Catherine Onder at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has acquired, in a preempt, Ally Carter's debut middle grade series, starting with The Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Virtue. Pitched as what would happen "if little orphan Annie went to live with Batman," the book follows April and a ragtag group of undervalued, underestimated kids as they teach a mysterious billionaire that he has a family worth fighting for. Publication of the first book is set for fall 2019; Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary Agency negotiated the two-book deal for North American rights.
David Gale at Simon & Schuster has bought, in an exclusive submission, Dry, a YA novel by National Book Award winner Neal Shusterman (l.) and his son, Jarrod Shusterman, a film and TV writer. In this survival story, the California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, and a group of teenage friends must band together when chaos breaks out in their community. Dry is scheduled for publication in October 2018 and has been optioned by Paramount Pictures; Andrea Brown at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Sarah Shumway and Hali Baumstein at Bloomsbury Children's Books have acquired North American rights to three books from Elizabeth Eulberg, including Past Perfect Life, a YA novel about a girl whose life unravels when she learns everything she thought she knew about herself and her so-called family is a lie. Publication is set for spring 2019; Shumway will edit. An as yet untitled middle-grade standalone novel, edited by Baumstein, is slated for fall 2020. Also acquired was the fourth book in the middle-grade series The Great Shelby Holmes; the book is planned for fall 2019. Erin Malone at William Morris Endeavor did the deal.
Laura Schreiber and Hannah Allaman at Disney-Hyperion have preempted, in a two-book deal, North American rights to Elysium Girls, a debut fantasy by Kate Pentecost. Pitched as Mad Max: Fury Road meets Caraval in an alternate history American Dust Bowl, the book features a girl gang of witches and a wildcard demon who are the most valuable players in a deadly game between the Goddesses of Life and Death, one with possibly apocalyptic consequences. Publication is slated for winter 2020; Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties negotiated the deal.
Alison Weiss at Sky Pony has bought The People of the Lake, a debut novel by Nick Scorza, about a 16-year-old Queens girl who, while investigating her friend's murder in her father's small upstate town, uncovers secrets that the town—and her family—will do anything to keep buried. Publication is set for spring 2019; Jason Anthony at Massie & McQuilkin brokered the deal for world rights.
Julie Matysik at Running Press Kids has acquired #OwnVoices author Natasha Deen's Nira Paints the Sky in B-Flat, a contemporary coming-of-age YA story about a Guyanese girl who must find the balance between her parents' cultural expectations and traditions while pursuing her dream of being a great trumpeter. Publication is scheduled for April 2019; Amy Tompkins at Transatlantic Agency did the deal for North American rights.
Eliza Swift at Albert Whitman has bought world English rights to Tom Ryan's Keep This to Yourself. Pitched as Last Seen Leaving meets I Am Not a Serial Killer, the book is about a group of lifelong friends who are shattered when a serial killer strikes their small town and claims one of their own. A year later, unable to let go, Mac finds himself investigating new clues, and begins to wonder if he can trust anything, including his feelings for his best friend, the boy who died. The novel is slated for a spring 2019 release; Eric Smith at P.S. Literary handled the deal.
Lisa Sandell at Scholastic has acquired, for the new Scholastic Focus imprint, Rebecca Rissman's The Space Chase: A True Story of the Women and Men Who Tested to Become America's First Astronauts. The narrative nonfiction middle grade book begins with the birth of aeronautics and evolves into a story about the way gender politics affected the development of the American space program. Publication is set for early 2020; Jennifer Unter at the Unter Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Kate Harrison at Dial has bought, at auction, debut author-illustrator Zoë Tilley Poster's The Night Wild, a picture book about Dog, who is swept up by the moon-bright light and has an adventure before dawn breaks. Publication for the first title is planned for spring 2020, with a second, untitled picture book to follow; Andrea Morrison at Writers House negotiated the deal for world rights.
Jill Davis at HarperCollins has acquired Baby Scientist, a series of four board books by Laura Gehl, illustrated by Daniel Wiseman. Each book features a baby who presents an area of science, including botany, oceanography, paleontology, and astronomy. Publication for the first two books is scheduled for summer 2019; Erzsi Deak at Hen & Ink Literary represented the author, and Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary represented the illustrator for world rights.
Carol Malnor at Dawn Publishing has bought world rights to Lucy's Lab author Michelle Houts's (l.) picture book, tentatively titled Coal, a true animal rescue tale about an owl mother who chooses an unlikely nesting spot, power plant workers who decide to do the right thing, and an environmentalist with a big heart and warm shirt pockets who lends a helping hand. Deb Hoeffner will illustrate; publication is slated for fall 2019. Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Rotem Moscovich and Heather Crowley at Disney-Hyperion have acquired Thunder Trucks by Katy Beebe (l.) (Brother Hugo and the Bear) and Cheryl Klein(The Magic Words), illustrated by Mike Boldt (How to Grow a Dinosaur). In the rhyming story, Dozer, Crane, Dump Truck, Fire Truck, Tanker, and Big Rig work together to construct a wonderful thunderstorm. Publication is planned for fall 2019; Brianne Johnson at Writers House represented the authors, and Jennifer Rofé at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented Boldt.
