Holly West at Feiwel and Friends has acquired Princess of Souls by Alexandra Christo (City of Spells). The standalone YA fantasy romance tells the story of a young witch who is bound to steal souls for an immortal King, until she discovers her fate is tied to a boy who’s trying to bring down her kingdom. The book, which is set in the same universe as To Kill a Kingdom, is planned for fall 2022; Emmanuelle Morgen at Stonesong negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Liesa Abrams at Labyrinth Road has bought Sincerely, Medusa by Olivia Cole. Pitched for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson and Elizabeth Acevedo, this YA novel-in-verse follows 16-year-old Alicia Rivers, who is struggling to cope with her sexual abuse by a beloved teacher. Now Alicia must find a way to heal when she meets a new girl who reignites her desire and she finds mysterious letters in her locker that hint there are others who understand what she’s going through and that maybe it’s time to tell the truth, on her own terms. Publication is set for spring 2023; Patrice Caldwell at New Leaf Literary & Media did the deal for world English rights.
Jenny Bak at Viking has won, at auction, North American rights to When You Wish Upon a Lantern by Gloria Chao (Rent a Boyfriend). In this YA romance, a teen girl tries to save her family’s wishing lantern shop in Chicago’s Chinatown by secretly making wishes come true for customers, but when she teams up with the boy from the mooncake bakery next door, sparks fly and she realizes she has a secret wish of her own. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Kathleen Rushall at Andrea Brown Literary brokered the deal.
Ashley Hearn at Peachtree Teen has acquired The Ghosts of Rose Hill by YA debut author R.M. Romero (The Dollmaker of Kraków). The magical realism verse novel follows Latina violinist, Ilana, whose parents send her to her aunt’s house in Prague to witness the humble life of an artist. There she meets the ghost of a boy in an abandoned Jewish cemetery and, as she restores his grave, is tempted by the dark magic that binds him to the city. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Rena Rossner at the Deborah Harris Agency handled the deal for world rights.
Kieran Viola at Hyperion has bought We Weren’t Looking to Be Found by Stephanie Kuehn, a contemporary YA novel that touches on themes of acceptance, recovery, and resilience. The story follows the experiences of two girls from disparate backgrounds who form an unlikely friendship when they are set up as roommates at a mental health facility, where they discover they’re not as different as they seem, and just might help each other heal. Publication is planned for summer 2022; Michael Bourret at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal for world rights.
Jill Davis at HarperCollins has acquired YA novel Then Everything Happens at Once by Lambda Literary Award-winning author M-E Girard (Girl Man’s Up), a story about Baylee, an inexperienced girl pulled between an infatuation with a boy and a sweet courtship with a girl. The story explores lust, pleasure, love, internalized fat shaming, and selfishness. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Linda Epstein at Emerald City Literary brokered the deal for North American rights.
Deanna McFadden at Wattpad has bought world rights to Belle Morte by Bella Higgin, first in a series of paranormal romances novels, which puts a dark twist on literary classic The Count of Monte Cristo. In it, Renie Mayfield volunteers as a blood donor for the Vampire House where her sister disappeared, and she finds herself drawn to the smoldering vampire Edmond Dantès. It’s set for winter 2022, with subsequent books to follow; the author represented herself for the four-book deal.
Tracy Mack at Scholastic/Graphix has acquired at auction The Tryout and its sequel, The Squad, by two-time Newbery Honoree Christina Soontornvat (l.), illustrated by Joanna Cacao, a middle grade graphic novel memoir about being the only Asian American kid in her small Texas town to try out for the cheerleading squad. Publication is slated for 2022; Stephanie Fretwell-Hill at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Tara Gilbert at Jennifer De Chiara Literary represented the illustrator in the deal for world English and North American Spanish rights.
