Ken Wright and Leila Sales at Viking have acquired, and Sales will edit, The Smoke Thieves, first in a new trilogy by Sally Green, author of the bestselling Half Bad trilogy. It's a fantasy series set against a backdrop of warring kingdoms and mysterious magic. Ben Horslen at Penguin Random House Children's in the U.K. bought world rights from Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge and White; the book will publish in summer 2018, simultaneously with PRH UK.
Nicole Ellul at Simon Pulse has bought, in a six-figure deal, A Sky Without Stars and Between Burning Worlds, the first two books in the System Divine Series by Jessica Brody (l.) and Joanne Rendell. The sci-fi novels, billed as Les Misérables meets The Lunar Chronicles, are set on the French planet-colony of Laterre, where the fates of three teens from very different backgrounds intertwine amid the looming threat of revolution. Publication is slated for spring 2019 and spring 2020; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal for world rights.
Stacey Barney at Putnam has acquired at auction Alex Villasante's The Grief Keeper, about sisters Marisol and Gabriella Morales who make it across the Mexican border only to learn their request for asylum is being denied, unless Marisol participates in a human study for a cutting-edge PTSD treatment. It's scheduled for spring 2019; Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Agency handled the two-book deal for North American rights.
Jordan Brown at HarperCollins/Walden Pond Press has bought Rebecca Ansari's debut middle grade novel, tentatively titled The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly, and one additional novel. When Charlie O'Reilly's little brother, Liam, vanishes, no one except his best friend Ana and a new boy in town believe him. Together they embark on a journey into an unseen world, where getting in may be easier than getting out. Publication is projected for 2019; Danielle Smith at Lupine Grove Creative brokered the two-book deal for world English rights.
Jill Davis at HarperCollins has acquired at auction world English rights to a new picture book series by My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish author Mo O'Hara, starring dinosaurs in humorous retellings of classic stories. In the first book, Romeosaurus and Juliet Rex, an herbivore and a carnivore wonder if they can make their friendship work in spite of their differences. The series will be illustrated by Andrew Joyner; book one is set for fall 2018. Gemma Cooper at the Bent Agency represented the author and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented the illustrator.
Carter Hasegawa at Candlewick has bought world rights to Tami Charles's (l.) debut picture book, Freedom Soup, celebrating the history behind the Haitian tradition of ringing in the New Year by eating soup joumou. Jacqueline Alcántara, the inaugural winner of the We Need Diverse Books Illustration Mentorship Award, will illustrate. Publication is planned for fall 2019; Lara Perkins at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented Charles, and Adriana Domínguez at Full Circle Literary represented Alcántara.
Tom Peterson at the Creative Company has acquired world rights to the picture book A Meeting in the Sky by Rina Singh and illustrated by Jordi Vila Declòs. Set during World War II, the book depicts a mid-air encounter between two enemy pilots, when one pilot guides the other to safety. Publication is scheduled for fall 2019; Essie White of Storm Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator was unagented.
Yolanda Scott at Charlesbridge has bought world rights to Nancy Raines Day's picture book, Baby's Firsts, a rhyming story that celebrates baby's first year, to be illustrated by Michael Emberley. Publication is slated for February 2018; Tricia Lawrence of Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author and Rick Richter of Aevitas Creative Management represented the illustrator.
Tom Peterson at the Creative Company has acquired world rights to the board book You and Me, written by Rebecca Kai Dotlich (l.) and illustrated by Susan Reagan. It's a poem about a child navigating the arrival of a new baby sibling and vying for a mother's attention until the two have a moment alone together again. Publication is set for fall 2018; Elizabeth Harding of Curtis Brown Ltd. represented the author.
Barb McNally and Heather Hughes at Sleeping Bear Press have bought world rights to My Red Velvet Cape, a picture book by Digger & Daisy illustrator Dana Sullivan, about a spunky little hero and his trusty sidekick dog, with the theme of wishing we could all be superheroes. Publication is planned for spring 2018; Anna Olswanger of Olswanger Literary represented the author-illustrator.
Kate Farrell at Henry Holt has acquired the YA thriller Fake Plastic Girl and its untitled sequel, by Zara Lisbon. Inspired by The Great Gatsby, the novels are set in the 21st-century world of the Rich Kids of Instagram, Hollywood style. Publication of the first book is set for winter 2019. Richard Abate at 3 Arts Entertainment brokered the deal for world rights on behalf of the author and Spilled Ink, Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston's creative content company.
Maggie Lehrman at Abrams has bought world rights to debut author Maxine Kaplan's YA noir, The Accidental Bad Girl. The novel follows high school senior and good girl Kendall on her discovery of her bad side. After getting caught "in the act" with her best friend's boyfriend by the entire senior class, Kendall finds herself at the center of a shady drug ring, and with more than just her reputation on the line—maybe her life too. Publication is scheduled for spring 2018; Ali McDonald at the Rights Factory negotiated the deal.
Kate Egan at KCP Loft has acquired Marci Curtis's The Leading Edge of Now, in which a 17-year-old girl returns to a small coastal town where she's confronted by her former best friend, an ex-boyfriend, and a tragic secret. As sparks fly and relationships strain, the truth unfolds, forcing her to make a decision that will likely destroy the people she has grown to love. Fall 2018 is the projected publication date; Kathleen Rushall at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency sold North American rights.
Kheryn Callender at Little, Brown has bought Princess Hair and Do Not Touch My Hair! by debut author-illustrator Sharee Miller. Princess Hair celebrates the diversity of black natural hair styles, shapes, and textures, from Afros to braids and more. Do Not Touch My Hair! is about a girl's plight to escape curious hands that love to touch her hair, until finally she has had enough and teaches the importance of requesting permission first. The first book is slated for fall 2017, and the second for fall 2018; Monica Odom of the Bradford Literary Agency brokered the two-book deal for world rights.
Alessandra Balzer of HarperCollins imprint Balzer + Bray has acquired world rights to Celebrate You by Sherri Duskey Rinker (l.), author of Mighty, Mighty Construction Site, to be illustrated by A.N. Kang. This picture book celebrates every new milestone in life. Publication is planned for winter 2019; Lori Kilkelly of Rodeen Literary Management represented the author and Elena Giovinazzo of Pippin Properties represented the illustrator.
Joni Sussman at Kar-Ben has bought world rights to the picture book biography An Unlikely Ballerina, written by Krystyna Poray Goddu (l.) and illustrated by Cosei Kawa, about the early life of acclaimed ballerina Alicia Markova. Publication is scheduled for fall 2018; Jennifer Unter of the Unter Agency represented the author and Hannah Abbo of Advocate Art represented the illustrator.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books has acquired world rights to Moth & Butterfly by Dev Petty (l.), about two caterpillar friends who emerge post-metamorphosis with different results. Ana Aranda is set to illustrate; publication is set for spring 2019. Jennifer Rofé at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author and Adriana Domínguez at Full Circle Literary represented the illustrator.
Tom Peterson at the Creative Company has bought world rights to the picture book Phrases of the Moon, a collection of poems inspired by the moon, written by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Jori van der Linde. Publication is slated for fall 2018; Ginger Knowlton of Curtis Brown represented the author and Kate Moore of Sullivan Moore represented the illustrator.