Rights Report: Week of July 5, 2021

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Alvina Ling at Little, Brown has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to Hollow Fires by Samira Ahmed, her next novel about revolutionary girls. The found-footage story follows young journalist Safiya Mirza, and her investigation into the disappearance of teen inventor Jawad Ali, as she confronts the insidious nature of racism, the costs of unearthing hidden truths, and the undeniable power of hope. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary & Media handled the deal.


Camille Kellogg at Bloomsbury has bought, in a six-figure preempt, Sing Me to Sleep and an untitled sequel by debut author Gabi Burton. In a YA fantasy world where everyone is Black and Brown, a murderous siren named Saoirse is assigned to help the fae prince hunt a dangerous assassin, but little does he know that Saoirse herself is the killer being sought. Publication for the first book is planned for spring 2023; Naomi Davis at BookEnds Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.


Ashley Hearn at Peachtree Teen has acquired Aces Wild by debut author Amanda DeWitt, in which Jack Shannon, a modern asexual Kaz Brekker, assembles a crew of ace teens he met through fandom forums and leads them on a Las Vegas heist to prove his incarcerated mother was set up by a rival casino owner. Publication is set for fall 2022; Cate Hart at Harvey Klinger brokered the deal for world rights.


Reka Simonsen at Atheneum has bought middle-grade debut Phoebe and the Wishes by Lauren Kate in a preempt. When Phoebe, a wish-granting fairy who doesn't believe in children, is exiled from the North Star and lands in Texas, she must rely on a group of sixth graders who don't believe in fairies. Together the friends confront their secret wishes and face down vulnerability, insecurity, and loneliness to summon a different kind of magic to restore Phoebe's powers and get her back to the North Star. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary Agency sold North American rights.


Alison Weiss at Pixel+Ink has acquired middle grade series The Curious League of Detectives and Thieves by debut author Tom Phillips, pitched as A Series of Unfortunate Events meets Enola Holmes, in which a down-on-his-luck 12-year-old teams up with the greatest detective you've never heard of to track down the world's slipperiest criminal, along the way meeting some nefarious good guys, some admirable bad guys, and a talking monkey. Publication of the first book, Egypt's Fire, is slated for summer 2022; Ann Rose at Prospect Agency negotiated the two-book deal for world rights.


David Levithan at Scholastic Press has bought Gallowgate by Alex R. Kahler writing as K.R. Alexander (The Collector). The middle grade story is set in a school for banishing wayward ghosts, where a haunted boy finds forbidden magic, otherworldly foes, fierce friends, and queer romance. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Brent Taylor at Triada US brokered the deal for world rights.


Grace Scheipeter at Oni Press has acquired, at auction, world rights to Agent Cupcake by writers Mel Hilario (l.) and Lauren Davis (c.), and illustrator Katie Longua (r.), the team behind Debian Perl, Digital Detective! In this middle-grade graphic novel, 12-year-old Miguel Mangayayam has always been obsessed with magical creatures, so he's thrilled when he's recruited by the Mystical Beast Bureau as their first human field agent. It gets even better when he's partnered with Agent Cupcake, a skilled unicorn spy. But when members of a reclusive unicorn community start losing their magical powers, Miguel and Cupcake must figure out why. Publication is set for fall 2024; Dara Hyde of Hill Nadel Agency represented the creative team.


Christianne Jones at Capstone has bought world rights to the Riley Reynolds early chapter book series by Jen Breach. Riley is a nonbinary fourth grader with a big smile and an even bigger heart. Riley, their parents, and their best friends dive into the adventures and challenges of everyday life, trying to make every day extraordinary. Publication will begin in August 2022; the author represented themself in the deal.


Neal Porter at Holiday House/Neal Porter Books has acquired world rights to Big Bear and Little Bear Go Fishing by Amy Hest (l.), a picture book about an unlucky fishing trip and the gift of companionship, illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Erin E. Stead. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; the author represented herself, and Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary represented the illustrator.


