Rights Report: Week of May 24, 2021
Sara Goodman at Wednesday Books has acquired Songs of Irie, a YA novel by actor Asha Bromfield, who currently stars on the TV show Riverdale. Set in ’70s Jamaica in the midst of devastating political turmoil, two girls must navigate their opposing upbringings as they fall in love and choose between the futures decided for them and the futures they desire. Publication is tentatively slated for spring 2023; Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Krista Marino at Delacorte has bought YA supernatural horror Where the Night Has Teeth by bestselling author Suzanne Young (The Program), pitched as a gender-swapped The Lost Boys. Seventeen-year-old Edie Maggio is set to spend the summer with her nonna in her coastal Oregon town, only to realize, when her brother begins spending all his time with a mysterious group of beguiling girls and only going out after dark, that the town is filled with vampires. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Lane Heymont at the Tobias Agency represented the author for world English rights.
Ruqayyah Daud at Little, Brown/Poppy has bought, at auction, YA debut Promposal by RaeChell Garrett, a rom-com about a Black girl who, determined to make it off the waiting list of the business school of her dreams, enlists the help of former crush turned rival to form a promposal service in hopes of impressing the admissions committee, but is unsure if she can she trust him with her business… or her heart. Publication is scheduled for winter 2023, with an untitled second novel to follow in 2024; Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary did the deal for world English rights.
Lindsey Hall at Tor Teen has acquired, in an exclusive submission, a new YA fantasy series, The Luminaries, and the final book in the Witchlands series from Susan Dennard. In Hemlock Falls, when nightmares rise, only the Luminaries stand between humanity and these monsters bent on devastation. Winnie Wednesday knows the only way to redeem her disgraced family is to pass the Luminary trials, but when she encounters an unknown monster, she realizes she must also protect Hemlock Falls and her heart from a former friend with secrets of his own. Publication is set for fall 2022; Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary & Media brokered the three-book deal for North American rights.
Claire Stetzer at Inkyard Press has acquired debut Waking Fire by Jean Louise and an untitled sequel. This #OwnVoices YA fantasy duology follows a girl whose secret desert village is discovered by a dangerous warlord and his army of undead monsters, and she will stop at nothing until her home is safe again. Publication is slated for winter 2023; Claire Friedman at InkWell Management negotiated the deal for world rights.
Eliza Swift at Sourcebooks Fire has bought It’s Always the Boyfriend, the YA debut from bestselling author David Bell (Cemetery Girl; The Request). When Hunter's girlfriend disappears after a car accident on homecoming night, he becomes the primary suspect. He begins making YouTube videos to prove his innocence, but can't remember anything about that night—so what really happened? Publication is planned for fall 2022; Laney Katz Brecker at Massie & McQuilkin handled the three-book deal for world English rights.
Ashley Hearn at Peachtree Teen has acquired Boys I Know by debut author Anna Gracia. This coming-of-age story follows a “year in the life” of high school senior June Chu as she navigates sex, love, and Planned Parenthood in her small Midwestern town, while clashing with her Taiwanese mother’s expectation that she will follow her older sister to Northwestern on a music scholarship. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022; Kiana Nguyen at the Donald Maass Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Susan Van Metre at Walker US has bought, jointly with Denise Johnstone-Burt at Walker UK, world rights in a preempt for the first two books of a middle grade spy adventure series from bestselling adult authors Edward Docx (l.) and Matthew Plampin, who will be writing under the pseudonym Logan Macx. In the first book, Swift and Hawk Cyberspies: Razor's Edge, Swift and Hawk, teen experts in AI and robotics, are recruited by the secretive Mobius Program to crack an unbreakable code and are plunged into a life-and-death rescue mission. The book is set for March 2022, and will be simultaneously published by Walker US and Walker UK; Bill Hamilton and Euan Thorneycroft at A.M. Heath Literary did the deal.
Holly West at Feiwel and Friends has acquired, in an exclusive submission, a middle grade graphic novel series by debut author-illustrator Scout Underhill. In the first book, Get the Party Started, a group of playful pups are introduced to the world of role-playing games. Publication of the first book is slated for 2024; Britt Siess at Britt Siess Creative Management sold North American rights in the two-book deal.
Elizabeth Stranahan at Crown has bought Show Us Who You Are by Elle McNicoll, the sophomore middle grade novel by the author of A Kind of Spark. Neurodiverse protagonist Cora is fascinated by tech giant Pomegranate and the human holograms they create, but when Cora has the opportunity to be a part of the research, she soon discovers that the science hides dark secrets and dangerous consequences—and Cora might be the only one who can stop it. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary and Media negotiated the deal on behalf of Knights of Media for North American rights.
