Kelsey Horton at Delacorte has acquired, in a preempt, Namina Forna's YA fantasy trilogy, Deathless, about a West African-inspired blood ceremony that reveals whether or not females are “pure” enough to be members of the village, and an army of ostracized girls with extraordinary gifts training to kill. Publication is planned for spring 2020; Alice Sutherland-Hawes at Madeleine Milburn did the deal for North American rights.
Claudia Gabel at HarperCollins has bought Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore (l.) and Tehlor Kay Mejia, in which two friends, one made of stardust and one fighting to save her family's diner, take on their small town's 50th annual pageant and talent competition in the hopes that they can change their town's destiny, and their own. Publication is set for 2020; Taylor Martindale Kean at Full Circle Literary represented McLemore, and Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret represented Mejia in the deal for North American rights.
Liesa Abrams at Simon Pulse has acquired, in an exclusive submission, the first two books in Tracy Deonn Walker's debut YA contemporary fantasy series, Descendants. Pitched as a modern-day King Arthur retelling with Southern Black Girl Magic, the book follows a teenage girl who infiltrates a secret society of powerful magic wielders to find out the truth behind her mother's untimely death. Publication is scheduled for summer 2020 and 2021; Penny Moore at Empire Literary negotiated the deal for North American English rights.
Alessandra Balzer at Balzer + Bray has bought at auction author Robin Ha's debut graphic memoir for teens, Almost American Girl. In the vein of American Born Chinese, the book follows Korean-born, non-English-speaking 14-year-old Robin Ha as she is abruptly transplanted with her single mother from Seoul to Alabama. Robin must grapple with culture shock, learning English, and her new Korean stepfamily. Publication is slated for winter 2020; Samantha Haywood at the Transatlantic Agency did the deal for North American rights.
Erica Sussman at HarperTeen has acquired, in a preempt, Shelby Mahurin's debut novel, Serpent & Dove. Pitched as The Crucible meets Sarah J. Maas, the story is set in a French-inspired folklore world where Huntsmen are revered as holy men and witches burn without trial. Lou, the daughter of la Dame d'Sorcières, could end the ancient war between the Church and the witches, but when she falls in love with one of the Church's huntsmen, she is forced to choose between her coven and her heart. Publication is planned for fall 2019; Sarah Landis at Sterling Lord Literistic brokered the two-book deal for world rights.
Wendy Lamb has bought, for her eponymous Random House imprint, Optimists Die First, a middle grade novel by Susin Nielsen called No Fixed Address. Nielsen is a former writer for the TV series Degrassi Junior High; her novel is about a 12-year-old boy living with his mom in a VW camper and trying to hide his homelessness from his new friends. The book will be published in fall 2018; Hilary McMahon at Westwood Creative Artists negotiated the two-book deal for U.S. rights. In a separate deal, Tundra Books in Canada bought world rights (excluding the U.S.) to both titles.
Annie Berger at Sourcebooks Jabberwocky has acquired, at auction, Jinxedby Amy McCulloch, a middle grade novel pitched as The Golden Compassfor the digital age. The book is about a mixed-race coding star whose rebuilding of her salvaged “smart pet” gains her entry into an elite technology academy, where she discovers a world of competition, intrigue, and her own family's secrets. Publication is scheduled for spring 2020; Molly Ker Hawn at the Bent Agency did the deal for North American rights on behalf of Juliet Mushens at Caskie Mushens.
Mari Kesselring at Flux has bought world rights to Across a Broken Shore, a standalone YA historical fiction novel by Amy Trueblood (Nothing but Sky). In 1936 San Francisco, an 18-year-old girl bound for the convent discovers her love of medicine and defies her family to help a female doctor care for those building the Golden Gate Bridge. Publication is slated for fall 2019; the author represented herself.
Julie Matysik at Running Press Kids has acquired Beth Vrabel's The Humiliations of Pipi McGee, a contemporary middle grade novel about a girl who is seeking to right the wrongs of her early education, whatever the cost. Publication is planned for October 2019; Nicole Resciniti at the Seymour Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.
Sheila Keenan at Viking has bought a middle grade history of African-American women in the suffrage movement by Evette Dionne, editor-in-chief at Bitch Media. The untitled nonfiction book focuses on the important but overlooked contributions of black suffragists and the racism they confronted within the struggle for women's right to vote. Publication is set for spring 2020, to coincide with the August 2020 centennial of the 19th Amendment; Sarah Phair at Trident Media Group negotiated the deal for world rights.
Ari Yarwood at Oni Press has acquired world rights to the early reader graphic novel Emiline: A Knight in Training by Kimberli Johnson. The story follows a girl attending adventuring school. Although she struggles to learn to read, Emiline manages to use her hard-won skills in a crucial moment, and helps save not only herself, but her classmates as well. Publication is scheduled for 2019; the author was unagented.
Joy Bean at Kane Press/StarBerry has bought two picture books by author-illustrator Ellie Peterson. In the first book, It's a Round, Round World!, an intrepid young female scientist takes readers on a journey through space and time, explaining how we know the earth is round. It's slated for fall 2019, with a second, untitled book to follow in spring 2020. Adria Goetz at Martin Literary Management did the deal for world rights.
Talia Benamy at Philomel has acquired world rights to Penny and the Plain Piece of Paper by Miri Leshem-Pelly, a picture book in which a free-spirited sketch who is bored on her plain piece of paper ventures out into the world and finds her true self. Publication is scheduled for spring 2020; Anna Olswanger at Olswanger Literary represented the author-illustrator.
