Rights Report: Week of June 14, 2021

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Alexa Pastor at Simon & Schuster has acquired the YA novel She Gets the Girl by bestselling Five Feet Apart co-author Rachael Lippincott (l.) and Alyson Derrick, a LGBTQ+ romance in which two college freshmen who are total opposites set out to help each other get the girls of their dreams to fall for them, but as they do they both begin to wonder if maybe they're the ones falling… for each other. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management negotiated the deal for world rights.


Stacy Whitman at Tu Books has acquired When a Brown Girl Flees by Aamna Qureshi, a YA contemporary novel about Muslim, Pakistani American Zahra Paracha, who makes an impulsive decision to run away from home and move across the country in an attempt to heal, learn to love herself, and renew her faith in family while navigating mental health and religious guilt. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Emily S. Keyes at Fuse Literary brokered the deal for world rights.


Brian Geffen at Henry Holt has bought, at auction, YA graphic novel debut Maelstrom by Lora Merriman, and an untitled YA graphic novel. Aimed at fans of Nimona, Maelstrom follows a ragtag group of rebels, led by the prophesized Hero of Virtue, who improbably teams up with Maelstrom, the demon son of the evil necromancer queen, in a quest to take her down—that is, unless Maelstrom decides to betray them first. Publication is set for 2024 and 2026; Jennifer Azantian at Azantian Literary did the six-figure deal for world English rights.


Rachel Diebel at Feiwel and Friends has bought YA contemporary novel You Don’t Have a Shot by Racquel Marie, pitched as a queer Bend It Like Beckham, set at a soccer camp where two arch rivals must come together to redeem their reputations and lead their team to victory. Publication is scheduled for 2023; Thao Le at the Dijkstra Agency negotiated the deal for North American rights.


Liesa Abrams at Labyrinth Road has acquired world rights to three books in a debut middle-grade series by YA author Misa Sugiura, called Momo Arashima and the Sword of the Wind. Pitched as Aru Shah meets Amari and the Night Brothers, the series follows nerdy middle-schooler Momo who discovers that her offbeat, widowed mother is actually a banished Shinto goddess—and in grave danger. Momo is shocked to learn that she alone has the power to save her mother's life and vanquish the demons set on bringing chaos to our world. The series is set to launch in summer 2023; Leigh Feldman at LFLiterary represented the author.


Stacey Barney at Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books has bought middle grade debut Rostam and the Red Dwarf by Olivia Abtahi (Pefectly Parvin), a space opera inspired by The Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings, in which 12-year-old Rostam accidentally plunges his entire planet into darkness and must now defeat the demon king Zahhak to save their sun. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich, & Bourret handled the deal for world rights.


Sarah McCabe at Simon & Schuster has acquired North American rights to Out of Range by Heidi Lang, a middle grade contemporary novel pitched as Hatchet with feuding sisters and based on the author's experiences spending two days lost in the forest (and as the middle of three sisters). Abby, Emma, and Ollie are sent to a summer camp with no cell phones, no internet, and no communication with the outside world in order to repair their fractured bond, only to get lost in the wilderness where they must relearn how to get along—and forgive each other—in order to survive. Publication is set for summer 2022; Jennifer Azantian at Azantian Literary brokered the deal.


Kelly Delaney at Knopf has bought the middle grade series Race2theTruth, which gives an unflinching account of America’s history while celebrating underrepresented BIPOC heroes and achievements. Each book will align with curriculum topics and represent a period of American history from a specific point of view. First up are The Truth About Indigenous People and the Price of the Land: The Wampanoag Nation from 1600-2021 by Linda Coombs (l.) and The Truth About Slavery and the Making of the United States: African Americans from 1526-1850 by Patricia Williams Lessane. The books are packaged by Regina Jackson and Saira Rao of Race2Dinner. Publication for the first two books is planned for fall 2022; Jessica Regel at Helm Literary represented the deal for world rights.


Alyza Liu at Atheneum has acquired Enlightened by Sachi Ediriweera, a graphic novel biography that dramatizes the life of a young prince who leaves his sheltered life of luxury and becomes the Buddha in his quest to end human suffering. Publication is scheduled for summer 2023; Gordon Warnock at Fuse Literary negotiated the deal for world English rights.


Michele McAvoy at Blue Bronco Books has bought world rights to Unicons, a middle-grade graphic novel from former Smallville writing duo Daniel Sulzberg (l.) and Neil Sadhu. Unicons follows horses Gabby and her best friend Mo beyond the pasture, disguised as unicorns as they attend a unicorn-only school set deep in Starflower Forest. Being fake never felt so real. Is that a good thing? Publication is slated for April 2024; the authors represented themselves.