Sydnee Monday at Kokila has bought world rights to I Want to Be Spaghetti! by writer and recipe developer Kiera Wright-Ruiz (l.), illustrated by Claudia Lam, which tells the story of how one little ramen packet finds self-love in a spaghetti-obsessed world, with subtle commentary on colonialism's relationship to food. Publication is projected for 2023; Leila Campoli at Stonesong represented the creators.


Clarissa Wong at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to The Greatest River by Namita Moolani Mehra (l.), a picture book about the healing power of nature, illustrated by Khoa Le. The story takes readers on a journey with Ananda, who finds strength, comfort, and healing at a time when she needs it the most, in a place deeply meaningful to her mother—the holy river of India, Ganga. Publication is slated for winter 2024; Naomi Davis at BookEnds represented the author, and Aurora Barlam at Astound US represented the illustrator.


Mary Lee Donovan at Candlewick has acquired Dream Submarine, written by Charlotte Gunnufson (l.) and illustrated by Cleonique Hilsaca. This picture book takes readers on a journey through the world's oceans at nighttime. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Sam Farkas at Jill Grinberg Literary Management represented the author, and Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 represented the illustrator.


Meredith Mundy at Abrams Appleseed has bought world rights to City Fun and Neighborhood Jam by Valerie Bolling (l.), illustrated by Sabrena Khadija. Both picture books explore the beauty of a lively community—the first celebrating the fun activities children can do in the city, the second following the planning and throwing of a musical block party. Publication is planned for fall 2022 and fall 2023, respectivey; James McGowan at BookEnds represented the author, and Claire O'Boyle at the Jacky Winter Group represented the illustrator.


Erin Stein while at Imprint acquired world rights in an exclusive to an untitled picture book biography of Madame Alexander by Susan Goldman Rubin (l.), illustrated by Sarah Dvojack, exploring the life of the entrepreneur and toy creator and her early life helping her father in his doll hospital on New York's Lower East Side. Erin Siu at Feiwel and Friends will edit. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Kevin O'Connor at O'Connor Literary represented the author, and Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Literary represented the illustrator.


Nancy Inteli and Megan Ilnitzki at HarperCollins have bought world rights to Brothers in Arms by Susan Hood (l.), illustrated by Jamie Green. This nonfiction picture book tells the true story of an orphaned bear cub named Wojtek and the teenaged Polish POWs who loved him during World War ll. Publication is set for fall 2022; Brenda Bowen at the Book Group represented the author, and Chad W. Beckerman of the CAT Agency represented the artist.


Naomi Krueger at Beaming Books has bought world rights to A Beginner's Guide to Being Human by Matt Forrest Esenwine (l.), illustrated by Andre Ceolin, a picture book introduction to what it means to belong to the human community. Andrea Hall will edit. Publication is planned for October 2022; the author represented himself, and Mela Bolinao at MB Artists represented the illustrator.


Eliza Swift at Sourcebooks Fire has acquired Burn Down, Rise Up by debut author Vincent Tirado, a YA novel pitched as Stranger Things meets Jordan Peele. When people start mysteriously disappearing in the Bronx, and it seems tied to an urban legend rumored to trap people inside the subway tunnels, Raquel and her friends team up to save their city—and confront its dark history in the process. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Kristina Pérez at the Zeno Agency negotiated the six-figure deal at auction for world English rights.


Tiffany Colón at Scholastic has bought, at auction, world English rights to the middle grade contemporary fantasy The Glass Witch by Lindsay Puckett. The story is pitched as Hocus Pocus meets Dumplin', in which a plus-sized, magicless witch accidentally enacts a curse that threatens to erase her and magic for good if she doesn't enter a pageant and break the spell before midnight on Halloween. Publication is set for fall 2022; Samantha Fabien at Root Literary brokered the two-book deal.