Alison Romig at Delacorte has bought Becoming Brigitta by Kalena Miller, a contemporary middle grade novel about strained friendships, the positive power of theater, and the realities of being a pre-teen with OCD. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Stacey Kondla at the Rights Factory negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Cassandra Pelham Fulton at Scholastic/Graphix has acquired, at auction, a debut middle-grade graphic novel by Danny Lore (l.) and Seth Smith. Kicks is a contemporary quest story with themes of family, friendship, and queer romance that features a pair of Black siblings and their best friend, who must travel and battle their way through the five boroughs of NYC to recover items stolen from their family’s magical tailor shop. Publication is planned for 2024; Susan Graham at Einstein Literary represented the creators in the deal for world rights.
Mari Kesselring at Jolly Fish Press has bought Jordie & Joey Fell from the Sky, a middle grade contemporary novel by debut author Judi Lauren. Twin brothers Jordie and Joey have been in the foster care system since they were found abandoned in a crop circle as babies. Believing they crash-landed there from a UFO, Jordie convinces Joey to follow him to the one place that might have answers about their origins, the center of extraterrestrial life: Area 51. Publication is set for spring 2022; Heather Cashman at Storm Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
Allison Cohen at Running Press Kids has acquired You’re the First: A Kid’s Guide to the First Amendment by former civil rights attorney, Montessori educator, and founder of the Little Lawyers Allison Matulli (aka Professor Ally) (l.) with literary agent and former attorney Clelia Gore writing as Clelia Castro-Malaspina. The book takes an inclusive approach to exploring how the First Amendment impacts and influences children’s daily lives, featuring many cases where plaintiffs were children. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Lilly Ghahremani at Full Circle Literary sold North American English rights.
Kate Meltzer at Roaring Brook has bought at auction Hedgehogs
Don’t Wear Underwear by Marissa Valdez, a debut picture book about a tighty-whitey-wearing hedgehog named Jacques who’s afraid to go public with his secret love of underwear. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022, with a second untitled picture book to follow in fall 2023; Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary did the deal for world rights.
Cat Onder at HMH has acquired Belong by poet Mary Rand Hess (l.) (co-author with Kwame Alexander of Solo and Swing), with artwork from Nina Mata (illustrator of I Promise by LeBron James), an affirming picture book that celebrates difference, the environment, and the ways all children can play a part in shaping our world. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Deborah Warren of East West Literary represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Neal Porter at Holiday House/Neal Porter Books has bought world rights to Banana Dream by Hasan Namir (The Name I Call Myself), illustrated by Zainab Faidhi. The picture book is inspired by Namir’s own childhood enduring sanctions in Iraq, and explores a child’s coming to terms with his unusual name against a story of scarcity and want. Publication is slated for summer 2023; Hilary McMahon at Westwood Creative Artists represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Andrea Spooner at Little, Brown has acquired world rights to Do Mommies Ever Sleep? by Kim Howard (l.), illustrated by Karen Obuhanych. In this rhyming picture book told from a baby’s point of view, the precocious little one speculates the many reasons why Mommy always seems exhausted but never actually sleeps—while overlooking the most obvious reason of all. Publication is set for winter 2024; Jennifer Weltz at Jean V. Naggar Literary represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the artist.
Sonali Fry at Rodale Kids has bought world rights to The New Kid Welcome, written by Suzanne Slade (l.) and illustrated by Nicole Miles. This flip-it picture book demonstrates that there’s more than one way to think about someone who might seem “different.” Publication is scheduled for summer 2022; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Chad W. Beckerman at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Adria Haley at HarperCollins Christian Publishing has acquired world rights to Opal Lee & What It Means to Be Free by Alice Faye Duncan (l.) (Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop), illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo. The picture book tells the true story of activist Opal Lee and her vision of Juneteenth as a holiday for everyone. Publication is planned for January 2022; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and the illustrator was unagented.
Martha Mihalick of Greenwillow has signed, at auction, A Kaleidoscope of Hope: A Book of Butterflies by Miranda Paul (l.) illustrated by Hari Panischer (c.) and Deepti Nair, a look at the butterfly life cycle that encourages kids to be community scientists who nurture these creatures and understand their role in the ecosystem. Publication is set for summer 2023; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and Kirsten Hall of Catbird Productions represented the illustrators in the deal for world English rights.
