Melissa Frain at Tor Teen has acquired Kristen Simmons's latest YA trilogy, The Valhalla Academy. The series, a Norse myth-inspired riff on The Skulls, is about an elite boarding school where students earn their keep running cons for their powerful headmaster, the girl from the wrong side of the tracks who gains admittance into their too-good-to-be-true world, and the real cost of success. Publication of the first book, The Price of Admission, is set for fall 2018, with A Study in Deception and The Measure of Risk to follow; Joanna Mackenzie at Nelson Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Sarah Barley at Flatiron Books has bought Kathryn Barker’s U.S. debut, Waking Romeo. Pitched as Romeo and Juliet meets Wuthering Heights, the YA novel follows Jules Capulet who, in a future world, is reeling from the end of her romance with a classmate called Romeo; it has left him in a coma and her as a social outcast. Enter Heathcliff Ellis, a time traveler sent on a mission to wake Romeo. Publication is planned for winter 2019; Sara Burnes at the Gernert Company negotiated the deal for world English rights (excluding Australia/New Zealand).
Aimee Friedman at Scholastic has acquired North American rights to Fake by Skinny author Donna Cooner, a YA novel about a girl who creates a fake social-media account in an attempt to connect with a boy at school. As the strategy works, her web of online lies increases, until the girl whose identity she's stolen becomes all too real. Publication is scheduled for 2019; Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary did the deal.
Anne Heltzel at Abrams/Amulet has bought in a pre-empt Hope Cook's YA debut, House of Ash, about a Victorian-era girl trapped in an eerie mansion with her malevolent stepfather, while a boy in the present witnesses her torment through a cursed mirror and tries to save her. Publication is slated for fall 2017; Heather Flaherty at the Bent Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.
Jocelyn Davies at HarperCollins has acquired Drum Roll, Please by Lisa Jenn Bigelow, a contemporary middle grade novel about a drummer named Melly, whose parents announce they're getting a divorce the day before she leaves for rock camp. She has a life-changing summer at camp as she navigates confusing feelings, changing friendships, and her first crush on a girl, and learns to find her own beat. Publication is set for summer 2018; Steven Chudney at the Chudney Agency negotiated the two-book deal for North American rights.
Sonali Fry at Bonnier Publishing USA has bought in a preempt The Colors of the Rain by R.L. Toalson for the company's new middle grade imprint. A historical middle-grade debut novel in verse, the book is set against the backdrop of Houston's 1972 desegregation battles, and tells the story of a boy coming to terms with loss and the changes in his life and town. Publication is planned for fall 2018; Rena Rossner at the Deborah Harris Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Katherine Tegen at HarperCollins/Tegen has acquired All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook author Leslie Connor's Dogs and Goddesses, about an orphaned girl who comes to a rural town in Connecticut to live with her aunt, her aunt's partner, and the old man they care for; she will recreate a family with the help of a big yellow dog with a mysterious past. Publication is slated for summer 2019; Miriam Altshuler at DeFiore and Company handled the deal for world English rights.
Adrienne Szpyrka at Running Press Kids has bought Amy Dixon's debut middle grade novel, Annie B., Made-for-TV, in which an exuberant 11-year-old aspiring TV commercial writer auditions as the host for a web show, but must deal with her talented best friend showing her up. Publication is scheduled for spring 2018; Laura Biagi at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Rebecca Davis at Boyds Mills Press has acquired The Three Rules of Everyday Magic, a middle-grade novel by debut author Amanda Rawson Hill. The book follows 11-year-old Kate, who is starting to believe in what her grandmother calls “everyday magic”—she just hopes it can bring back her estranged feather or her erstwhile best friend. Publication is set for fall 2018; Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown Ltd. brokered the deal for North American rights.
Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Paulsen has bought Tamara Bundy's untitled novel set during post-Depression wartime. Pixie moves in with her grandparents after her mother dies, her father can't find work, and her beloved sister is stricken with polio, for which Pixie blames herself. So her father brings her a lamb to nurse—to brighten Pixie's world—until the unthinkable happens on the farm. Publication is slated for summer 2019; Steven Chudney at the Chudney Agency did the deal for world rights.