Ann Kelley at Schwartz & Wade has bought world rights to Nelly Buchet's (l.) Cat Dog Dog, illustrated by Andrea Zuill. Using seven repeating words, the picture book stars three animals trying to accept new changes, and learning (mostly) to love one another. Publication is scheduled for spring 2020; Erzsi Deak at Hen&Ink negotiated the deal for both the author and illustrator.
Sara Goodman at Wednesday Books has acquired, at auction, The Mall by Megan McCafferty, bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series. Set entirely in a New Jersey mall during the summer of 1991, the comedic novel follows Cassie Worthy as she navigates new friendships and love interests after she finds her entire life has been turned upside down during the six weeks she had mono. Publication is planned for summer 2020; Sara Shandler at Alloy brokered the deal for North American rights. Megan McCafferty is represented by Heather Schroder at Compass Talent Agency.
Melissa Frain at Tor Teen has bought Sara B. Larson's new duology, Sisters of Shadow and Light, a YA fantasy in which two sisters have grown up imprisoned in a fortress surrounded by a magical hedge that won't let anyone in or out, until the day a stranger arrives. Publication is slated to begin in fall 2019; Josh Adams at Adams Literary negotiated the two-book deal for world English rights.
Annette Pollert-Morgan at Sourcebooks Fire has acquired two novels from Chelsea Sedoti, author of As You Wish. In It Came from the Sky, two teen brothers blame the fallout of a science experiment gone wrong on a meteor. But when one small lie spirals into something they can't control, their whole town gets caught up in the frenzy. A pub date has not been set; Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media did the deal for world English rights.
Nick Thomas at Scholastic/Levine has bought Lambda, Stonewall, and PEN Center USA Literary Award-winning author Bill Konigsberg's new YA novel, The Bridge. The book is about two suicidal teens who meet atop the George Washington Bridge, disrupting each other's plans and literally splitting the universe into three storylines with dramatically different consequences. Publication is scheduled for 2020; Linda Epstein at Emerald City Literary Agency brokered the deal for world English rights; the Taryn Fagerness Agency is handling translation rights.
Jennifer Ung at Simon Pulse has acquired Rachel Lynn Solomon's contemporary YA romance, Today Tonight Tomorrow. Pitched as The Hating Game meets Dazed & Confused, the book follows two rival overachievers who realize they may actually love each other over the course of 24 hours on the last day of senior year. Publication is planned for spring 2020, with a second untitled YA book to follow in 2021; Laura Bradford at Bradford Literary Agency negotiated the two-book deal for world English rights.
Kristen Pettit at HarperCollins has bought Dangerous Alliance, a debut historical YA novel by Jennieke Cohen, set in Georgian London's high society. The book's heroine, a contemporary of Jane Austen, uses Austen's novels as a guide to navigate a treacherous season in which she must find a husband or lose her family estate to her sister's villainous husband. Publication is slated for fall 2019; Jennifer Unter at the Unter Agency did the deal for world rights.
Andrew Arnold at First Second has acquired world rights to the first two volumes of Bea & Cad, Tim Probert's fantasy middle grade graphic novel series about a lovably flawed duo who decide to save the world because no one else will. Publication is scheduled for 2020; the author was unagented.
Reka Simonsen at Atheneum has bought, in a six-figure, two-book preempt, world rights to The Very, Very Far North by Dan Bar-el, author of Audrey (Cow). Pitched as a contemporary Winnie-the-Pooh, the middle grade novel features a polar bear named Duane who is finding his place in the world. Kelly Pousette will illustrate; publication of the first volume is set for fall 2019. Hilary McMahon at Westwood Creative Artists represented the author, and Abigail Samoun at Red Fox Literary represented the illustrator.
Brian Geffen at Henry Holt has acquired, in a preempt, Pie in the Sky, a middle-grade graphic novel/prose hybrid by Remy Lai. When Jingwen moves to a new country where everyone speaks English, he feels like he's landed on Mars. To cope with his loneliness, he sets out to make all the cakes on the menu of the bakery his father had planned to open before he unexpectedly died—that is, if Jingwen and his brother can find a way to hide the act from their mother, who has forbidden them from baking while she's at work. Publication is planned for spring 2019; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the six-figure, two-book deal for world rights.
Amy Fitzgerald at Lerner/Carolrhoda has bought M.G. Velasco’s debut middle grade novel, Cardslinger. Set in 1881, the novel follows 13-year-old Jason “Shuffle” Jones on a quest to find his missing father, the creator of a popular card game that may offer clues to his whereabouts. Publication is slated for fall 2019; Dawn Frederick at Red Sofa Literary did the deal for world rights.
Liz Kossnar at Simon and Schuster has acquired Kristi Wientge's Honey Bees and Frenemies, a contemporary middle grade novel about two former best friends whose summer takes an unexpected turn when their parents volunteer them to help out a local beekeeper in advance of their town’s annual Honey Festival. Publication is set for summer 2019; Patricia Nelson at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Celia Lee at Scholastic/Orchard has bought world rights to Muon Van’s (l.) Wish. Inspired by actual events in the author's life, the book is about one family's search for a new home, on the other side of the world. Victo Ngai, winner of the 2017 Society of Illustrators Dilys Evans Founders Award, will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for 2020; Liza Fleissig at Liza Royce Agency represented the author, and Gail Gaynin at Morgan Gaynin represented the illustrator.
Mary Wilcox at HMH has acquired the first four titles in Alison Oliver’s Be Bold, Baby board book series, in which each book spotlights a remarkable woman. Publication is planned for spring 2019; Susan Hawk at Upstart Crow Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.