Adonia Ripple and Katie Coit of Yosemite Conservancy have bought world rights to To Find Treasure in the Mountains by debut author Francine Rockey (l.), illustrated by Kendra Binney, a picture book in which children find that all steps into the wilderness lead to treasure of the lasting kind. Publication is slated for spring 2022; the author represented herself, and Kim Fleming of Lilla Rogers Studio represented the illustrator.
Sarah McCabe at S&S/McElderry has acquired, in an exclusive submission, Bonesmith and its sequel, the next YA fantasy series by Nicki Pau Preto (Crown of Feathers). Pitched as Gideon the Ninth meets The Cruel Prince, the story follows a failed ghost-fighting warrior who must journey into the haunted wasteland of the Breach to rescue a kidnapped prince, but to do so, she is forced to team up with the very person responsible for the kidnapping. Publication is set for summer 2023; Penny Moore at Aevitas Creative Management brokered the two-book deal for North American rights.
Alexandra Sehulster at Wednesday Books has bought Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win, a debut novel by Susan Azim Boyer. Set during the Iran hostage crisis and described as a cross between Darius the Great Is Not Okay and Election with a Mindy Kaling-esque tone, the YA novel centers on a young Iranian American heroine poised to run for senior year class president, just as an international incident sets in motion a chain of life-changing events. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Laura Bradford at Bradford Literary did the deal for world rights.
Lily Kessinger at HMH has acquired Belittled Women by Amanda Sellet (By the Book). In this contemporary YA, teenage Jo, who reluctantly plays her namesake to her sisters’ Meg and Amy in the family’s Little Women living history museum, rebels against living in the 1800s. When everything goes wrong, she has to concede that maybe Alcott had a point about family—and about the cute boy next door. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Bridget Smith at JABberwocky Literary sold world English rights.
Andrew Karre at Dutton has bought Enter the Body, a YA novel in verse and script by Morris Award finalist Joy McCullough. Beneath an unseen stage, Shakespeare’s tragic heroines grapple with their own stories and challenge each other to take them back from the Bard. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich, & Bourret negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Ashley Hearn at Peachtree Teen has acquired Hell Followed with Us by debut author Andrew Joseph White. In this YA post-apocalyptic horror novel, trans boy Benji escapes from the cult that unleashed Armageddon and teams up with an LGBTQ+ youth center fighting for survival, but not before the cult injected Benji with a bioweapon designed to mutate him into a monster and eliminate the last of humanity. Publication is set for summer 2022; Zabé Ellor at the Jennifer De Chiara Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Deanna McFadden has bought world rights to Disarming Dakota by debut author Sumeya E. Alington, a “good girl/bad boy” YA romance with a twist. When new girl in town Sylvia meets dreamy but uninterested Dakota, she’s determined to make him fall for her, finding a way into his heart by uncovering his secrets. But when Sylvia’s dark past comes back to haunt her, will love prevail or tear them apart? Publication is slated for spring 2022; the author represented herself.
Rotem Moscovich at Knopf has acquired, in a 12-way auction, world rights to We Are Big Time by Hena Khan (l.), illustrated by Safiya Zerrougui. This middle grade graphic novel—inspired by a true story—follows Aliya, who joins an all-girl, hijab-wearing basketball team, and explores her Muslim American identity while learning, alongside her teammates, how to work together as a team. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Matthew Elblonk at DeFiore and Company represented the author, and Paloma Hernando at Einstein Literary represented the illustrator.
Joanna Cárdenas at Kokila has bought, in an exclusive submission, reprint rights for They Call Me Güero, the award-winning middle grade novel in verse by David Bowles, as well as They Call Her Fregona, a companion novel in verse that follows the budding relationship between narrator Güero and his girlfriend Joanna Padilla. They Call Me Güero is set for August 2021, and They Call Her Fregona is planned for fall 2022; Taylor Martindale Kean and Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel handled the deal for world rights.
Whitney Leopard at Random House Graphic has acquired world rights to contemporary middle grade graphic novel Buckle Up by Lawrence Lindell. The story follows Lonnie as he deals with his parents’ divorce and has tough conversations with his father who drives him to and from school. Publication is slated for 2024; the creator represented himself.
