Katherine Harrison at Knopf has acquired Elizabeth Lim's YA debut, The Blood of Stars, and an untitled sequel, pitched as Project Runway meets The Wrath and the Dawn. To provide for her family, 17-year-old Maia Tamarin disguises herself as a boy to compete for the position of imperial tailor. Her task to sew three magical gowns of the sun and moon and stars leads her to find adventure, romance, and danger in a Chinese-inspired fantasy set along a re-imagined Silk Road. Publication is scheduled for May 2019; Gina Maccoby of Gina Maccoby Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Sonali Fry at Bonnier/Yellow Jacket has signed two books in the Gemini Mysteries, an illustrated, interactive middle-grade mystery series written by Kat Shepherd. The series kicks off with The North Star, in which a diverse group of kids work through motives, suspects, and scenarios behind the disappearance of a diamond necklace. Publication of the first book is set for spring 2019; Erin Murphy of Erin Murphy Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Margaret Ferguson at Holiday House has bought The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle author Christina Uss's new middle-grade novel, Colossus of Roads. The story stars an 11-year-old boy with an eye for patterns who finds an unexpected way to make a difference when his city is caught in a crisis. The book is planned for spring 2019; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.
Putnam has acquired Confessions of a Dork Lord, an illustrated middle grade novel by Michael Johnston, in which a young warlock-in-training embarks on a mission to follow in his father's footsteps to become the next Dark Lord of the Known World—and survive middle school. Publication is slated for spring 2019; Richard Abate at 3 Arts Entertainment brokered the deal for world rights.
Alice Jonaitis at Random House/Beginner Books has bought A Ticket for Cricket, a rhyming early reader written and illustrated by Molly Coxe, about a baby cricket who becomes homesick during a trip to outer space. Publication is scheduled for fall 2020; Wendi Gu at Janklow & Nesbit Associates negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Paula Wiseman at S&S/Wiseman has acquired author-illustrator Elizabeth Rose Stanton's Cowie, a picture book about a donkey who wants nothing more than to be a cow, but needs his friends to help him learn how to moo first. Publication is planned for spring 2019; Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary & Media handled the deal for world rights.
Neal Porter at Holiday House has bought world rights, at auction, to Adrea Theodore's (l.) debut picture book A History of Me, illustrated by Erin Robinson, for his new imprint. The story follows a girl as she comes to terms with America's legacy of slavery and segregation, and its generational impact on her and her family. Publication is set for fall 2019; Brooks Sherman at Janklow & Nesbit represented the author while at the Bent Agency, and Marzena Torzecka at Marlena Agency represented the illustrator.
Michael Green at Philomel has acquired world rights to Laura McGee Kvasnosky's (l.) Squeak!, in which a small mouse's squeak sets off a chain reaction that wakes all the animals in the mountains and meadows, as he wonders, "Why is everyone up so early today?" The book is illustrated by Kvasnosky and Kate Harvey McGee, the sister team behind Little Wolf's First Howling. Publication is slated for summer 2019; Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio brokered the deal.
Tom Peterson at the Creative Company has bought world rights to the picture book My Mastodon, by Barbara Lowell, illustrated by Antonio Marinoni. The book is based on the real-life Sybilla Peale, her artistic family, and their “pet” mastodon. Publication is scheduled for fall 2019; Abigail Samoun of Red Fox Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself.
Charlotte Wenger at Page Street Kids has acquired world rights to Kim Chaffee's (l.) Nothing Wee About Me. In the picture book, a girl goes on an imaginary adventure with a magical ladle and saves the day in time to be home for soup. Debut artist Laura Bobbiesi will illustrate; publication is planned for spring 2019. The author and illustrator represented themselves.
Kristen Pettit at HarperCollins has acquired Cindy Lin's The Twelve, a debut #ownvoices Asian-inspired middle-grade fantasy. Pitched as Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Harry Potter, the book, first in a duology, follows 12-year-old Usagi as she teams up with rebels in hiding to hone her innate magical abilities—and reunite a mythical group of warriors—to save her island kingdom from a tyrannical Dragonlord. Publication will begin in summer 2019; Josh Adams at Adams Literary negotiated the two-book deal for North American rights.
Elise Howard at Algonquin has bought world English rights to Susan Kaplan Carlton's In the Neighborhood of True, the story of a high school girl who moves from Manhattan to Atlanta in 1958 and falls for sweet tea and debutante dances, while hiding the fact that she's Jewish—until the synagogue she's been secretly attending is blown up by the KKK, and the boy she believes she loves may be involved. The book is inspired by the real-life bombing of Atlanta's oldest temple. Publication is scheduled for spring 2019; Rosemary Stimola of Stimola Literary Studio brokered the deal.
Joan Powers at Candlewick has acquired world rights to Joe & Sparky author Jamie Michalak's new chapter book, Frank & Bean, illustrated by Bob Kolar. The story features a hot dog and a bean who go camping, form a band, and play around with words. Publication is set for fall 2019; Victoria Wells Arms of Wells Arms Literary handled the deal for the author, and Studio Goodwin Sturges represented the illustrator.
Ellen Cormier at Dial has acquired, at auction, author-illustrator Kelly Leigh Miller's debut picture book, I Am a Wolf, a story about a rescue pup who believes she doesn't need a pack—until she meets the girl who will melt her icy heart. Publication is planned for summer 2019, with a second, untitled picture book to follow in summer 2020; Thao Le at Sandra Dijkstra & Associates negotiated the two-book deal for world English rights.
Stacey Barney at Putnam has bought world rights to Abrams editorial director Traci Todd's A Story of Nina Simone, a picture book biography of the musician, telling how she defied genre and expectation both musically and socially; Christian Robinson will illustrate; publication is tentatively slated for 2021. Steven Malk of Writers House represented both author and illustrator.
Margaret Ferguson at Holiday House has bought Snowy Race by April Jones Prince (l.), illustrated by Christine Davenier, in which a girl and her father, a snowplow driver, compete against a snowstorm in order to pick up someone special. The book is scheduled for fall 2019; Studio Goodwin Sturges represented both the author and the illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Karen Boss at Charlesbridge has acquired world rights to Bob Raczka's (l.) Beware!, to be illustrated by Larry Day, about a bear and a bee who meet on uncertain terms but ultimately become friends. The story is told in words made up of only the five letters in the title. Publication is set for fall 2019; Kelly Sonnack of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and Amy Rennert of the Amy Rennert Agency represented the illustrator.
Dimiter Savoff at Simply Read Books has bought world rights to Marisa and the Mountains by George M. Johnson. The book depicts a girl who is fearful of her mountainous surroundings, but after traveling to the prairies, she comes to discover how special her home is. Chelsea O'Byrne will illustrate; publication is planned for spring 2019. Essie White of Storm Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.