Ann Rider at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has acquired world rights to What’s a Germ, Joseph Lister? by Sibert Honor winner Lori Alexander (l.). Timely in its discussion of germs and of the importance of following the science, this chapter book biography tells the story of the 19th-century surgeon whose pioneering methods with antiseptics forever changed hospitals and the way we heal. Daniel Duncan will illustrate. Publication is set for spring 2023; Kathleen Rushall at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.


Siobhan Ciminera and Nicole Fox at Simon Spotlight have bought the next two early readers by Geisel Honor-winning author-illustrator Jonathan Fenske, beginning with Nothing Fits a Dinosaur, in which a silly dinosaur is trying to get ready for bed. Publication is planned for fall 2021 and spring 2022 respectively; Carrie Hannigan at HG Literary represented the author for world rights.


Susan Van Metre at Walker Books US has acquired world rights to A Wand in the Woods by author-illustrator Tom Booth, a picture book in which Elliot and her dog Spinner discover a magical glowing stick that takes care of all the girl's chores with a single swish. After growing dependent on the wand to do her bidding, then losing it, Elliot must relearn the magic in being present. A pub date has not yet been set; Rick Richter at Aevitas Creative Management represented the author.


Kate Farrell at Holt has bought, in an exclusive submission, Mama Moon by Noah Grigni (It Feels Good to Be Yourself), a picture book about a child who muses that their mother, who has bipolar disorder, is like the moon. Publication is scheduled for 2023; Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.


Jean Feiwel at Feiwel and Friends has acquired debut picture book Broadway Bird by Broadway director Alex Timbers (l.), illustrated by Alisa Coburn, about a parakeet named Louisa who dreams of being on Broadway, only to be told she's too little to be a star. When a chance at her big break comes, Louisa learns that no matter how small you are, with a little talent and a lot of hard work, you can do anything. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Janine Kamouh and Gwen Beal at WME represented the author, and Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary represented the artist.


Elizabeth Lazowski at Chronicle has bought world rights to The Sound of Change by Gloria Day (l.), illustrated by Nicole Xu. Inspired by the George Floyd protests and the author's childhood memories of the 1992 Rodney King riots, this picture book debut follows what change feels and sounds like from a child's perspective—from the rumblings of unrest, to hushed voices around the kitchen table, to the sound of waiting, working together, and building a future of hope and progress. Publication is set for spring 2023; Melissa Nasson at Rubin Pfeffer Content represented the author, and Andrea Morrison at Writers House represented the illustrator.


Neal Porter at Holiday House/Neal Porter Books has signed Wintergarden by Janet Fox (l.), about a child's experience growing an indoor garden in the winter months, illustrated by Jasu Hu. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and Marzena Torzecka at the Marlena Agency represented the illustrator in the deal for world rights.


Sylvie Frank at S&S/Wiseman acquired and Paula Wiseman will edit You Go First by Ariel Bernstein (l.), illustrated by Marc Rosenthal, the team behind We Love Fishing. Cat and Duck are good friends, and they are very excited to try out the new slide at the playground. That is, until Cat notices how much bigger and curvier the new slide is, and wants to make sure that Duck has considered all of her options. Maybe Duck could use a snack, or a trip to the bathroom first? Publication is planned for fall 2023; Sean McCarthy represented the author, and Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties represented the illustrator, both for world rights.


Luana Kay Horry at HarperCollins has bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to Phenomenal AOC: The Roots and Rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, written by Pura Belpré Honor author Anika Aldamuy Denise (l.) (Planting Stories) and illustrated by Loris Lora (Legendary Leaders Who Shaped the World). From her earliest days in the Bronx, to her electrifying primary win, to the halls of Congress—the phenom known to her family as Sandy and to the world as AOC proves what's possible when you speak truth to power and aren't afraid to shake the table. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management represented the author, and Sally Heflin at Heflinreps represented the illustrator.


Janine O’Malley at FSG has acquired world rights to On the Fourth of July by Maggie Rudd (l.) in a two-book deal, both illustrated by Pura Belpré Honor artist Elisa Chavarri. This picture book celebrates the joy of being an American on the Fourth of July as the daytime fun of picnics and swimming gives way to wonder and delight at a night of fireworks. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Mary Cummings at Great River Literary in association with Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises represented the author, and Claire Easton at Painted Words represented the illustrator.


Marty Machowski at New Growth Press has bought world rights to Chloe and the Closet of Secrets by Ginger Hubbard (l.), and Sam and the Sticky Situation by Al Roland (c.). Chloe has a sneaky habit of making up stories, and she thinks it's no big deal until one day when crazy little fluffs appear every time she tells a lie. Sam has discovered an effective way to get what he wants by whining, but he gets a surprise when whining leads him to being stuck on top of a Ferris wheel. Veronika Kotyk (r.) will illustrate both titles. Publication is set for winter 2022; the authors were unagented, and Robbin Brosterman at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.