Sonali Fry at Little Bee has acquired Polka Dot Parade, a picture book about fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, by Deborah Blumenthal (l.) with illustrations by Masha D'yans. Publication is planned for summer 2018; Abigail Samoun at Red Fox Literary negotiated the deal for world rights for both the author and illustrator.
Kelsey Skea at Amazon/Two Lions has bought a picture book by author-illustrator Jim Benton, tentatively titled Comet, in which one of Santa's reindeer is sidelined on Christmas Eve, but still manages to help Santa avoid a holiday catastrophe. Publication is scheduled for fall 2019; Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions brokered the deal for world rights.
Juliana Hanford at Kane Press has acquired Norman and the Nom Nom Factory by debut author-illustrator Bridgette Zou. The picture book tells the story of Norman, who happily lives alone on Planet Gerp making Nom Noms in his factory and eating Nom Noms at every meal, until a small but exuberant stranger challenges Norman's ideas about foods and adventures. Publication is set for January 2018; Ayanna Coleman at Quill Shift Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Paula Wiseman at S&S/Wiseman has bought world rights to Peek-A-Who author Nina Laden's (l.) Yellow Kayak, which tells the adventure of a child at sea in a kayak, inspired by the archetypal hero's journey. Melissa Castrillon will illustrate; publication is slated for spring 2018. Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Barb McNally and Heather Hughes at Sleeping Bear Press have acquired world rights to Kindergarrrten Bus, a picture book by Mike Ornstein (l.) about a rough and tough pirate bus driver, who experiences the same anxiety that many children feel on their first day of school. Kevin M. Barry will illustrate; publication is planned for fall 2018. Anna Olswanger at Olswanger Literary represented the author, and the artist was unagented.
Tamar Mays at HarperCollins has bought world rights to Susan Eaddy's (l.) picture book, Eenie Meenie Halloweenie, to be illustrated by Lucy Fleming. Halloween offers a crafty girl the chance to get creative and dress up as her favorite animal companions. But how can she possibly choose? Publication is scheduled for summer 2020; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Arabella Stein at Bright USA represented the illustrator.
Zareen Jaffery at S&S has bought two standalone YA novels from Tash Hearts Tolstoy author Kathryn Ormsbee. The first, The Great Unknowable End, is set in 1970s Kansas, about a NASA-loving girl and commune-dwelling boy who form an unlikely bond during a series of increasingly peculiar events that stir up speculation and panic in their small town. Publication is planned for summer 2018; Beth Phelan at the Bent Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.
Joanna Ng at TarcherPerigee has acquired engineering professor Barbara Oakley and Terrence Sejnowski's Learning How to Learn, the YA version of Oakley's bestselling book, A Mind for Numbers, which served as the basis for her popular online course. Rita Rosenkranz at Rita Rosenkranz Literary Agency represented Oakley and Sejnowski in the deal for world rights.
Taylor Norman at Chronicle has bought poet Rebecca Balcárcel's middle grade novel, Quijana, about a biracial girl who's navigating the Guatemalan side of her family, a burgeoning crush and a cool new friend, and trying to figure out what's going on with her little brother, who is becoming remote and hard to reach, all while trying to determine just who she is. Publication is scheduled for fall 2019; Katie Grimm at Don Congdon Associates negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Kristen Pettit at HarperCollins has acquired Eleven and Holding author Mary Penney's new middle-grade novel, Green Eyes and Ham, in which a 12-year-old homeschooled adopted preacher’s kid starts public school and is soon caught up in way more than he bargained for. It is set to publish in winter 2019; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Eliza Swift at Albert Whitman has bought Cynthia Ellingsen's middle grade debut, The Girls of Firefly Cabin. In the vein of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, the story follows four tween girls, their individual struggles, and the bonds they forge during an unforgettable summer at camp. Publication is slated for spring 2019; Brent Taylor at the Triada US Literary Agency did the deal for world English rights.
