Sarah Barley at Flatiron has acquired, at auction, Amelia Kahaney‘s Friends Like These, a YA psychological thriller set in the California desert, where three best friends grow up on the wrong side of the tracks, desperately wishing for a way out. Each of the girls escapes—but not in the way they’d expected. Publication is planned for spring 2020; Joelle Hobeika and Sara Shandler at Alloy Entertainment negotiated the deal for North American rights, and the author is represented by Faye Bender at the Book Group.
Madeline Smoot at Cbay Books has bought P.J. Hoover‘s YA adventure, Code. Pitched as The Da Vinci Code meets Indiana Jones for teens, the book features 16-year-old Hannah Hawkins, who discovers that her parents’ disappearance 11 years ago may be linked to a fabled artifact with the ability to repopulate species, heal diseases, and make old age a thing of the past. The book will publish in fall 2019; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary Agency brokered the deal for North American rights.
Patty Rice at Andrews McMeel has acquired North American rights, at auction, to 13-year-old Australian national slam poetry champion Solli Rafael‘s Limelight, a collection of poetry paired with writing techniques and advice. Rafael’s work tackles current social concerns for his generation, such as sustainability and social equality, while amplifying his message of hope. Publication is scheduled for spring 2019; Allison Hellegers at Rights People did the deal on behalf of Eleanor Shone Holden at Penguin Random House Australia.
Simon Boughton at Norton Young Readers has bought Tonya Bolden‘s biography of Dovey Johnson Roundtree. The book, which is for readers ages 11–14, is about the pioneering attorney who defended a black man accused of murdering a white woman in a high-profile trial in 1965. Roundtree, who died earlier this year at 104, was also instrumental in winning a landmark 1955 Supreme Court decision desegregating interstate transportation. It’s slated for 2020; Jennifer Lyons at Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Annie Berger at Sourcebooks Jabberwocky has acquired a new duology by MarcyKate Connolly, author of Shadow Weaver. Set in the same world, Hollow Dolls features a young mind reader who wants nothing more than to return to the home she left years ago. But when a slew of magical disappearances leads her to a man who can take over a person’s body without their permission, she knows she’s the only one who can stop him. Publication is set for winter 2020; Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary Media did the deal for world English rights.
Stacy Whitman at Lee Low/Tu Books has bought 2014 New Visions Award finalist On These Magic Shores by Yamile Saied Méndez. The middle grade novel is about Minerva, who wants to be a normal kid and grow up to be the first Latina president of the U.S. But with her mother missing and no family to help her, she fights to keep her sisters safe and out of foster care—with the help of a friend and some fairy dust. Publication is planned for 2020; Linda Camacho at Gallt Zacker Literary brokered the deal for North American rights.
Allison Cohen at Running Press Kids has acquired Kim Long‘s debut middle grade novel, tentatively titled Lexi Magill the Teleportation Trek Tournament, about a girl who teams up with the unlikeliest classmates to teleport around the world, with the hope of winning the annual science tournament. Publication is scheduled for fall 2019; Natascha Morris at BookEnds Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights for the author.
Sylvie Frank at SS/Wiseman has bought a middle grade novel, provisionally titled Santiago, by 2017 Pura Belpré Honor author Alexandra Diaz. The story is about a boy’s search for a family and a home as he navigates the perilous border between the U.S. and Mexico. Publication is slated for spring 2020; Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary brokered the deal for world rights.
David Saylor at Scholastic/Graphix has acquired world rights to a new as-yet-untitled book in Eisner and Harvey Award winner Andy Runton‘s Owly series, as well as rights to reissue the first five books, originally published in black-and-white and now out of print, in new full-color editions. The graphic novel series features Owly, a kind-hearted owl who makes friends and finds adventure wherever he goes. The five Owly books will be republished twice yearly in full color, with additional text, beginning in 2020, with the new sixth Owly book to follow; Barry Goldblatt at Barry Goldblatt Literary handled the deal.
Lizzie Sitton and Karen Lotz at Candlewick have bought world rights to Smriti Prasadam-Halls‘s (l.) Welcome to Your World, illustrated by Jaime Kim (La La La). The picture book celebrates the natural world through the eyes of a new, small someone on a journey of discovery and delight through new landscapes. Publication is set for spring 2020; Emily Talbot at United Agents represented the author, and Claire Easton represented the illustrator. Karen Lotz at Candlewick has also bought Kim’s solo debut as author-illustrator. In the as-yet-untitled picture book, a girl is jealous of her older sister who outshines her in their ballet class. Publication is scheduled for fall 2020; Claire Easton at Painted Words represented Kim in the deal for world rights.
Rachel Williams and Katy Flint at Frances Lincoln have acquired The Dictionary of Difficult Words by Dictionary.com lexicographer Jane Solomon (l.), an illustrated celebration of surprisingly delightful words and their meanings. Louise Lockhart will illustrate; simultaneous U.S./U.K. publication is planned for spring 2019. Molly O’Neill at Root Literary represented the author, and the illustrator was unagented.
Anne Schwartz at Schwartz Wade has bought world rights to Lisa Robinson‘s (l.) Was I Not a Girl: The Surprising Story of Dr. James Barry, illustrated by Lauren Simkin Berke. The picture book biography tells the story of Dr. James Barry, who was born female in 1789, but lived as a man and went on to become the one of the highest ranked medical officers in the British Army. Publication is scheduled for fall 2020; Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident represented the author, and the illustrator was unagented.
Karen Boss at Charlesbridge has acquired world rights to Balletball by Erin Dionne (l.), illustrated by Gillian Flint. The picture book features a reluctant baseball player who brings her love of ballet to the outfield and, with twirls and pliés, ends up leading her team to victory. Publication is slated for spring 2020; Sally Harding at CookeMcDermid represented the author, and James Burns at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.
Andrea Hall at Albert Whitman has bought Jen Malia‘s (l.) The Girl Who Loved Slime, a story about an autistic girl with sensory issues. Joanne Lew-Vriethoff will illustrate. Publication is set for fall 2019; Naomi Davis at BookEnds represented the author, and Mela Bolinao at MB Artists represented the illustrator.