Liesa Abrams at Simon Pulse has acquired Corey Ann Haydu's new YA novel, Her Stillness, a modern feminist fairytale about four princesses who have been placed under a spell by a young witch. With each princess cursed with a fatal flaw, and their mother the queen frozen inside a glass box, the royal family and their kingdom must overcome a secret legacy of pain as they work to break the spell. Also acquired was Everything Before After, a YA novel in verse about seven generations of women, whose saga culminates in a shocking act by its youngest daughter. Publication for Her Stillness is slated for spring 2020; Victoria Marini at the Irene Goodman Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.
Diana Gill at Tor Teen has bought Shannon Price's debut, The Red Bridge Wars, in her first YA acquisition for the imprint. It's a reimagining of The Iliad set in a version of modern-day San Francisco where three gangs rule the city streets. The story follows one grieving teen who joins the Wars to seek vengeance for her younger brother, but finds herself torn between old love and new loyalty. Publication is scheduled for fall 2019; Elana Roth Parker at Laura Dail Literary Agency negotiated the two-book deal for world English rights.
Jessica Anderson at Holt/Ottaviano has acquired world rights to Black Girl Unlimited, a contemporary YA coming-of-age story by writer and performer Echo Brown, based heavily on the author's own experience growing up in Ohio. The book is planned for 2020; the author represented herself.
Michele Wells at DC Zoom has bought world rights to Black Canary: Ignite, a middle-grade graphic novel by Meg Cabot. Fourteen-year-old Dinah Lance wants more than anything to fight crime in Gotham City when she grows up, just like her police detective father, but he would rather keep his girl safe. Things change when Dinah discovers she has inherited her mother's secret superpower: a sonic scream that can shatter objects and destroy armies. The book is set to be released in 2019; Laura Langlie at Laura Langlie Agency represented Cabot.
Namrata Tripathi at Penguin's new Kokila imprint has acquired At the Mountain's Base by Cherokee author Traci Sorell (l.), illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre, a Tongva/Scots-Gaelic comics artist making her picture-book debut. The circular story in verse describes a pilot engaged in battle far away, while her family waits at home for her safe return. Publication is slated for fall 2019; Emily Mitchell at Wernick & Pratt represented the author in the deal for world English rights; the illustrator was unagented.
Jordan Nielsen and Craig Cohen at Pow! Kids Books have bought world English rights to Cynthia Leonor Garza's (l.) Lucía the Luchadora and the Million Masks, the story of Lucía's little sister Gemma, who wants to be a luchadora like her big sister, but seems to find trouble wherever she goes. Alyssa Bermudez will illustrate; publication is scheduled for fall 2018. Marietta B. Zacker at Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator was unagented.
Kelly Loughman at Holiday House has acquired world rights to author-illustrator Linda Olafsdottir's wordless picture book, In the Middle, in which two mischievous hedgehogs interrupt a girl's drawing when they climb out from the middle of the picture book to reveal a series of hidden worlds. Publication is set for summer 2019; Abigail Samoun of Red Fox Literary represented the author.
Tracy Mack at Scholastic has bought author-illustrator Ross Burach's new picture book, The Very Impatient Caterpillar, about a caterpillar who finds waiting a whole two weeks to turn into a butterfly very challenging. Publication is planned for 2019; Lara Perkins at Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Lisa Rosinsky at Barefoot Books has acquired world rights excluding Iran to The Book Tree by Paul Czajak, illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh. The picture book tells the story of a reactionary mayor who bans all the books in his town, and the imaginative boy who shows him that suppressing people's stories only encourages them to blossom more beautifully than ever. Publication is slated for fall 2018; Uwe Stender and Brent Taylor at TriadaUS represented the author, and Carrie Hannigan at Hannigan Salky Getzler represented the illustrator.
Carol Hinz at Lerner/Carolrhoda has bought Let 'Er Buck, a picture book by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by 2018 Caldecott Honor artist Gordon C. James. The book celebrates the life of African-American cowboy George Fletcher, focusing on the 1911 Pendleton Round-Up, in which Fletcher lost to a white man but was ultimately declared "people's champion." It's scheduled for spring 2019; Tracey Adams at Adams Literary represented the author, and Regina Brooks at Serendipity Literary Agency represented the illustrator.
Jennifer Adams at Sounds True has acquired Deborah Hopkinson's (l.) nonfiction picture book, Under the Bodhi Tree: A Story of the Buddha, illustrated by Kailey Whitman. The book focuses on the childhood of Siddhartha. Publication is set for fall 2018; Steven Malk at Writers House represented the author, and Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 represented the illustrator in the deal for world rights.
Annie Berger at Sourcebooks Jabberwocky has bought, at auction, world rights to Unicorn Day by Diana Murray(City Shapes, Ned the Knitting Pirate), illustrated by Luke Flowers. The book tells the story of what happens to an imposter horse who tries to crash the most glittery day of the year, Unicorn Day. Publication is planned for 2019; Brianne Johnson at Writers House represented the author, and the illustrator represented himself.
Zoe Burke at PomegranateKids has acquired world rights to Four Otters Toboggan: An Animal Counting Book by Vivian Kirkfield (l.), illustrated by Mirka Hokkanen. Readers follow wildlife through the day in this counting book that introduces endangered species. Publication is scheduled for spring 2019; Essie White at Storm Literary Agency represented the author and the illustrator.
Kristine Enderle at Magination Press has bought world rights to Danielle Dufayet's (l.) You Are Your Strong, a book encouraging children to develop inner strength, with the help of nature, animals, and their imagination. Jennifer Zivoin will illustrate; publication is slated for March 2019. Karen Grenicik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Mela Bolinao at MB Artists represented the illustrator.