Patricia Ocampo at Kids Can Press has acquired A Guide to Your Grief by the American Thanatologist Cole Imperi, an illustrated how-to book normalizing the grief experience for middle grade readers and offering ways to help them get through it. Publication is set for fall 2024; Stacey Kondla at the Rights Factory sold world English rights.


Christy Ottaviano at Little, Brown/Ottaviano has acquired world rights to Extraordinary Magic: Virginia Hamilton Writes Her World by Nina Crews (A Girl Like Me). Pitched for fans of Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré and Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library, this picture book biography tells the story of one of America's most celebrated children's book authors through interconnected poems. The book is scheduled for winter 2024; Marietta B. Zacker at Gallt and Zacker negotiated the deal.


Tamar Brazis at Viking acquired world English rights to The Ship in The Window, a picture book by author and SLJ blogger Travis Jonker (l.), illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell (Wolf in the Snow; Bear Island). The picture book tells the story of a humble mouse who has grand dreams about the model ship she sees in a window—and what happens when she does take to sea. Publication is planned for summer 2024; Stephen Barbara at InkWell Management represented the author, and Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio represented the artist.


Emily Settle at Feiwel and Friends has bought world rights to Harold the Iceberg (Lettuce) by Lisa Wyzlic (l.), illustrated by Rebecca Syracuse. After watching a documentary about the icebergs disappearing due to climate change, Harold starts to worry that he's melting too, and needs a little help from his friends to cool down and overcome his anxiety. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Natascha Morris at the Tobias Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.


Tom Reale at Brown Books Kids has bought world rights to the next three books by bestselling author team Michael Sampson (l.) and the late Bill Martin Jr (c.) (Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3). Each of the books will be written in the duo’s signature cadence. These books will also introduce Argentinian artist Nathalie Beauvois (r.) as illustrator. Armadillo Antics will be the first of the three books to publish, in April 2022, followed by Ten Little Squirrels in fall 2022, and Bing! Bang! Chugga! Beep! in spring 2023. Ron Zollshan at Kirchoff Wohlberg represented the authors, and Deborah Wolfe Ltd. at IllustrationOnline.com represented the artist.


Luana Kay Horry at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to The Mermaid Princesses, a previously self-published picture book fantasy by Maya Cameron-Gordon (l.), illustrated by Mirelle Ortega, starring a trio of Black mermaid sisters. Anaya, Shante, and Kianna are strikingly different yet share a singular goal: to rule the beautiful undersea kingdom that their Queen Mother will someday bequest to them. Publication is scheduled for winter 2023; Michele Crim at Miller Bowers Griffin Literary Management represented the author, and James Burns at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.


Ann Rider at Clarion has bought world rights to The City Sings Green by Erica Silverman (l.). A blend of poetry, science, and activism, this nonfiction picture book shows how city dwellers can intervene so nature can work her magic. Ginnie Hsu will illustrate; publication is scheduled for spring 2023. Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.


Yasemin Uçar at Kids Can Press has acquired world rights to The Shape of You by Mượn Thị Văn (l.) (Wishes), which takes a fresh look at the shapes that make up our world. Miki Sato will illustrate; publication is set for fall 2023. Liza Fleissig at the Liza Royce Agency represented the author, and the illustrator was unagented.


Naomi Krueger at Beaming Books has acquired world rights to Simon the Hugger by Stacy B. Davids (l.), illustrated by Ana Sebastian, about a sweet sloth who loves to hug everything, but he doesn't understand why the other animals don't want his hugs. Publication is scheduled for November 2022; Lynnette Novak at the Seymour Agency represented the author, and Lucie Luddington at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.


Amy Novesky at Cameron Kids has acquired world rights to Eat Your Peas, Julius! by Shirin Yim Bridges (l.), illustrated by Fiona Lee, a picture book about young Julius Caesar, and how even the future leader of the Roman Republic has to finish everything on his plate. Publication is planned for fall 2022; the author represented herself, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.

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