Maria Barbo at HarperCollins has acquired The Keeper by Guadalupe Garcia McCall, a middle grade horror/mystery about a brother and sister who move to a seemingly idyllic neighborhood in the Pacific Northwest only to get threatening letters from a mysterious stranger who calls himself The Keeper. Publication is set for January 2022; Andrea Cascardi at Transatlantic Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Liz Szabla at Feiwel and Friends has acquired middle grade novel Shaken by James Preller, about a seventh-grade soccer star who suffers from the lingering effects of a concussion and struggles to reinvent herself. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Elizabeth Bennett at Transatlantic Agency negotiated the deal for world rights in an exclusive submission.
Daria Harper at Chronicle has bought world rights to LOL 101: A Kid's Guide to Joke Writing by David Roth and Rinee Shah. This illustrated handbook breaks down the basics of how to construct and tell jokes, proving that any kid can write a joke that makes their friends laugh. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Monika Verma at Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary represented the author and illustrator.
Liza Baker at Orchard has bought, in an exclusive submission, The Reflection in Me by debut author Marc Colagiovanni (l.), illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. The story seeks to remind us to always see ourselves as we truly are… perfectly perfect, because how we feel about ourselves permeates everything we do in life. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties brokered the deal for North American English rights.
Neal Porter at Holiday House/Neal Porter Books has acquired world rights to Song for Jimi by Coretta Scott King Award winner Charles R. Smith, Jr. (l.), illustrated by Society of Illustrators Gold Medal winner Edel Rodriguez, a meditation on the life of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix. The book is scheduled for fall 2021; Miriam Altshuler at DeFiore and Company represented the author, and Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties represented the illustrator.
Angus Yuen-Killick at Red Comet Press has bought Magari! (English title to come) by beloved Italian children’s poet Bruno Tognolini. The book, a rhythmic poem about hopes and wishes for the future, will be illustrated by Giulia Orecchia, and translated by Denise Muir. It will be the first of Tognolini's more than 50 titles to be published in English. Publication is set for spring 2022; Italian publisher Camelozampa sold world English-language rights.
Carter Hasegawa at Candlewick Press has acquired, in a two-book deal, world rights to two picture books, Devonte's Shoes and a second TBD, by K.E. Lewis (l.), illustrated by Robert Paul Jr.. Devonte's excitement to show off his summertime fine at the annual cookout takes a disappointing turn until neighborhood folks add their own flair, and Devonte learns the power of substance over style in this story about community kinship. Publication is slated for spring 2024; Lori Steel at Raven Quill Literary represented the author, and Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.
Emily Feinberg at Roaring Brook has bought world rights to You and the Bowerbird, a nonfiction picture book by Maria Gianferrari (l.), illustrated by Maris Wicks. The story follows two bowerbirds and their very colorful adventures (including trickery and sabotage) while a child observes their behaviors, nest-building, and vibrant display-making. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary represented the author, and Bernadette Baker-Baughman represented the illustrator.
Jenny Bak at Viking has acquired world English rights to Seoul Food by Erin Danielle Russell (l.), illustrated by Tamisha Anthony, a picture book in which a biracial girl has a scrumptious idea to bring the two cultures in her family together. Publication is scheduled for spring 2024; Lynnette Novak at the Seymour Agency represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Luisa Beguiristain at Roaring Brook has bought, in a two-book deal, world rights to Monster Baker by Laura Lavoie (l.). This pun-filled picture book follows overeager monster baker Tillie as she tries to make her Grandmonster the best birthday treat, with a little inspiration from her idol, famous baker Pierre du Monstère. Vanessa Morales will illustrate the first book; publication is set for spring 2023. James McGowan at BookEnds represented the author, and Natascha Morris at the Tobias Literary represented the illustrator.
Karen Li at Groundwood Books has acquired, in an exclusive submission, world rights to All the Flowers by debut author-illustrator Jack Wong, about a boy who discovers his inner wonder while tending the garden with his sister, learning that cultivation requires softness, ingenuity, and care. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Wendi Gu at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates negotiated the deal.
Sarah Rockett at Sleeping Bear Press has bought world rights to Let's Build a Little Train by Julia Richardson (Little Dandelion Seeds the World), which follows the construction of a steam train where readers will discover what makes it run, with STEM tie-ins, illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke. The book is planned for summer 2022; Victoria Selvaggio at Storm Literary represented the author, and Nicole Tugeau at Tugeau 2 represented the illustrator.
