Lang, Bartkowski Go ‘Mystic’ At Aladdin
Sisters Heidi Lang and Kati Bartkowski inked a two-book world-rights deal with Fiona Simpson and Sarah McCabe at Aladdin. McCabe and Simpson preempted Lailu Loganberry’s Mystic Cooking, a middle grade novel about a young master chef opening a new restaurant offering high-end cuisine to people in all income brackets, while she tries to repay a loan shark and help her absentee mentor. Jennifer Azantian, who has an eponymous shingle, represented the sisters in the deal, and Lailu is set for summer 2017.
Coffee House Heads to ‘Florida’ with Habash
PW deputy reviews editor Gabe Habash sold his debut novel. Chris Fischbach at Coffee House Press took North American rights to Stephen Florida in a deal brokered by PJ Mark at Janklow & Nesbit. The North Dakota–set book, scheduled for spring 2017, is, the publisher said, a “dark and twisted love story about a troubled college wrestler, the girl who changes the course of his life, and his last chance to achieve wrestling immortality.”
Book About Young Shabazz To FSG Kids
Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz, sold a middle grade biographical novel about her mother, currently called Betty, to Grace Kendall at Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers. Shabazz, who cowrote the National Book Award–longlisted YA novel X (Candlewick, Jan. 2015), is cowriting Betty with Renee Watson (This Side of Home). In an exclusive submission, Kendall took world rights to the book from Jason Anthony at Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. Betty will explore the early years of Shabazz’s life and is set for winter 2018.
Atria Explores ‘Acceptance’ With Miller
Andrea Miller, CEO and founder of media company YourTango, sold North American rights to a book called Radical Acceptance. Miller’s agent, Kristyn Keene, brokered the sale with Sarah Cantin at Atria, who bought the book at auction. Yourtango.com, a website featuring content about love and relationships, draws, Keene said, nearly 15 million unique visitors a month. The book, Keen went on, offers a five-step program to let go of “your itch to fix, judge, improve, or even nag your partner so you can accept them unconditionally.”
Wilgus Takes ‘Chronin’ to Tor
Alison Wilgus sold world English rights to a graphic novel called Chronin to Diana M. Pho at Tor. The book, Pho said, is a science fiction historical adventure about a college student named Mirai Yoshida who winds up stranded in 1864 Japan after a project for her time travel–studies class goes awry. Eddie Schneider at JABberwocky Literary represented Wilgus in the two-book deal.
Macmillan Kids Inks Santat To Four
Caldecott-winner Dan Santat closed a four-book world-rights deal with Macmillan Children’s Group. Santat, who won the Caldecott Medal this year for The Adventures of Beekle (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), will do projects for three different imprints through the deal, writing both picture books and a graphic novel. Santat’s agent, Jodi Reamer at Writers House, brokered the agreement with Roaring Book Press’s Connie Hsu and Neal Porter at Neal Porter Books. The first title in the deal, a picture book Santat is writing and illustrating called After the Fall, will be published by Roaring Brook in fall 2017; it follows Humpty Dumpty after his fabled accident. The single-word picture book Dude, about a platypus and beaver who surf, will be written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Santat; it is set to be published by Neal Porter Books in winter 2018. You Bad Son is a YA graphic novel based on Santat’s childhood as the only son in a Thai-American family, who, breaking with his parents’ expectation, opts to attend art school over medical school. It will be edited by Hsu and published by First Second in spring 2018. Hsu will also edit another picture book written and illustrated by Santat; it is currently untitled and scheduled from Roaring Brook in fall 2018.
Marais’s ‘Hum’ Gets Louder At Putnam
Kerri Kolen at G.P. Putnam’s Sons took world rights to the debut novel by Bianca Marais, Hum If You Don’t Know the Words. The novel, which the publisher is calling a “South African The Secret Life of Bees,” is set in Johannesburg in 1976. During the Soweto uprising, in which a number of black South African students protested a national decree calling for Afrikaans to be heavily used in high schools, 10-year-old Robin Conrad loses both her parents. That same day, the daughter of Beauty Mbali, a Xhosa woman, goes missing. After Robin, a white middle-class English girl, is sent to live with an aunt, Beauty is hired as her main caretaker. As both characters “grapple to deal with intense personal loss and political racial tensions,” Putnam explained, “they discover that color is not a barrier to love.” Marais, who was represented by Cassandra Rodgers at the Rights Factory, is a South African now based in Canada; she graduated from the University of Toronto’s creative writing program.
Mallory Ortberg, cofounder of the Toast, sold a currently untitled short story collection to Henry Holt. Allison Adler took world rights to the book, which marks Ortberg’s debut fiction collection. Ortberg helped launch the Toast, a literary and pop culture website geared to women, in 2013; this year she was named Slate’s “Dear Prudence” advice columnist. Kate McKean at Howard Morhaim Literary represented Ortberg and said the stories in the book feature “subversive twists on classic tales.”
Harper Perennial’s Jillian Verrillo nabbed North American rights to Lisa Carey’s novel, The Stolen Child. Grainne Fox at Fletcher & Company represented Carey in the deal and said the book was pitched as “The Snow Child as written by Sarah Waters or Angela Carter.” The novel explores an isolated community on an enchanted island off the coast of Ireland.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the book Mallory Ortberg sold to Holt is called Texts from Jane Eyre. That is the name of Ortberg's first book; this work is currently untitled.