Clarissa Wong at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to debut board book Bye Bye Binary by Eric Geron (l.). The story follows a baby who explores gender expression and being true to oneself while dismantling gender norms. For all who ask: “Is it a boy or a girl?”, this little bundle of joy aptly replies: “What’s it to ya?!” Charlene Chua will illustrate; publication is planned for summer 2022. Brent Taylor at Triada US represented the author, and Tracy Marchini at BookEnds Literary represented the illustrator.


Stacey Barney at Putnam/Nancy Paulsen Books has acquired YA novel-in-verse Last Chance by bestselling author Ellen Hopkins. Seventeen-year-old twins separated by child protective services face juvenile detention and daunting odds as they struggle to navigate the foster care system. While Lake is given one last chance at her new home, Storm seems to be out of options. But when Storm takes part in a program that pairs him with a shelter dog also facing one last chance, the bond that develops could unexpectedly lead him and Lake back to one another. Publication is set for spring 2023; Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary Agency did the six-figure deal for North American rights.


Kendra Levin at S&S/Salaam Reads has bought a new YA novel from Morris Award finalist S.K. Ali, called Love from Mecca to Medina, in an exclusive submission. While on pilgrimage to Mecca, Adam and Zayneb find their new relationship tested by the circumstances of their umrah group, including a group leader one of them had previously known. The publication is slated for fall 2022; Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties negotiated the deal for world English rights.


Rachel Poloski at Little, Brown has acquired Margot Harrison's (The Glare; The Killer in Me) high-concept YA thriller We Made It All Up, in which 16-year-old Celeste moves to small-town Montana to escape her past, only to become embroiled in her new home's dark, twisted secrets when her crush—and writing subject—is found dead in a nearby cave. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022; Jessica Sinsheimer at Context Literary brokered the deal for world rights.


Rachel Diebel at Feiwel and Friends has bought Miel Moreland's sophomore novel Something Like Possible, about bisexual teen Madison, whose path to political staffer stardom is in jeopardy after her girlfriend fires her as junior class president campaign manager, until she convinces a new, cute candidate to accept her help—all while working to unmask a serial predator. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Jessica Errera at Jane Rotrosen Agency handled the deal for North American rights.


Alexa Pastor at Simon & Schuster has acquired, in an exclusive submission, Alyson Derrick's solo debut YA novel, Forget Me Not, a LGBTQ+ romance about Stevie and Nora, two girls who plan to abandon their small town for California so they can be together, until an accident steals every trace of Stevie's relationship with Nora from her memory. Publication is set for spring 2023; Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management negotiated the deal for world rights.


Kelsey Horton at Delacorte has bought bestselling author Jen Calonita's 12 to 22, a smart and funny modern-day 13 Going On 30 middle grade novel. When a tween girl transports in time with the help of TikTok, she discovers that at 22 she has everything she thought she always wanted—but growing up too fast can have unexpected consequences. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022; Dan Mandel at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates sold world rights in an exclusive submission.


Martha Mihalick at Greenwillow has acquired world English rights to bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp's (l.) middle-grade graphic novel Ink Girls, illustrated by Sylvia Bi, in a two-book deal. It’s set in a city-state inspired by Renaissance-era Italy, and tells of a young printer's apprentice who must find a way to save her master who is arrested for sedition after she printed a newspaper calling out the crimes of the most powerful man in the city. Publication is planned for winter 2023; Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media represented the author, and Natascha Morris at Tobias Literary Agency represented the illustrator.


David Linker of HarperCollins has bought, in a preempt, Ice Age: The Meltdown screenwriters Gerry Swallow (l.) and Peter Gaulke's The Red Bag, a middle grade novel about what happens when two ne'er-do-well elves take Santa's sleigh for a joy ride and lose his famous bag. When the elves try to reclaim it from the boy who found it, they discover that losing a magical toy-making bag is a lot easier than getting it back. Publication is set for fall 2022; David Dunton at Harvey Klinger brokered the deal for world rights.


Liesa Abrams at Labyrinth Road has acquired world English rights to Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston and a second book in the middle grade series from Esme Symes-Smith. When 12-year-old nonbinary Callie's ex-hero dad is summoned to the royal capitol of Helston to train a hopeless prince as an epic war looms, Callie lunges for the opportunity to become an official knight in training. Helston is full of powerful people who believe knighthood is for boys and magic is for girls, and Callie and the new friends they make will have to fight both the dangers beyond the kingdom and the bigotry from within. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Megan Manzano at D4EO Literary did the deal.