Rebecca Glaser at Amicus has acquired world rights to The Great Cookie Kerfuffle by Jessica Shaw (l.), illustrated by Pauline Gregory. When a farmer drops a cookie, all the animals scuffle for it, until there's trouble overhead and they unite and care for each other—because friends are way more important than a cookie. Publication is scheduled for August 2022; the author was unagented, and Robbin Brosterman at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Beverly Horowitz at Delacorte has acquired The 9:09 Project by Mark Huntley Parsons. Pitched as I’ll Give You the Sun meets Tell Me Three Things, this contemporary romantic YA novel follows 17-year-old Jamison Deever as he returns to the same street corner at 9:09 each night to take a photo in the vein of Dorothea Lange, in an effort to channel and change his feelings of loss and loneliness. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Elana Cohen at Marvel Press has acquired a YA novel about Okoye from the Black Panther franchise by NBA finalist Ibi Zoboi (Punching the Air); Emeli Juhlin will edit. In this fish-out-of-water story, Okoye leaves Wakanda for the first time when she accompanies King T'Chaka on a humanitarian mission to America. She learns that her status as a Dora Milaje, the king's elite royal guard, means nothing to New Yorkers—and she finds herself trying to help teens dealing with addiction and gentrification in a forgotten neighborhood in Brooklyn. Publication is set for winter 2022; Ammi Joan-Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Dana Leydig at Viking has bought in a six-figure, five-house auction, If You’ll Have Me, a YA Sapphic rom-com graphic novel by author-illustrator Eunnie. College freshman, introvert, and self-proclaimed people-pleaser Momo Gardner isn't looking for love. That is until she falls for PG, the girl with a reputation for breaking hearts, and a whirlwind romance ensues, causing both to reckon with deep-seated insecurities for a chance at true love. Publication is slated for spring 2023; Thao Le at Sandra Dijkstra Literary did the two-book deal for world rights.
Samantha Swank at Scholastic acquired YA novel Hunt a Killer: Perfect Score by debut author Angelica Monai, the first licensed title from Hunt a Killer, the immersive entertainment company known for its mystery, sci-fi, and horror themed games. When aspiring PI Jolene Kelley witnesses her high school guidance counselor fall in front of a train, she's the only one who believes his death isn't an accident. Publication is planned for spring 2022; Allison Hellegers at Stimola Literary Studio brokered the deal for world rights in an exclusive submission.
Ruta Rimas at Razorbill has bought Youngblood by Sasha Laurens (A Wicked Magic). When teen vampire Kat transfers into Harcote, an elite vampire boarding school, she is drawn into a dark conspiracy at the heart of Vampirdom, and she suddenly finds herself falling for her roommate Taylor, Kat's childhood friend and the school's only out student. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022; Stephanie Kim at New Leaf Literary & Media negotiated the deal for world English rights.
Ben Rosenthal at HarperCollins/Tegen has bought YA novel Play the Game by debut author Charlene Allen, about a Black teenage boy who uses clues from a video game designed by his dead best friend to investigate the murder of the friend's killer, and is subsequently introduced to restorative justice. Publication is slated for winter 2023; Elizabeth Bewley at Sterling Lord Literistic handled the two-book deal for world English rights.
Alvina Ling at Little, Brown has acquired Alliana, Girl of Dragons, by Julie Abe, a standalone middle grade fantasy inspired by the Japanese Cinderella story and set in the same world as her earlier Eva Evergreen. Alliana spends long days tending to her stepfamily’s inn located at the edge of an abyss, filled with dangerous beasts and adventurers mining for riches. When Alliana rescues an orphaned nightdragon, and then a young witch seeks Alliana's help, she sees it as her chance to break free of her stepmother and seize her own happily ever after. Publication is set for summer 2022; Sarah Landis at Sterling Lord Literistic did the deal for world rights.
Margaret Ferguson at Holiday House has bought world rights to two graphic novels, Rodeo Hawkins & the Daughters of Mayhem, and its sequel, Rodeo Hawkins & the Sons of Disaster, written by John Claude Bemis and illustrated by Nicole Miles. After every other Sidney Poblocki in the multiverse is murdered, the last Sidney is rescued by a misfit crew of interdimensional troublemakers known as the Daughters of Mayhem, who lead him into a series of misadventures. Publication will begin in summer 2023; Josh Adams at Adams Literary represented the author, and Chad Beckerman at the CAT Agency & CWB represented the artist.