Carol Hinz at Millbrook Press has acquired a middle-grade narrative nonfiction title by Patricia Newman, Eavesdropping on Elephants, which highlights elephants' infrasonic communication, the formation of the Elephant Listening Project, how ELP studies the habits of secretive forest elephants, and how it contributes to the conservation of a necessary and beloved species. Publication is planned for fall 2018; Deborah Warren at East/West Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Dinah Stevenson has bought world rights to Almost Time, a picture book written by Gary Schmidt (l.) and Elizabeth Stickney, illus. by G. Brian Karas. In this father-and-son story, waiting for the sap to run in the sugar maples takes all the patience Ethan has, but finally he gets maple syrup to put on his oatmeal. Publication is set for spring 2019; Rick Margolis at Rising Bear Literary Agency represented the authors, and Brenda Bowen at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates represented the illustrator.
Liz Szabla at Feiwel and Friends has acquired world rights to two picture books written by Taye Diggs (l.) and illustrated by Shane W. Evans. The first book, I Love You More Than, is about a father's love for his son. Publication is scheduled for 2018; the picture book duo previously collaborated on Mixed Me and Chocolate Me. The deal was handled by Tina Wexler at ICM for Diggs and Rebecca Sherman at Writers House for Evans.
Rotem Moscovich at Disney-Hyperion has bought world rights in a two-book deal to Catherine Bailey's (l.) Harbor Bound, which follows an array of voyaging vessels as they head for home and sail through a squall, just in time to tuck into port. The first book will be illustrated by Ellen Shi, and publication is slated for 2018. Kathleen Rushall at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at Bright USA represented the illustrator.
Jennifer Ung at S&S/Aladdin has acquired world rights to author Kat Zhang's (l.) debut picture book, Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao, about a Chinese-American girl's quest to make the perfect bao dumpling. Charlene Chua will illustrate; publication is set for fall 2019. Emmanuelle Morgen at Stonesong Literary represented the author, and Tracy Marchini at BookEnds Literary represented the illustrator.
Emily Feinberg at Roaring Brook Press has bought world rights to The Summer Nick Taught His Cat to Read author Curtis Manley's picture book, Robot Dog, about a girl who has wanted a dog forever, and finally decides to take matters into her own very capable hands. Real Friends illustrator LeUyen Pham will illustrate; publication is planned for spring 2020. Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author and Linda Pratt at Wernick and Pratt represented the illustrator.
Stacey Barney at Putnam has acquired world rights to The Beach Lady, a debut picture book by author Heidi Tyline King (l.), to be illustrated by Caldecott Honor author Ekua Holmes. The book tells the story of MaVynee Betsch, an eccentric environmentalist who saved Florida's American Beach, noted for its role in African-American history. Publication is scheduled for spring 2020; Erica Rand Silverman at Stimola Literary Studio did the deal for the author while at Sterling Lord Literistic, and Rubin Pfeffer at Rubin Pfeffer Content represented the illustrator.
Ellen Cormier at Dial has bought Little Green Girl, a debut picture book written and illustrated by Lisa Anchin. Budding into being in a sheltered garden, Little Green Girl yearns to know life outside of it, and her wanderlust rubs off on her reclusive gardener, who is her only hope to see the world. Publication is planned for spring 2019; Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary & Media brokered the deal for world rights.
Michael Green at Philomel has acquired Piggies by James Serafino, a debut picture book that follows a cereal-loving kid on his journey to find a pet who can keep up with his crumbs. A publication date has not yet been announced; Steven Malk at Writers House represented Serafino in the deal for world rights.
Rick Rinehart at Globe Pequot/Muddy Boots has bought world English rights to Goodnight Seahorse, a board book by Carly Allen-Fletcher about the marine biome and the animals who live there. Publication is slated for spring 2018; Anna Olswanger at Olswanger Literary represented the author-illustrator.