Jessica Almon at Razorbill has acquired Kalahari and another untitled YA novel by Jessica Khoury, author of Origin and Vitro. Kalahari tells the story of a zoologist's daughter who uncovers a contagious and deadly virus that threatens to ravage the Kalahari Desert, and the high-stakes conspiracy to cover it up. Publication is scheduled for winter 2015; Lucy Carson at the Friedrich Agency negotiated the two-book deal for world rights, retaining film/TV rights.
Kristen Pettit at HarperCollins has acquired two books by Maria Dahvana Headley, author ofThe Year of Yes and Queen of Kings, both for adults. Her YA fantasy, called Magonia, stars a razor-tongued teenage girl caught in a collision of worlds – her familiar home on the Earth's surface and the desperate, hidden civilizations sailing the "sea" of the earth's atmosphere. Summer 2015 is the projected pub date; Stephanie Cabot at the Gernert Company negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Melanie Cecka at Knopf has bought a debut middle-grade novel by Cylin Busby, author of the YA memoir The Year We Disappeared. The Nine Lives of Jacob Tibbs tells the story of the adventurous, cliff-hanging, lucky life of Jacob Tibbs, the runt of a litter who becomes a ship captain’s cat and must learn how to hunt rats, brave a mutiny, survive on a desert island, and navigate the tricky waters of shipboard life. Publication is set for fall 2015; Brenda Bowen at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates did the deal for North American rights.
Alessandra Balzer at HarperCollins imprint Balzer + Bray has acquired Masterminds, a middle-grade trilogy by Gordon Korman, a contributing author to The 39 Clues series and the author of such novels such as Ungifted and Schooled as well as series including Swindle and Island. In the story, a group of kids living in a Pleasantville-type town discover a secret that connects them to some of the greatest criminal masterminds of their time, and realize that nothing they have known up to this point is real. Publication of book one, also called Masterminds, is scheduled for winter 2015; Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown did the deal for world rights.
Christy Ottaviano at Henry Holt's Christy Ottaviano Books imprint has bought two books from New Yorker cartoonist and debut author Drew Dernavich in a six-figure pre-empt. The first of the two,Number Three, is a picture book in which the title character decides there must be more interesting and necessary things to be than just a number. It's slated for fall 2015; Sorche Elizabeth Fairbank of Fairbank Literary Representation did the deal for world rights.
In a second deal, Christy Ottaviano has acquired ScrapKins: Junk Re-Thunk by Brian Yanish, an activity book that follows the adventures of a tribe of monsters who build their world out of the things we throw away. The activities encourage recycling, environmentalism, and creativity, and the book pairs with the DIY events Yanish has held at the Tribeca Film Festival, among other locations. The project, scheduled to publish in fall 2015, was unagented.
Susan Van Metre at Abrams Books for Young Readers has acquired world rights to a new picture book written by Erica S. Perl and illustrated by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. In Totally Tardy Marty, the perpetually tardy title character and his nemesis, Never Late Kate, discover they can help each other find a way to be punctual but still appreciate the beauty of slowing down. Publication is tentatively planned for fall 2015; Carrie Hannigan at Hannigan Salky Getzler Agency represented the author, and Rebecca Sherman at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Karen Wojtyla at Margaret K. McElderry Books has bought Cassandra Clare's The Last Hours, a new Shadowhunters series set in 1903, in a seven-figure deal. The series will be published on an alternating schedule with her Dark Artifices books, and will begin in 2017. Russell Galen at Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency brokered the deal for North American rights.
Neal Porter of Neal Porter Books at Roaring Brook Press has acquired two new books by Philip C. Stead, author of the Caldecott-winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee. Ideas Are All Around, due out in spring 2016, considers the art of storytelling and the challenges a writer can face when seeking the elusive perfect idea, as storybook Phil sets off in search of the inspiration for his next story. In Samson in the Snow, a gentle and patient wooly mammoth longs for a friend and discovers that if you keep your eyes peeled – and watch where you step – friends can be found in the most unlikely of places; publication is set for fall 2016. Emily van Beek of Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management negotiated the two-book deal.
