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December 2018

Since I've been representing her, Adi Rule has been known as a YA author, with two fantastic books out on shelves: STRANGE SWEET SONG and THE HIDDEN TWIN. Such are the joys of authorly reinvention, however, that I am now here to announce her middle-grade debut!

HEARTS OF ICE is a true winter wonderland of a read, starring a girl who has grown up believing she is an only child. Everything changes when she discovers that not only does she have a sister—a twin!—but the girls were born in another magical, wintery world. And now? That world is out to get them back.

This incredible page-turner was sold to Mallory Kass at Scholastic Press, and is hitting shelves in September 2019. Huge congratulations, Adi!

--Joan

B.B. Ullman has had a long road to get BAD ORDER: A LITTLE-KNOWN TALE OF REGULAR KIDS AND HOLOGRAPHIC ALIENS FACING AN INTERDIMENSIONAL CATASTROPHE to publication. There were a lot of setbacks, but today we get to celebrate a forward motion.

This story is for kids everywhere who may be feeling afraid or overwhelmed with the state of the world and feeling like they can do little about it. I cannot wait for them to meet Mary and Albie and their friends.

It's a beautiful story that breathes life into all of us who are uncertain about the future.

I think you'll fall in love with it just like I did.

Christina Pulles at Sterling has acquired a middle grade novel by B.B. Ullman, author of The Fairies of Nutfolk Wood. Bad Order: A Little-Known Tale of Regular Kids and Holographic Aliens Facing an Interdimensional Catastrophe follows Mary and Albie and their friends as they work together to find out why aliens have suddenly come knocking—and figure out how to stop an interdimensional catastrophe in the making. Publication is scheduled for spring 2019; Ardi Alspach will edit. Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.

Congratulations, Barb!

—Tricia

Illustrator extraordinaire Mark Crilley is possibly best known for his YouTube channel, where he has put out an original artwork instruction video weekly for the last decade. (Seriously, check him out on YouTube—he's amazing!) Over the last few years, he has translated that instructional side of his work into print, with a range of terrific books including the MASTERING MANGA series, THE REALISM CHALLENGE, THE DRAWING LESSON, and many more.

Today, I am excited to share a deal that takes Mark's art in an entirely new direction, and brings him back to his early publication roots—graphic novel fiction! Here is the fantastic deal that posted in Publishers Weekly:

Emily Meehan and Hannah Allaman at Disney-Hyperion have preempted World rights to YouTube art guru and Mastering Manga creator Mark Crilley's graphic novel TWO ARTISTS, which follows two friends on the bumpy road to adulthood, as they discover how their art shapes their friendship, and their friendship shapes their art—and the rest of their lives.

The first book in this two-book deal is scheduled for spring 2020, so mark your calendars accordingly. Congratulations, Mark!

--Joan

Oh, that Deborah Underwood. Yes, we just announced a deal for her last week, and yet here we are with another!

And it's another with Jess Garrison at Dial, the wonderful editor who has shepherded Deborah's CAT books, this year's WALRUS IN THE BATHTUB and the forthcoming PANDA PROBLEM. Now they are collaborating on EVERY LITTLE LETTER, about the walls we build to keep others away, and what happens when curious children find ways to tear them down—first word by word, then brick by brick—and befriend each other.

Joy Hwang Ruiz, creator of the Instagram account @momisdrawing, will illustrate. I can't wait to see what she does with it!

Congratulations again, Deborah!

—Erin

After such a wonderful debut, THE BENEFITS OF BEING AN OCTOPUS (Sky Horse, September 2018), Ann Braden fans can look forward to more of her books in the near future. Because everyone needs a puffin, especially when you already have an octopus.

In THE FLIGHT OF THE PUFFIN, via Ann's powerful prose, you'll meet four kids from all over the United States, and each of them learn to stand up for what's right in their own way, in their own strength.

I know we're on the cusp of 2019 right now, but can make it 2021 already? I can't wait!

Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Paulsen has acquired, in a preempt, two middle grade novels by Ann Braden, whose debut novel was The Benefits of Being an Octopus. The first book, The Flight of the Puffin, follows four kids in different parts of the country and explores political divides, gender boxes, and how one tiny action by a stranger can send out ripples you'd never expect. Publication is set for spring 2021; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary Agency did the deal for world rights.

Congratulations, Ann!

—Tricia

Every kid has their own tail—oops, I mean tale. And Scarlet is no exception. Her tale is all about having a very obvious characteristic that makes her different—and the ways her friends help her celebrate it. Another slightly off center story from Audrey Vernick, just acquired by the divine Rotem Moscovich at Disney-Hyperion, and this time, to be illustrated by Jarvis.