Alyson Heller at Aladdin has acquired middle grade novel Tear This Down by Barbara Dee (Maybe He Just Likes You). After Lola discovers that her town's namesake was actively against giving women the right to vote, she campaigns to replace his statue with that of an inspiring suffragette. Publication is scheduled for fall 2024; Jill Grinberg at Jill Grinberg Literary Management negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Connie Hsu at Roaring Brook has bought Ghosts, Toast, and Other Hazards, a middle grade novel by Susan Tan, author of the Cilla Lee-Jenkins series. Twelve-year-old Mo knows the world is a dangerous place: toasters can catch on fire, things could fall on your head, and stepdads can just take off and leave a family. But the chance to hunt an elephant ghost—and the promise of a new friend—might convince Mo to live a little more dangerously. Publication is slated for spring 2022; Daniel Lazar at Writers House did the deal for world English rights.
Lindsay Brown at Aladdin/Beyond Words has acquired an untitled activism book by Joan Marie Galat that provides young readers with tools to help them become informed and effective activists and encourage change on issues that impact people, animals, and the planet. The book is planned for spring 2023; Stacey Kondla at the Rights Factory brokered the deal.
Linda Pruessen at Greystone Kids has bought world rights to a middle grade nonfiction book, Crows: Big, Bold, Brainy Birds by Candace Savage, author of more than two dozen books including several about crows. Crows: Big, Bold, Brainy Birds invites nature-loving young readers to engage their inquisitive “crow spirit” and get up close and personal with some of the most fascinating creatures in the world. Publication is set for fall 2023; the author was unagented.
Candice Keimig at ABDO (with Elizabeth Andrews editing) has acquired world rights to a six-book early chapter book series called Nadia and Nadir by Marzieh Abbas (l.) and illustrated by Lala Stellune, starring two Muslim-American siblings. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Lynnette Novak at the Seymour Agency represented the author, and Erin Tisdel at Advocate Art represented the illustrator.
Neal Porter at Holiday House/Neal Porter Books has bought world rights to Is This a House for Hermit Crab, a reconceived and re-illustrated version of the bestselling 1990 picture book by Megan McDonald (l.), author of the Judy Moody series. Katherine Tillotson will illustrate; publication is slated for spring 2024. The author represented herself, and Rosemary Stimola of Stimola Literary Studio represented the artist.
Emily Daluga at Abrams has acquired world English rights to A Case of the Zaps, a picture book by actors and producers Alex Boniello (l.) and April Lavalle, illustrated by James Kwan. The book follows a young robot named Pi; after Pi begins to endure the mysterious and scary “zaps,” they set out to open up to their friends and family about their experience. The book aims to start a dialogue between children and parents about mental health. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Joe Veltre at the Gersh Agency represented the authors, and Steven Malk at Writers House represented the illustrator.
Ariel Richardson at Chronicle Books has bought world rights to Homeland: My Father Dreams of Palestine by Hannah Moushabeck (l.), illustrated by Reem Madooh. At bedtime a father tells his daughters the story of his last day in his homeland of Palestine, a home to which they have never been able to return. Publication is set for spring 2023; Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Sylvie Frank at S&S/Wiseman has acquired world rights to The Solstice Tree by Kelsey E. Gross (l.), illustrated by Renata Liwska, about woodland friends—and an unexpected visitor—who help shine the light and share gifts of hope as they decorate a solstice tree. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023; Mary Cummings at Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises represented the author, and Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties represented the illustrator.
Katherine Tegen at HarperCollins/Tegen has bought the world rights to My Poet by Newbery Medalist Patricia MacLachlan (l.). My Poet is a picture book about the power of words and poetry, inspired by the life of the award-winning American poet Mary Oliver. Jen Hill will illustrate; publication is slated for fall 2023. Rubin Pfeffer at Rubin Pfeffer Content represented the author, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Peter Phillips and Tara Walker at Tundra Books have acquired North American rights to Your Birthday Was the BEST! and School Was the BEST! two picture books by Australian author Maggie Hutchings (l.) and illustrator Felicita Sala, in a two-book deal. The books follow the adventures of an optimistic cockroach who gate-crashes a birthday party (and then a school day) with humorous results. Publication will be spring 2022 and summer 2023, respectively; Annabel Barker at Annabel Barker Agency brokered the deal on behalf of Tash Besliev at Affirm Press.
Katie Heit at Scholastic has bought world rights to Bessie the Motorcycle Queen, a picture book biography about trailblazer Bessie Stringfield, from award-winning author Charles R. Smith Jr., illustrated by Charlot Kristensen. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Miriam Altshuler at DeFiore & Company represented the author, and Thao Le at Sandra Dijkstra Literary represented the illustrator.
Sonali Fry at Random House has acquired Candy Contest! and Cookie Kindness, written and illustrated by Melanie Demmer. These shaped board books feature rhyming text and anthropomorphic characters, and celebrate inclusion and kindness. Publication is planned for summer 2022; James Burns at the Bright Agency sold world rights.