Courtney Fahy at Yellow Jacket has bought Pauli Murray: The Life of a Pioneering Feminist and Civil Rights Activist, a middle grade biography in verse about the queer civil rights and women’s rights activist who conceptualized the arguments that would win Brown v. Board of Education and in 1964, the arguments that won women equality in the workplace, written by her niece Rosita Stevens-Holsey (l.) and Terry Catasús Jennings. Publication is set for spring 2022; Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Kieran Viola at Disney-Hyperion has acquired The Sugar Rush Racers In… by Shari Simpson, in her chapter book debut. In this reimagining of the characters from Wreck-It Ralph, the Sugar Rush Racers game glitches at the local arcade and a girl ends up with five of the rambunctious racers stuck inside her tablet, where they set about offering her friendship tips, gaming cheats, and not-always-helpful advice about navigating her new scout troop. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Mandy Hubbard at Emerald City Literary Agency brokered the two-book deal.
Tamar Mays at HarperCollins has bought world rights to Gigi and Ojiji by Melissa Iwai, first in an I Can Read series about a Japanese American girl, Gigi, and her Japanese grandpa, Ojiji, and the adventures they have learning about each other’s culture and language. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022; Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the author-illustrator.
Neal Porter at Holiday House/Neal Porter Books has acquired two picture books written and illustrated by Julie Downing (Hello Moon!). Night in the City celebrates nighttime in the busy city and all the people going to work doing different jobs when many are asleep and dreaming in their beds; and Hello Sun! follows forest animals from dawn to dusk as they wake, play, and nap until the moonrise when they curl up and fall asleep. The books are set for spring 2023 and summer 2023 respectively; Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio did the deal for world rights.
Samantha Gentry at Little, Brown has bought Spicy Spicy Hot, a picture book by Lenny Wen in her debut as author-illustrator. In the picture book, a girl is determined to embrace the spice of sambal in order to connect with her grandmother and heritage. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Jess Harold at Scholastic/Orchard has acquired, at auction, Let’s Go, Larry! by Alison Hawkins, a spirited picture book about a bear with a case of inertia, relatable for anyone hesitant to leave a good time. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Hannah Mann at Writers House brokered the deal for world rights.
Karen Li at Groundwood Books has bought the picture book Boobies by Nancy Vo, author-illustrator of The Outlaw and The Ranger, a lighthearted journey into the world of boobies—the blue-footed avian sort and the more familiar kind. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative Artists handled the deal for world rights.
Danielle Peterson at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to Cocoa’s Cranky Valentine’s Day. A grumpy dog makes a surprising discovery about friendship as he tries to outwit the ornery kitten who has stolen his only Valentine card. Beth Hughes will illustrate; publication is scheduled for spring 2022. Robbin Brosterman at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Rotem Moscovich at Knopf has acquired, at auction, world rights for The Last Stand by Antwan Eady (l.), illustrated by brothers Jerome (c.) and Jarrett Pumphrey (r.). Inspired by the author’s childhood in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, this picture book is an intergenerational story about community, family, and hope, set in the context of rural Black life. Publication is planned for spring 2024; Steven Malk at Writers House negotiated the two-book deal for the author, and Hannah Mann at Writers House represented the illustrators.
Feather Flores at Chronicle has bought world rights to A Treasure of Measures by Mike Downs, a nonfiction picture book that introduces readers to units of measurement, while also encouraging them to be silly, use their imaginations, and immerse themselves in the wonder of the world around them. Joy Hwang Ruiz will illustrate; publication is scheduled for fall 2023. Tracy Marchini at BookEnds Literary represented the author, and Molly O’Neill at Root Literary represented the illustrator.
Eileen Robinson at Reycraft has bought world rights to picture book My Hands Tell a Story by Kelly Starling Lyons (l.), illustrated by Tonya Engel. In this intergenerational story, a girl baking bread with her grandmother becomes transported by the tales her grandmother’s hands tell. Publication is set for spring 2022; Caryn Wiseman at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, and Morgan Gaynin Kids represented the illustrator.