Rights Report: April and May

I try to update Rights Reports monthly to give a peek into upcoming POC and Native American kidlit publications.


Oni Press has acquired world rights to the YA graphic novel IWant You by Madeleine Flores. The story follows a girl working in her brother’s cat cafe who has a secret magical ability that allows her to get whatever she wishes for whenever she says “I want.” Publication is slated for 2018.

Candlewick Press will publish 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Laureate Cao Wenxuan‘s novel Bronze and Sunflower, which tells the story of the friendship between Bronze, a mute village boy, and Sunflower, a girl sent from the city with her father to a rural re-educational “cadre school,” during the Cultural Revolution. Emma Lidbury at Walker Books bought world English rights for the Walker Books Group from Peter Buckman at the Ampersand Agency. The book was published in the U.K. in April 2015, and has been released in France, Germany, Italy, and Korea. Hilary Van Dusen will edit the U.S. edition, which will be published in early 2017.

HarperCollins/Walden Pond Press has acquired Anna Meriano‘s middle grade debut, Love Sugar Magic on behalf of CAKE Literary. The novel follows a girl who discovers that she comes from a long and distinguished line of brujas – witches of Mexican ancestry. But when she bungles a spell, she must race to fix it before her mother and sisters find out she’s been practicing magic in secret. Publication is set for late 2017.

Flatiron Books has preempted Somaiya Daud‘s debut Mirage, a YA fantasy/SF trilogy inspired by the author’s Moroccan background, in which a poor girl from an isolated moon must become the body double to the cruel imperial princess, and learns that life in the royal palace is far more dangerous and complicated than she imagined. Publication of the first book is planned for fall 2017.

First Second Books has acquired world rights to a YA graphic novel written by Mariko Tamaki (l.) and illustrated by Rosemary Valero O’Connell, called Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me. In the book, teenaged Freddy is going through what might possibly be the most epically complicated breakup in lesbian history – or at least it feels that way to Freddy and her long-suffering friends. It’s planned for 2018.

Dial has pre-empted Veera Hiranandani’s The Night Diary, a middle grade novel about shy 12-year-old Nisha, who is forced to flee her home with her Hindu family during the 1947 partition of India. She finds a way to heal her broken world by writing raw and honest letters to her deceased Muslim mother. Publication is slated for spring 2018.

Scholastic Press has bought world rights to Madelyn Rosenberg (l.) and Wendy Wan-Long Shang‘s middle-grade novel This Is Just a Test. David Da-Wei Horowitz should be preparing for his bar mitzvah, but instead, he’s busy trying to figure out how to survive the Cold War, which is hard when he can’t even make peace between friends and his dueling Chinese and Jewish grandmothers. Publication is planned for 2017.


Martha Mihalick at Greenwillow has preempted debut author-illustrator Daria Peoples‘s picture book THIS. IS. IT., and an untitled companion book. In the book, a young ballerina, uncertain of her talent, follows the poetically compelling voice of her shadow to discover the courage she needs to audition. Publication is set for 2018.

Macmillan/Imprint has acquired Monique Fields‘s  Honeysmoke, a picture book about a girl searching for a word to describe herself and her place in a multiracial family. Geneva Benton will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for fall 2018.

Dutton has acquired Dream Country by Shannon Gibney, a family saga following the lives of several generations of young black men and women facing death and exile from Liberia to America. Publication is set for 2018.

Abrams won a six-publisher auction for world English rights to Christian Yee‘s debut YA novel,The Girl Who Was Iron and Gold, launching a series about 15-year-old Genie Zhao, who wonders if she’s qualified enough to gain admission to an Ivy League school, then becomes powerful enough to break through the gates of Heaven with her fists. Publication is slated for fall 2017, with the sequel to follow in fall 2018.

Thomas Dunne Books will publish S. Jae-Jones‘s YA novel Wintersong in winter 2017, and a companion novel in 2018.

Little Simon has bought the first two titles in the new Daisy Dreamer chapter book series, illustrated by Genevieve Santos. Daisy is a smart, spunky seven-year-old whose vibrant imagination sends her on whimsical adventures full of very real “imaginary” friends, sparkle fairies, unicorns, and rainbows. Publication for both titles is set for spring 2017.

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has preempted Justina Ireland‘s Dread Nation and an untitled sequel, a YA duology set in a post-Reconstruction America beset by an undead plague that rose from the Civil War battlefields. Publication is set for 2018.

Knopf has acquired AmericanizedSara Saedi‘s autobiographical account for teens of growing up in America as an illegal immigrant from Iran. Publication is set for fall 2017.

Philomel has acquired Jenny Torres Sanchez‘s fourth YA novel, Crows Cry Emilia, an un-coming-of-age story that charts the devolution of 16-year-old Emilia DeJesus when she learns that the police arrested the wrong man for attacking her seven years prior, that the real perpetrator is still out there, and that beauty can be found in all lost things. Publication is scheduled for spring 2018.

Little, Brown has bought debut author-artist and graduating senior at the Rhode Island School of Design Oge Mora‘s Thank You, Omu!, about an elderly woman who gives selflessly until there is nothing left to share, and is then surprised by the reciprocal love and generosity of her community, plus an untitled picture book. Publication is planned for fall 2017.

Viking has preempted Down and Across, Arvin Ahmadi‘s YA debut about a boy whose track record of quitting doesn’t live up to his immigrant parents’ high expectations. What begins as an impromptu trip to a famous professor for advice about success turns into a summer of freedom, one that brings him answers in unexpected places. Publication is set for spring 2018.

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