Arden Goes Middle Grade at Putnam
In a world-rights deal, adult author Katherine Arden (The Bear and the Nightingale) sold her middle grade debut to G.P. Putnam & Sons for Young Readers’ Stacey Barney. Putnam described the book, called Small Spaces, as Stranger Things meets The Walking Dead. About a girl who, along with her classmates, is forced to venture into an alternate world after their school bus breaks down, Small Spaces, the publisher said, brings to life a place “where scarecrows are alive and deadly, and ghost stories are true.” Arden was represented by Paul Lucas at Janklow & Nesbit.

Kless Takes ‘Puzzler’ to Voyager
David Pomerico at Harper Voyager signed world English rights, in a two-book deal, to Eyal Kless’s The Puzzler. Rena Rossner at the Deborah Harris Agency, who represented Kless, said the book is a “postdystopian sci-fi” work that recalls “Gene Wolfe’s Shadow and Claw, with elements of The Fifth Element and Mad Max Fury Road.” The novel follows, Rossner said, “a little boy who can open doors that nobody else can open, a society that is feeding off the salvaged technology of a lost generation, and a scribe who must figure out where it all went wrong.” The book is slated for winter 2019.

Minotaur Signs Fellowes for Mitford Series
Jessica Fellowes, the author of the bestselling Downtown Abbey companion books, signed a North American–rights, two-book deal with Minotaur to launch a historical mystery series. The series will follow the Mitford sisters, six women who were part of a well-to-do English family and became known British socialites during the 1920s and ’30s. Minotaur’s Hope Dellon struck the agreement with Little, Brown Book Group U.K.’s rights director, Kate Hibbert, and Fellowes’s agent, Caroline Michel at PFD. The series is planned to consist of six books, with each title focusing on a different sister. Dellon said that the books will be “suffused with the secrets, status, and upheaval governing the English world of manners.” The first book in the deal, The Mitford Murders, will be set in the 1920s and is slated for January 2018. Fellowes, who has written five Downtown Abbey companion titles, is the former deputy director of the British magazine Country Life.

Cantor Goes Alternative for Bloomsbury
Joanna Cantor closed a North American–rights deal with Bloomsbury’s Liese Mayer for her coming-of-age novel, Alternative Remedies for Loss. About a 22-year-old reeling from the loss of her mother to cancer, the book, Bloomsbury said, is “slyly funny” and “for readers of Maggie Shipstead and Meg Wolitzer.” P.J. Mark at Janklow & Nesbit represented Cantor, and the book is set for spring 2018.