Rights reports give a glimpse into what books by IPOC authors that we can look forward to being printed for American youth in the long run. This information originally appeared in Publishers Weekly.
- Chris Paul and Liz Bicknell at Candlewick have acquired Yoko Tanaka’s Dandelion’s Dream, a wordless picture book that explores the unexpected aspiration of a dandelion to be a real lion. Publication is projected for fall 2019;
- Ben Rosenthal at HarperCollins/Tegen has acquired Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Nigerian novelist and journalist Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani (l.), with an afterword by Italian journalist Viviana Mazza. The YA novel, based on personal conversations with survivors, gives voice to the Chibok girls and the thousands of girls who have been kidnapped by Boko Haram over the past few years. Publication is set for fall 2018
- Karen Lotz at Candlewick has acquired rights to two books from Also an Octopus author Maggie Tokuda-Hall. The first is a picture book, which tells the true story of the author’s grandparents who met and fell in love while imprisoned in the Minidoka internment camp. The second is a debut YA fantasy, The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea, a story of magic and mayhem set aboard a pirate ship; it is tentatively slated for 2019
- Alessandra Balzer at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has bought, in a preempt, Kheryn Callender’s debut YA novel, This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story. The contemporary story follows aspiring screenwriter Nathan Bird, who has seen the demise of too many relationships (most recently with his ex-girlfriend) to believe in romcom-worthy happy endings, but then reconnects with a boy from his past. Publication is scheduled for fall 2018
- Jennifer Ung at Simon Pulse has acquired Gloria Chao’s Misaligned, about a teen outcast who is simultaneously swept up in a whirlwind romance and down a rabbit hole of dark family secrets when another Taiwanese family moves to her small, predominantly white Midwestern town. Publication is planned for fall 2019
- Jennifer Ung at Simon Pulse has bought, in a preempt, world rights to debut author Tanya Boteju’s Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens. The YA novel follows Nima Mehta-Clark, a 17-year-old, biracial, queer girl plunged into the delirious world of drag where she has the chance to explore questions of identity and love. The book is planned for summer 2019
- Nikki Garcia at Little, Brown has bought Nandini Bajpai’s contemporary YA novel A Match Made in Mehendi. The book follows an Indian-American teen girl, who comes from a long line of matchmakers, and decides to try to gain popularity in high school using her family’s matchmaking traditions to create a dating app. Publication is scheduled for spring 2019
- Liz Kossnar at Simon & Schuster has bought, at auction, North American rights to 19-year-old Nadya Okamoto’s nonfiction manifesto on the youth menstrual movement, Power to the Period. Okamoto is the founder and executive director of PERIOD. The Menstrual Movement, and a current sophomore at Harvard. The book will show how young people can change the conversation around periods to support gender equality, ending poverty, intersectional feminism, and the environment. Publication is slated for fall 2018
- Cheryl Klein at Lee & Low is editing Roberto Peñas’s (l.) Pedro’s Yo-Yos: How a Filipino Immigrant Came to America and Changed the World of Toys, a picture book biography of Pedro Flores, who popularized the yo-yo in the United States. Peñas won the 2016 Lee & Low New Voices Award for the manuscript, which will be his debut. Carl Angel will illustrate; publication is planned for spring 2019.
- Katherine Harrison at Knopf has acquired Elizabeth Lim’s YA debut, The Blood of Stars, and an untitled sequel, pitched as Project Runway meets The Wrath and the Dawn. To provide for her family, 17-year-old Maia Tamarin disguises herself as a boy to compete for the position of imperial tailor. Her task to sew three magical gowns of the sun and moon and stars leads her to find adventure, romance, and danger in a Chinese-inspired fantasy set along a re-imagined Silk Road. Publication is scheduled for May 2019
- Neal Porter at Holiday House has bought world rights, at auction, to Adrea Theodore’s (l.) debut picture book A History of Me, illustrated by Erin Robinson, for his new imprint. The story follows a girl as she comes to terms with America’s legacy of slavery and segregation, and its generational impact on her and her family. Publication is set for fall 2019
- Kristen Pettit at HarperCollins has acquired Cindy Lin’s The Twelve, a debut #ownvoices Asian-inspired middle-grade fantasy. Pitched as Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Harry Potter, the book, first in a duology, follows 12-year-old Usagi as she teams up with rebels in hiding to hone her innate magical abilities—and reunite a mythical group of warriors—to save her island kingdom from a tyrannical Dragonlord. Publication will begin in summer 2019
- Stacey Barney at Putnam has bought world rights to Abrams editorial director Traci Todd’s A Story of Nina Simone, a picture book biography of the musician, telling how she defied genre and expectation both musically and socially; Christian Robinson will illustrate; publication is tentatively slated for 2021.