Jennifer Klonsky at HarperTeen has bought a new YA novel by Michelle Zink (The Prophecy of the Sisters series). Lies I Told centers on Grace, a teenage girl adopted into a family of thieves who move from town to town, conning the wealthy and privileged. But when they arrive in the affluent enclave of Playa Hermosa for their biggest heist yet, the foundations in her makeshift family start to crack. Publication is scheduled for spring 2015; Steven Malk at Writers House did the two-book deal for world English and audio rights.
Emily Meehan at Disney has bought two YA novels pitched as "Outlander meets Time Bandits" from Alexandra Bracken, author of the Darkest Minds series. Passenger (book #1) andWayfarer (book #2) concern a modern teen's accidental discovery of her ability to time-travel, and how her attempts to return home draw her deeper into a dangerous treasure hunt that spans centuries and continents. Publication is set for fall 2015 and fall 2016; Merrilee Heifetz of Writers House brokered the deal for North American, audio, and e-book rights.
Sally Doherty at Henry Holt has signed author/illustrator Gabriel Alborozo to a three-book, six-figure deal. Kirsten Hall for the Bright Agency held the auction for world English rights, and will co-author with Alborozo the first book in the deal, a picture book called Goodbye, Firefly. Hall, who has since left the agency to launch her own company, Catbird Productions, said that the book, scheduled for spring 2015, “illuminates the importance of being able to let things go.” The second and third books in the deal are currently untitled.
In her first deal since moving to Egmont, Jordan Hamessley has acquired two standalone middle-grade novels by I Heart Band author Michelle Schusterman. The first, Maudeville, is about a girl who longs to sing and, after flubbing a big audition due to stage fright, comes upon an old theater run by a glamorous but sinister grand-dame of show business. It's scheduled for spring 2016; a second standalone novel will follow a year later. Sarah Davies of the Greenhouse Literary Agency negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Sara Goodman at St. Martin's has acquired the third YA novel from Stephanie Kuehn, Delicate Monsters, a psychological thriller about a teenage sociopath returning to her hometown, and the brothers whose lives are forever changed by her reappearance. Kuehn won the 2014 William C. Morris Award for her debut YA novel, Charm & Strange. Michael Bourret at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Kate O'Sullivan at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has acquired a picture book by author-illustrator Tina Kügler, Snail & Worm, in which two friends set out on a series of garden misadventures. Publication is planned for spring 2016; Teresa Kietlinski at Prospect Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Ginee Seo at Chronicle has signed Eliza Wheeler (Miss Maple's Seeds) to illustrate the previously announced picture book Tell Me a Tattoo Story by Alison McGhee, about a father's tattoos and the memories they represent. Wheeler's credits also include the illustrations for Doll Bones by Holly Black, a Newbery Honor book. Tattoo is slated to pub in spring 2016; Jennifer Rofé at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated on behalf of Wheeler.
Georgia McBride at Month9Books has acquired Donna Galanti's Joshua and the Lightning Road, which starts a new middle-grade line called Tantrum Books. In the book, a boy learns the hard way that lightning never strikes by chance, when a bolt strikes his house and whisks him on an adventure to a world where stolen kids are work slaves ruled by the frustrated heirs of the Greek Olympians. The book pubs in April 2015; Bill Contardi at Brandt & Hochman did the deal for North American rights.
Emma Ledbetter at Atheneum has bought Ida, Always, a picture book by Caron Levis (Stuck with the Blooz) about polar bear Gus and his grief over the loss of his playmate and companion, Ida. Based on the true story of the Central Park Zoo polar bears, the book is slated for a spring 2016 release, with Charles Santoso, illustrator of Makes Makes a Cake and the forthcoming I Don't Like Koala. Emily Mitchell of Wernick & Pratt brokered the author deal for North American rights; Justin Rucker at Shannon Associates represented the illustrator.
Alvina Ling and Bethany Strout at Little, Brown have acquired world rights to Katrina Grigg-Saito's debut picture book, The Sound of Silence, illustrated by Julia Kuo, in which young Yoshio races through bustling Tokyo on a quest to discover the most beautiful sound in the world. Publication is scheduled for spring 2016. by Jamie Weiss Chilton at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author and Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management represented the artist.