Shan Gets Zombified at LBYR

In a high six-figure deal, Darren Shan has signed with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers to do a 12-part series called Zom-B. Cindy Eagan bought U.S. rights to the novellas from agent Christopher Little, of the Christopher Little Agency. The series—the first title is scheduled to drop in fall 2012, with another book following every three months—will be illustrated and follows a “rampant zombie outbreak,” according to LBYR. Shan, who’s Irish (his real name is Darren O’Shaughnessy), has written a number of adult titles (most notably the Demonata series), as well as the YA series the Saga of Darren Shan; the first book in the Saga of Darren Shan, Cirque du Freak, also published by LBYR, was adapted into the 2009 film starring John C. Reilly. LBYR said Shan’s books have sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.

Callahan Nabs ‘Sugar’ Nanny

Doubleday’s Allison Callahan bought North American rights (plus audio) to A Spoonful of Sugar, a memoir by Brenda Ashford, a 90-year-old British woman who has the claim of being England’s oldest living nanny. Callahan closed the deal with Diane Banks, an agent with an eponymous firm based in London, and Ashford is being pitched as “a real-life Mary Poppins.” Ashford was professionally trained to watch after home, hearth, and offspring—she began attending Norland College, a school for nannies, in 1939 at the age of 18, where she was instructed in everything from sewing to cooking to singing lullabies. In her book, Ashford chronicles the various families she worked for, from well-to-do clans in Kensington to poor broods in the East End of London. Hodder & Stoughton is publishing the book in the U.K.

McAlpine’s ‘Poes’ Go to Viking

Sharyn November at Viking took world rights to a middle-grade series, Meet the Poe Boys, by Gordon McAlpine, with illustrations by Sam Zuppardi. Kelly Sonnack at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency brokered the three-book deal for McAlpine, who has published both adult fiction and nonfiction, as well as a 2003 young adult novel, Mystery Box (Cricket Books). The series follows two mischievous twins, Edgar and Allan, who just happen to be distant relatives of that other Poe—the boys are great-great-grand-nephews of the famous author. Sonack said the series has a mix of “humor, quantum physics, and interactive story elements.” Book one in is scheduled for 2013, with books two and three to follow in spring 2014 and spring 2015, respectively.

Portfolio Buys Chinese Entrepreneur’s Tale

Laura Yorke at the Carol Mann Agency sold world rights to Ping Fu’s Life Is a Mountain Range. Adrian Zackheim at Portfolio acquired the book, which will be edited by Niki Papadopoulos. Fu is the president and CEO of Geomagic, a software company based in North Carolina that specializes in digital modeling. Her personal story, though, is what drew publishers. She grew up in China under the reign of Mao and survived a Chinese prison before arriving in the U.S., where she taught herself computer programming. Now an adviser to President Obama, Fu was also named an Inc. Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year in 2005. The agency said the book will offer Fu’s story as “an immigrant entrepreneur,” providing “powerful and inspiring lessons in self-reliance, integrity, and overcoming obstacles against the odds.”