Sherman to Candlewick
Deborah Noyes at Candlewick Press took world English rights to Delia Sherman’s middle-grade novel The Evil Wizard Smallbone. Sherman won the Andre Norton Award—which honors outstanding YA and middle-grade science fiction and fantasy titles—in 2011 for The Freedom Maze (also published by Candlewick). Evil Wizard, which Candlewick plans to publish in fall 2016, is set in coastal Maine and follows a boy who flees his abusive uncle to become, unwillingly, the apprentice of an evil wizard. Jill Grinberg, who has an eponymous agency, represented Sherman in the deal.
West Gets ‘Shrill’ at Hachette
Lindy West sold her debut, a coming-of-age memoir called Shrill, to Mauro DiPreta at Hachette Books. DiPreta took North American rights from Gary Morris at the David Black Agency. Hachette said the book, which is slated for fall 2016, is about the author’s experience growing up “in a popular culture that is hostile to women, especially fat women.” West, who lives in Seattle, contributes regularly to GQ and runs an advice blog for teens called “I Believe You/It’s Not Your Fault”; her writing has been shared on social media by a number of bold-faced names—including Lena Dunham and Junot Díaz. The book, the publisher elaborated, will be a “comic polemic” about West’s “surprising path toward self-acceptance and how she boldly, publicly, yet humanely, dealt with appalling trolls along the way.”
Berkley Lands Rynecki’s ‘Portraits’
In a preempt, Berkley’s Natalee Rosenstein took world English rights to Elizabeth Rynecki’s memoir, Chasing Portraits. The book chronicles Rynecki’s attempt to locate the lost works of Moshe Rynecki, her great-grandfather, who was a Polish-Jewish artist known for the portraits he did of members of his Warsaw community. Before he died, during the Holocaust, the artist hid some 800 of his works; only 100 of them were ultimately recovered by his widow. The book was sold by agent Sharlene Martin at Martin Literary & Media, who explained that Rynecki’s global search was initiated after she read, in journals left by her great-grandfather, details of “the family’s wartime survival story.” Rynecki is currently working on a documentary, also called Chasing Portraits, about her grandfather and her search for his paintings; she gives talks on the subject as well.
Maclear, Turnham Score Major Picture Book Deal
In a two-book, six-figure, world rights acquisition, Chornicle’s Victoria Rock won, at auction, The Wish Tree, written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Chris Turnham. The picture book, which is slated for fall 2016, is about the beauty that can be found in giving. Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions represented Turnham in the deal, and Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative Artists represented Maclear.
Staniforth Does ‘Magic’ for Bloomsbury
Lea Beresford at Bloomsbury nabbed world English rights, at auction, to Nate Staniforth’s memoir, Here Is Real Magic. Staniforth, who was represented by Stephen Barr at Writers House, has lectured at Oxford University and the Mayo Clinic; the book, Bloomsbury explained, describes his evolution from a young magician into a disillusioned skeptic, and back to a believer. Staniforth, the publisher elaborated, rediscovered “the importance of wonder in everyday life” when he went to India and “infiltrated a 3,000-year-old clan of street magicians.”
Davis Is ‘Caught’ with Dunbar
For her 37 Ink imprint at Atria, Dawn Davis took world English rights, at auction, to Erica Armstrong Dunbar’s Never Caught: The President’s Runaway Slave. The nonfiction book, which Davis beat out five other bidders for, is about Ona Judge, a slave owned by George and Martha Washington who escaped and was long pursued by the country’s first president. Laura Dail, who has an eponymous shingle, represented Dunbar, a professor at the University of Delaware. The book, Dail noted, is based on “the president’s letters, six years of research, and one of the only fugitive [slave] accounts of this period.”