Rotem Moscovich at Disney-Hyperion has acquired world rights to Audrey Vernick's picture book Scarlet's Tale, the quirky story of a girl embracing her (very obvious) unique characteristic with the help of some enthusiastic friends. Jarvis will illustrate; publication is set for summer 2020. Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Arabella Stein at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.

Huge congratulations, Audrey, for another tale-baby on the way!

—Erin

We've got a followup to BABY'S FIRSTS coming! We're so excited to have BABY'S OPPOSITES to look forward to. With Nancy's beautiful prose coupled with Rahele Jomepour Bell's gorgeous illustrations, this book is going to be one to remember.

Julie Bliven at Charlesbridge has acquired world rights to Nancy Raines Day's (l.) Baby's Opposites, a picture book that follows baby from morning until bedtime, through a busy day of discovering basic opposites. Rahele Jomepour Bell will illustrate; publication is planned for fall 2020. Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Christy Tugeau Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.

Congratulations, Nancy!

—Tricia

This is quite a week for celebrating good news, and none more than our own Amy Cherrix, non-fiction author extraordinaire. Till now, Amy has kept her considerable talents trained on longer narrative pieces—but this hot new deal showcases her talents on the younger, PB side as well. And with breathtaking results!

Here's the fantastic deal posted up to Publishers Weekly:

Andrea Welch at S&S/Beach Lane has bought at auction, in a two-book, six-figure deal, Amy Cherrix's Animal Architects, illustrated by Chris Sasaki. The nonfiction picture book showcases the many amazing ways and things that animals build. The first title is tentatively set for publication in fall 2021; Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency and Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions brokered the deal for world rights.

Huge congratulations, Amy!

--Joan

One of the lovely things about long-term editorial relationships is that sometimes, authors and editors cook things up together. When this happens, my involvement is minimal—so for this new deal announcement, I'll just use Deborah Underwood's version of the story (courtesy of Facebook):

"In March of 2017, my editor emailed me and told me she wanted a book on kindness and thought I was the person to write it. I wrote back that I was [out of town and] buried in parental care issues, and she said if and when I had anything to share, she'd love to see.

"Months later I had a draft; she and writing friends gave me suggestions; I revised. But it just didn't feel like it was gelling. So after a while, I tried another way and ran it past her. She thought it could work, too.

"Then this February, some rhymed couplets came to me. I shared those, and her response was 'YESSSSSSSSSSS! By god, I think you've got it!!!'

"So here's to editors who encourage us and give us the time we need. And to kindness!"

Cheers!

Here is the deal announcement:

Laura Godwin at Holt/Godwin has acquired world rights to Deborah Underwood's new picture book, FINDING KINDNESS. A celebration of kindness in all its many forms, the book tells a story of community, compassion, and generosity of spirit. Irene Chan will illustrate; publication is planned for fall 2019. Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency represented the author, and Christy Tugeau Ewers at the CAT Agency represented the illustrator.

Hooray, Deborah!

—Erin

If there's one thing you can expect from a book by Anne Nesbet, it's variety. Whether she's exposing a shadowy magical world in Paris, or taking us deep behind the Iron Curtain in 1980s East Berlin, or following the musical adventurers of a band of orphan friends, you always know you're in for a rollicking good adventure, told with skill and finesse. So you won't be at all surprised to hear that her newest book-in-the-works is just as fascinating and exciting as those that have come before—and equally unpredictable in subject matter.

Here is the pitch, for your anticipatory pleasure:

Kaylan Adair at Candlewick has acquired Cloud & Wallfish author Anne Nesbet's next middle grade novel, DARING DARLEEN, SERIAL QUEEN, the story of a twelve-year-old film star in the early 1900s, whose fictional adventures collide with reality when a fake kidnapping set up as a publicity stunt becomes all too real. Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency did the deal for World rights, for publication in spring 2020.

Hip, hip, hooray for Anne! Another amazing book is a-coming.

--Joan

So excited for P.J. Hoover and her MG fantasy adventure HOMER'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE to get to readers. It's a fabulous romp through The Odyssey and I know you'll love it as much as I do! Congratulations, P.J.!

Madeline Smoot at Cbay has bought P.J. Hoover's middle grade fantasy, Homer's Excellent Adventure, pitched as Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventuremeets The Odyssey, in which 12-year-old Homer is about to fail out of school unless he can come up with the most epic story ever. Homer hates writing and has no idea what to write about, but the god Hermes sends him on a journey guaranteed to be filled with adventure (along with plenty of monsters). The book will publish in spring 2020; Tricia Lawrence at Erin Murphy Literary Agency did the deal for North American rights.

—Tricia