DEAL OF THE WEEK
S&S Nabs Dan & Jason MG Series
For a significant six-figure sum, Kendra Levin at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers bought world English rights to three titles in a new middle grade comic series titled Barb, by the author-illustrator team of Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson. (The duo, credited simply as Dan & Jason, are known for such series as Blue, Barry & Pancakes.) Erica Rand Silverman at Stimola Literary Studio represented the authors, and the first book under contract, Barb the Last Berzerker, is slated for fall 2021. The second is set for spring 2022, and the third for fall 2022. SSBYR described the series as “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power meets Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man.” It follows Barb, “a young Berzerker who has to rescue her fellow warriors from the evil villain Witch Head before he takes over the world.”
RH Drinks Up ‘Lemonade’ Poet
Random House’s Caitlin McKenna acquired Somali British poet Warsan Shire’s debut full-length collection, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head. McKenna bought U.S. rights from Samar Hammam at Rocking Chair Books, and RH said that translation rights have sold in eight territories to date. The publisher added that in the book, Shire “finds vivid, unique details in the experiences of refugees and immigrants, mothers and daughters, Black women and teenage girls.” Shire was born in Nairobi and grew up in London, won the inaugural Brunel International African Poetry Prize, and she served as the first young poet laureate of London. Her poetry also featured prominently in Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade. Bless the Daughter is set for March 2022.
CIA Veteran Sells Story to St. Martin’s
Enrique “Ric” Prado sold Black Ops to St. Martin’s Press. The memoir, subtitled The Life of a CIA Shadow Warrior, is slated for March 2022 and details the author’s more than two decades working for the CIA, during both the Cold War and the “war on terror.” Marc Resnick took world rights from the late Jim Hornfischer at Hornfischer Literary Management. St. Martin’s said Prado is “the first CIA covert operator of significant rank and standing to write a full operational memoir.” In the book, he “shares a harrowing true story of life in the deadly world of assassins, terrorists, spies, and revolutionaries.”
Scribner Is ‘Hooked’ on Gibson
British angler Marina Gibson sold Hooked to Scribner’s Kara Watson. The Simon & Schuster imprint described the book as a memoir “of fishing, love, and loss about Gibson’s pursuit of a passion passed on by her mother, the quiet magic of angling, and the epic, continent-traversing journeys of 10 migratory fish.” Watson took North American rights from Rebecca Wearmouth, head of foreign rights at the British agency Peters Fraser + Dunlop, on behalf of PFD literary agent Adam Gauntlett. Gibson is the founder of the Northern Fishing School in North Yorkshire.
Ages Tells Her ‘Secrets’ to Avery
For Avery, Megan Newman and Nina Shield bought world rights to Alyssa Ages’s Secrets of Giants. Ages is a journalist (who writes for, among other outlets, Publishers Weekly) and former personal trainer who has run multiple marathons and competed in strongman competitions. The book, Avery said, follows her on “an immersive journey into the world of strength” that will reveal “the physiological, psychological, and cultural explanations of how the pursuit and possession of strength can permeate every aspect of our lives, from building resilience and confidence, to finding joy in pain, to handling adversity.” James Levine at Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary represented Ages in the agreement.