DEAL OF THE WEEK
Green Takes ‘Anthropocene’ to Dutton
Bestselling YA author John Green sold an essay collection for adults to Dutton. The Anthropocene Reviewed, set for May 2021, is adapted from Green’s podcast of the same name and is his first work of nonfiction. Dutton said that in the collection, Green “reviews different facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale—from the QWERTY keyboard and Staphylococcus aureus to the Taco Bell breakfast menu.” Julie Strauss-Gabel, Green’s longtime editor at Dutton Books for Young Readers, acquired Anthropocene and is partnering with Dutton on the book. She took world rights from Jodi Reamer at Writers House.
FROM THE U.S.
Putnam Pays Big for a YA Trilogy
In a seven-figure deal, Putnam’s Stacey Barney preempted world rights to Ayana Gray’s debut YA fantasy trilogy. Peter Knapp at Park & Fine Literary and Media represented Gray. The first book in the series, Beasts of Prey, is set for spring 2022; it follows, the agent said, two Black teenagers who “trek into a magical jungle to take down an ancient creature that has been menacing their city.” The teens then realize “they might not be the hunters but the hunted.”
Pryde Takes ‘Black Loves’ to Berkley
Cindy Hwang at Berkley bought Black Loves Matter: Real Talk on Romance, Being Seen, and Happy Ever Afters in a world rights agreement. The nonfiction essay collection was pulled together by Book Riot contributing editor and librarian Jessica Pryde. Berkley said the book features essays from Jasmine Guillory, Adriana Herrera, and Beverly Jenkins and is set for 2022. It “celebrates and examines the way Black romance and love has (and hasn’t) been depicted in books and other forms of media and entertainment.” One Track Literary Agency’s Tara Gelsomino represented Pryde.
Jayatissa Does Double at Berkley
In another deal at Berkley, Jen Monroe bought world rights to two novels by Sri Lankan author Amanda Jayatissa. The first, My Sweet Girl, is set for 2021 and is, the publisher said, “a twisty and compulsive #OwnVoices thriller.” In it, a young woman discovers her dead roommate in their San Francisco apartment. The police believe the roommate never existed, but the woman is “convinced there’s something else going on—something related to her childhood in Sri Lanka.” Jayatissa was represented by Melissa Danaczko at Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency.
Orbit Welcomes Michel’s ‘Scout’
For Hachette Book Group’s Orbit imprint, Angeline Rodriguez bought Lincoln Michel’s The Body Scout. The book, slated for summer 2021, is set in a future New York City that has been devastated by “climate change and repeat pandemics,” Orbit said. In it, Kobo, a cyborg, “ekes out a living as a baseball scout for a league run by pharmaceutical companies. Then his brother—Monsanto Mets slugger J.J. Zunz—is murdered at home plate.” Michel, whose 2015 short story collection Upright Beasts was published by Coffee House Press, was represented in the North American rights agreement by Michelle Brower at Aevitas Creative Management.
Scholastic Does it ‘Butter’ with Piontek
Victoria Piontek (Spirit of Cattail County) sold her sophomore novel, Better with Butter, to Mallory Kass at Scholastic. Laura Rennert at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, who brokered the world English rights agreement, said the middle grade novel follows a 12-year-old girl with an anxiety disorder who rescues a goat. The book is set for summer 2021 and is, the agent added, “an ode to the animals that bring us joy and comfort” that will “resonate with anyone who has ever been touched by anxiety.”