Stephanie Cohen at Inkyard has bought world English rights to The Ring of Solomon and a second book by author Aden Polydoros. This middle grade series follows a queer boy and his family as they try to halt the chaotic effects of a mysterious ring, drawing on Jewish mythology to navigate magic, mayhem and the search for pride in one's identity. Publication is scheduled for winter 2023; Thao Le at Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency negotiated the deal.


Liza Kaplan at Viking has acquired Christopher Award-winning author Beth Hautala's new middle grade novel, Miracle Season. Thirteen-year-old Persephone Pearl Clark has never met a plant that wouldn't sprout for her, but in the wake of her brother's accident and their family's struggles, Persephone's attempts to help revitalize her family—and her town—go horribly wrong, and she finds herself in a tangle of lies and secrets that grow like weeds. Publication is planned for summer 2022; Danielle Chiotti brokered the deal for North American rights.


Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books has bought Hey You! An Empowering Celebration of Growing Up Black, written and illustrated by Dapo Adeola, along with 18 other Black artists from around the world. This picture book celebrates Black creativity and achievement and delivers an inspiring message of hope. Publication is set for January 2022; Penguin Random House UK sold North American rights.


Reka Simonsen at Atheneum has acquired Slowly Slowly by Toni Yuly, a picture book that follows all the phases of a single persimmon branch—from bare stem to leafy abundance to fruit—while telling a story of community and friendship. Publication is slated for fall 2023; Wendi Gu at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates represented Yuly for world English rights.


Allyn Johnston at S&S/Beach Lane Books has bought world rights to A Curious Mind and a Very Big Heart, a picture book biography by author-illustrator Aura Lewis, about Sara Little Turnbull, an acclaimed 20th-century product designer and innovator whose work on a new medical mask in the 1960s inspired the design for what we know of today as the N-95 mask. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency did the deal for world rights.


Farrin Jacobs at Little, Brown has acquired world English rights to The Truth About Christmas by Meena Harris (l.), bestselling author of Ambitious Girl and founder of Phenomenal, about a young elf who suspects there's more to Santa—and herself—than meets the eye, illustrated by Keisha Morris. Publication is planned for December 2021; Cait Hoyt at CAA represented the author and Claire Easton at Painted Words represented the illustrator.


Clarissa Wong at HarperCollins has bought, in a four-house auction, world rights to Boop! by I Will Be Fierce author Bea Birdsong (l.), illustrated by Linzie Hunter. Boop! is a word-play filled interactive picture book teaching the internet sensation of booping (tapping) dogs' noses. Publication is set for summer 2023. Melissa Edwards at Stonesong represented the author, and Lindsay Auld at Writers House represented the illustrator.


Kate Fletcher at Candlewick has acquired, at auction, world rights to I Was by Katherine Hocker (l.), illustrated by Natasha Donovan. This picture book about animal skulls is narrated by the skulls themselves, presenting pride and value in the life that was. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Mary Cummings of Great River Literary in association with Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises represented the author, and Lindsay Auld at Writers House represented the illustrator.


Luana Kay Horry at HarperCollins has bought world rights, at auction, in a two-book deal, to Abuela's Super Capa by Ana Siqueira (l.), illustrated by Pura Belpré Honor artist Elisa Chavarri. It's an intergenerational story about love and remembrance in which Luis and Abuela put on their super capas and save the world, until one day when Abuela must hang up her capa. Publication is slated for winter 2023, and simultaneously in Spanish; Andrea Walker at Azantian Literary represented the author while at Olswanger Literary; Claire Easton at Painted Words represented the artist.


Ann Kelley at Random House Studio has acquired Ready, Set, Run!, a nonfiction picture book about the New York City marathon by Leslie Kimmelman (l.), illustrated by Jessie Hartland. Facts about the history of the marathon are intertwined with a narrative that highlights a community coming together during this long run through the city's five boroughs. Publication is planned for summer 2023; Amy Stern at Sheldon Fogelman Agency represented the author, and Brenda Bowen at the Book Group represented the illustrator.


Kallie George at Greystone Kids has bought What I Will Discover by Tanya Lloyd Kyi (l.), about a child scientist exploring different landscapes, to be illustrated by Rachel Qiuqi Li. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023; Amy Tompkins at Transatlantic Agency represented the author, and Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary Agency represented the illustrator.


Carol Hinz at Lerner/Carolrhoda has acquired world rights to Where We Come From, a picture book that explores personal history and identity, written collaboratively by (from l.) Diane Wilson, Sun Yung Shin, Shannon Gibney, and John Coy, illustrated by Dion MBD. The book weaves together references to the homes and lives of the authors' ancestors with references to the things that connect us all. Publication is set for fall 2022; Tina Dubois at ICM Partners represented Gibney, Andrea Cascardi at Transatlantic Agency represented Coy, Wilson and Shin represented themselves, and Chad Beckerman at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.

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