Antonia Markiet at HarperCollins has acquired Impyrium, a new middle-grade fantasy series by Henry H. Neff, author of The Tapestry, in a three-book pre-empt. The series follows 12-year-old Hazel, a gifted sorceress and last of the fabled Faeregine dynasty that has ruled Impyrium for 3000 years, and Hob, a 13-year-old boy who abandons a life of mining in the provinces for a chance to serve — and spy — in the capital. The first book is scheduled for 2016; Josh Adams at Adams Literary negotiated the deal for North American rights.
Sarah Shumway at Bloomsbury has acquired two YA novels by debut novelist Katie Kennedy: Learning to Swear in America and an untitled second book. Learning to Swear in America features Yuri Strelnikov, a 17-year-old Russian protégé physicist brought to NASA to help save California from a massive asteroid, but no one at NASA listens to him. Then he meets an unpredictable and unconcerned American teenager, Dovie, and Yuri catches a glimpse of what it means to save the world, and save a life worth living for himself. It's slated for spring 2016; Kate McKean at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency brokered the deal for world English rights.
Margaret Raymo at HMH has bought The Crossover author Kwame Alexander's next novel,Booked, a middle-grade novel-in-verse about Chaz, a 12-year-old soccer-loving boy who hates books. When his father institutes a new no-TV-watching rule, it changes his life as well as the lives of his teammates. Publication is set for spring 2016, with a second book scheduled for spring 2017. Deborah Warren at East West Literary Agency did the two-book deal for world rights.
Margaret Ferguson at FSG's Margaret Ferguson Books has acquired world rights to debut author Lois Sepahban's middle-grade novel, Lantern Wishes. The novel follows Manami and her family as they are sent to a Japanese internment camp, where it is up to Manami to find the strength to keep her family together. It's scheduled for winter 2016; Kathleen Rushall at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency brokered the deal.
Christy Ottaviano at Henry Holt's Christy Ottaviano Books has bought a standalone novel by April Henry. In The Girl I Used to Be, 17-year-old Olivia has grown up knowing her father killed her mother, but then a human bone discovered in the woods changes everything, and she sets out to find the real killer. It's set for spring 2016; Wendy Schmalz at the Wendy Schmalz Agency negotiated the deal for world rights.
Andrew Karre at Carolrhoda Books has acquired Strange Fruit, a picture book about Billie Holiday's complicated and painful relationship with the anti-lynching song that became her calling card and a Civil Rights anthem. Gary Golio has written the text, and Charlotte Riley-Webb is creating the illustrations; publication is scheduled for late 2016. Edward Necarsulmer IV of Dunow, Carlson & Lerner brokered the deal for the author; the artist is unagented.
Liz Bicknell at Candlewick Press and Deirdre McDermott at Walker Books in the U.K. have jointly acquired Alpha, a picture book by Isabelle Arsenault, from La Pastéque in Quebec. It's an introduction to the NATO phonetic alphabet, from the illustrator of Jane, the Fox, and Me and many other books for children. Publication is set for fall 2015 by Candlewick in the U.S. and Canada, and Walker Books in the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. Veronique Kirchhoff of the VeroK Agency in Barcelona did the deal for world English rights.
Sally Doherty at Henry Holt has bought world rights, in a preempt, to two original works by author-illustrator Kenard Pak. Hello, Autumn is scheduled for publication in spring 2016, and a second, untitled seasonal story will pub in fall 2017. Kirsten Hall at Catbird Productions brokered the two-book deal.
David Linker at HarperCollins has signed Clive McFarland for a picture book, Caterpillar Dreams, which reveals what happens when a caterpillar who longs to fly tries to make his dream happen too quickly. McFarland's first book, A Bed for Bear, is due from HarperCollins this fall; the new book will be released in fall 2016. Anne Moore Armstrong of the Bright Agency sold world rights.