Stephanie Stein at HarperTeen has acquired, at auction, Rena Barron‘s debut, The Last Witchdoctor. Set in a West African-inspired fantasy kingdom, the novel follows a girl who is descended from a long line of powerful witchdoctors, yet fails at magic, fails to call upon the ancestors, and can’t cast the simplest curse. When her mother performs a ritual to conjure a better daughter, one who can wake a great and terrible Demon King, she must find a way to stop them from destroying the world. Voyager will publish in the U.K. with Vicky Leech editing. Publication is set for fall 2019; Suzie Townsend negotiated the three-book deal for world English rights.
Orlando Dos Reis at Scholastic Press has bought world rights to Tarnished Are the Stars, a debut YA science fiction novel by Rosiee Thor, in which a queer outlaw mechanic must team up with her worst enemies—the son of the man responsible for a sweeping epidemic of deadly heart disorders, and the alluring spy posing as his betrothed—to save her village and the planet. Publication is slated for 2019; Saba Sulaiman at Talcott Notch Literary Services brokered the deal.
Brian Geffen at Henry Holt has acquired world rights to Blackwater, a debut YA graphic novel by Jeannette Arroyo and Ren Graham. When Tony, a restless star athlete, and Eli, a quiet outsider, form an unlikely friendship in their small Maine town, they find themselves tracking down the source of a werewolf curse and heeding the warnings of ghosts, all while exploring their budding feelings for each other and dealing with typical high school drama. Publication is scheduled for 2020; the author-illustrators were unagented.
Julie Matysik at Running Press has bought world English rights to The Edge of Anything, a YA debut by Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA grad Nora Carpenter. The dual narrative of Sage and Len, teens from very different worlds, explores the transformative power of friendship and how it can help you find yourself and the goodness in life, even when everything feels broken. The book is planned for spring 2020 publication; Victoria Wells Arms at Wells Arms Literary/HSG Agency represented the author.
Jennifer Ung at Simon Pulse has acquired The Summer I Learned Chinese, a contemporary YA novel by Lindsay Wong. Pitched as Anna and the French Kiss meets The Joy Luck Club, it tells the story of a Chinese-American teen who takes a trip to Beijing to reconnect with her roots and find herself, after being dumped by her boyfriend and rejected from every college she applied to. Publication is set for summer 2020; Carly Watters at P.S. Literary did the deal for world rights.
Lauren Smulski at Inkyard Press has bought debut author Laura Taylor Namey‘s YA novel, Paperback Midnight, pitched as Amber Smith meets Hoarders, about a young woman striving to find a balance between the ordinary life she wants and the reality of living with her hoarding mother. Publication is slated for fall 2019; Natascha Morris at BookEnds Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Ashley Hearn at Page Street has acquired world rights to Candice Montgomery‘s By Any Means Necessary. Torrey learns on the day he moves into his college dorm that the apiary his uncle willed him is about to be seized. As he balances the beauty—and the burden—of his past with the promises of his future, Torrey will have to battle against the forces of gentrification while hundreds of miles from his L.A. home. Publication is scheduled for fall 2019; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich and Bourret negotiated the deal.
Sonali Fry at Little Bee/Buzz Pop has bought Twitter celebrity and author of Only Dead on the Inside and Bare Minimum Parenting James Breakwell‘s two untitled interactive/guided journals. The first book is a mix of tweets and web comics, in which readers can complete or add images. The book will also include some of Breakwell’s Unfridgeworthy comics, where kids either add the speech bubble text or draw the pictures. The second book contains ideas for activities that parents can do with their kids, or that kids can do with other kids, such as “How to Prepare for a Zombie Battle” and “Indoor Camping.” Mark Gottlieb at Trident Media Group brokered the deal for world rights.
Krista Vitola at Simon Schuster has acquired The Dirt Diary author Anna Staniszewski‘s standalone middle grade novel, The Wonder of Wildflowers. The book tells the story of 10-year-old Mira, a Polish immigrant who lives in an alternate America where magical Amber is a natural resource that not everyone is permitted to use, as she struggles to fit in and find her place. The book will be published in spring 2020; Ammi-Joan Paquette handled the deal for world English rights.
Lisa Yoskowitz at Little, Brown has bought North American rights, at auction, to Ele Fountain‘s Refugee 87 (titled Boy 87 in the U.K.). The debut middle grade novel follows a boy’s cross-continent journey towards survival, and the friendships and hardships he experiences along the way. Publication is planned for spring 2019; Allison Hellegers at Rights People negotiated the deal on behalf of Sarah Odedina and Adam Freudenheim at Pushkin Press.
Anne Schwartz at Random House/Schwartz Wade has acquired Barry Wittenstein‘s (l.) Oscar’s American Dream, illustrated by Kevinand Kristen Howdeshell, the story of a small corner store’s evolution over 100 years, and how its different occupants reflect the changing face of America. Publication is slated for summer 2020; the author was unagented, and Deborah Wolfe at Deborah Wolfe Ltd. represented the illustrators in the deal for world rights.
Susan Rich at Little, Brown has bought Encounter by Brittany Luby (Anishinaabe) (l.), illustrated by Michaela Goade (Tlingit). Based on notes kept by French explorer Jacques Cartier, Encounter imagines a first meeting between a French sailor and a Stadaconan fisher as they observe their differences, while the natural world around them offers evidence of their commonality. Publication is set for fall 2019; Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative Artists represented the author in the deal for world rights excluding Canada, and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Agency represented the illustrator. Canadian rights were acquired by Tara Walker at Tundra.
Howard Reeves at Abrams has acquired world rights to a picture book by One Shadow on the Wall author Leah Henderson. A Day for Rememberin’ tells the story of a community of newly freed slaves and loyalists in Charleston, S.C., who came together in 1865 to remember and honor the lives of fallen soldiers after the civil war, an event considered to be one of the first celebrations of what is now called Memorial Day. Publication is scheduled for 2020; Clelia Gore at Martin Literary Media Management represented the author.
Andrew Wooldridge at Orca has bought world rights to the picture book Grandmother School by Rina Singh (l.), illustrated by Renné Benoit. The book tells the true story of a community of grandmothers in India, courageously fighting the shame of illiteracy and subsequently affirming the life-changing power of education. Publication is slated for spring 2020; Essie White at Storm Literary Agency represented the author, and the illustrator represented herself.
Marilyn Brigham at Amazon/Two Lions has acquired world rights to Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves by Lauren H. Kerstein, illustrated by Nate Wragg. Chaos ensues at the neighborhood pool as Charlie teaches his pet dragon Rosie how to swim. The book is planned for summer 2019; Deborah Warren at East West Literary Agency represented the author, and Rebecca Sherman at Writers House represented the illustrator.