Rights Report: Week of March 18, 2019

Jennifer Ung at Simon Pulse has acquired Bruised by Tanya Boteju, author of the forthcoming Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens. The contemporary YA novel follows a teen girl as she explores truths about family, grief, identity, sexuality, and love when she immerses herself in the world of roller derby. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret negotiated the deal for world rights.

Antonia Markiet and Megan Ilnitzki at HarperCollins have bought, in a preempt, world rights to debut author Alysa Wishingrad‘s The Verdigris Pawn, an upper middle grade fantasy novel about a boy who must break free from being a pawn in his father’s quest for power if he is to save his people. Publication is slated for winter 2021; Victoria Marini at the Irene Goodman Agency brokered the deal.

Lauren Bisom at DC Comics has signed Shannon Hale (l.) and Dean Hale to write, and Victoria Ying to illustrate the first tween Wonder Woman graphic novel, Diana, Princess of the Amazons, for DC Comics’ new DC Zoom imprint. Publication is planned for January 2020; Barry Goldblatt at Barry Goldblatt Literary represented the authors, and Heather Flaherty at the Bent Agency represented the illustrator, in the deal for world rights.

Nicole Sclama at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has acquired Frankie and Tin Heart author Shivaun Plozza‘s debut middle grade novel, The Boy, the Wolf, and the Stars, about a 12-year-old boy searching for the wolf who can help return the Stars that were stolen from the sky by a Dark Witch, rescuing the land of Ulv from the witch’s evil plans and the Dark Creatures that roam the night. Publication is set for fall 2020; Katelyn Detweiler at Jill Grinberg Literary Management did the deal for North American rights.

Carol Hinz at Lerner/Millbrook has bought a middle grade work of nonfiction by Kate Messner, Tracking Pythons: The Quest to Catch an Invasive Predator and Save an Ecosystem. The book looks at how invasive Burmese pythons are affecting southern Florida and what high-tech strategies scientists are using to keep these massive snakes from taking over the ecosystem. Publication is scheduled for spring 2020; Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.

Nancy Mercado at Dial has acquired Women Artists A-Z by Melanie LaBarge (l.) and illustrated by Caroline Corrigan, an alphabet picture book that highlights women artists. By using a concept from each artist’s oeuvre (e.g. D is for Dots for Yayoi Kusama; S is for Spider for Louise Bourgeois), the book animates the life and stories of a diverse group of both known and unknown female artists, and introduces art concepts to children of all ages. Publication is set for spring 2020; Sarah Bowlin at Aevitas Creative represented the author and the illustrator in the deal for world rights.

Jessica Echeverria at Lee & Low has bought world rights to Bethany Hegedus‘s (l.) Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou, illustrated by Tonya Engel, the first in-depth picture book biography of Dr. Angelou, tracing her life from her early days in Arkansas to her work as a freedom fighter and rise as a renowned poet, writer, and humanitarian. Publication is planned for fall 2019; Alexandra Penfold at Upstart Crow Literary represented the author, and Gail Gaynin of Morgan Gaynin represented the illustrator.

Emily Feinberg at Roaring Brook has acquired world rights to Bye Land, Bye Sea, a bilingual picture book co-authored by Rodolfo Montalvo and René Spencer and illustrated by Montalvo, which tells the story of two children who meet on a deserted island and shows that friendship has no language barriers. The book is slated for winter 2021; Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary & Media represented the author and the illustrator.

Louise May at Lee & Low has bought world rights to Monica Brown‘s (l.) Digging Up the Past: Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello, a bilingual picture book biography about the indigenous archaeologist considered the “father” of Peruvian archaeology. Peruvian-American illustrator Elisa Chavarri will provide the artwork. Publication is scheduled in 2020; Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary represented the author, and Claire Easton at Painted Words represented the illustrator.

Allison Hunter Hill at Page Street Kids has acquired world rights to Celebration Bess, a picture book by Elizabeth Gilbert Bedia (l.), illustrated by Katie Hickey. A steadfast barn named Bess celebrates each season of farm life, but when a new owner plans to tear her down, Bess proves that she is made to stand the test of time. Publication is planned for fall 2020; the author represented herself, and Helen Boyle at Pickled Ink represented the illustrator.

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