricia Ocampo will edit; publication is planned for 2026. Janine Le at Janine Le Literary Agency sold world rights.
Aneeka Kalia at Viking has bought Bear in a Bathrobe, a picture book by author-illustrator Maddie Frost, in which a bear who loves his fuzzy bathrobe and all things cozy learns the value and joy that can come from moving outside of his comfort zone, when his friends help him enjoy a day of winter fun. Publication is scheduled for fall 2024; Andrea Morrison at Writers House sold world rights.