July and August 2019 Latinx Book Deals


Compiled by Cecilia Cackley

This is a bi-monthly series keeping track of the book deals announced by Latinx writers and illustrators. The purpose of this series is to celebrate book deals by authors and illustrators in our community and to advocate for more of them. If you are an agent and you have a Latinx client who just announced a deal, you can let me know on Twitter, @citymousedc. If you are a Latinx author or illustrator writing for children or young adults, and you just got a book deal, send me a message and we will celebrate with you! And if I left anyone out here, please let me know! Here’s to many more wonderful books in the years to come.

July 2

Hannah VanVels at HarperCollins/Blink has bought CNN special projects producer Mayra Cuevas‘s debut #OwnVoices YA novel, Salty, Bitter, Sweet. The book is about a 17-year-old Latina Chicagoan whose family life has fallen apart after the death of her Abuela Lala and the divorce of her parents, and who turns to a kitchen apprenticeship in France as the only means to bring order back into her life. Publication is planned for spring 2020. Author agent: Saritza Hernandez at the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

July 9

Amy Fitzgerald at Lerner/Carolrhoda has bought Marcia Argueta Mickelson‘s YA novel Where I Belong. Guatemalan-American high school senior Milagros “Millie” Vargas struggles to balance her family’s needs with her own ambitions for her future, especially after her mother’s employer announces his run for Senate and tries to use Millie as a poster child for “deserving” immigrants. Publication is slated for fall 2020 or spring 2021. Author agent: Kathy Green at Kathryn Green Literary Agency.

July 11

Alex Borbolla at Atheneum has acquired Cuban-American author-illustrator Alexis Castellanos‘s debut, Isla to Island, a wordless middle grade graphic novel following Marisol, a girl growing up in 1960s Cuba. When her parents begin to fear for their daughter’s safety under Castro’s regime, Marisol is sent from her beloved island to a new home in New York City. Publication is slated for spring 2022. Author agent: Marietta Zacker at Gallt & Zacker.

July 18

Hannah Allaman at Disney-Hyperion has acquired Don’t Date Rosa Santos author Nina Moreno‘s new novel, Our Way Back to Always. Pitched as When Harry Met Sally by way of Sarah Dessen, the contemporary YA romance follows two next-door neighbors and ex-best friends—gamer, fanfic-writer Luisa and drummer, golden boy Sam—whose paths collide during senior year of high school when they rediscover their childhood bucket list and set out to complete it before graduation. Publication is planned for spring 2021. Author agent: Laura Crockett.


Chris Hernandez, while at HarperCollins, acquired at auction author-illustrator Gonzalo Alvarez‘s debut, The Legend of Polloman, with Andrew Arnold at HarperAlley taking over as editor. The middle-grade graphic novel follows the journey of a timid boy named Emmanuel who stumbles into a war-torn Aztec underworld where dangerous Legends come to life. There, he must discover the meaning of sacrifice to undertake a mystic quest as the Sun Warrior, and bring peace to the living and the dead. Publication for book one is set for fall 2021, with book two following in fall 2022. Author agent: Marietta Zacker at Gallt & Zacker


Nick Thomas at Levine Querido has acquired The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas, written by María García Esperón (l.) and illustrated by Amanda Mijangos, translated by Pura Belpré Honor-winning author David Bowles. Originally published in Spanish in Mexico by Ediciones El Naranjo, this illustrated collection for young middle grade readers gathers together stories from cultures across the Americas, from the tip of Argentina to Alaska. The book will publish in fall 2020. Author agent: Paulina Delgado at Ediciones El Naranjo.

July 23

Neal Porter at Holiday House has acquired world rights to Una Casita, a picture book by Terry Catasús Jennings about a little house that serves as a sanctuary for immigrant families over the years, illustrated by Raúl Colon. Publication is set for spring 2022. Author agent: Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary Agency. Illustrator agent: Gail Gaynin at Morgan Gaynin.


Janine O’Malley at Farrar, Straus and Giroux has acquired world rights to I’ll Hold Your Hand by Maggie Rudd, illustrated by Elisa Chavarri. The reassuring theme of this picture book is that an adult will support a child through dangers, joys, and hurdles. Publication is planned for fall 2021. Illustrator agent: Claire Easton at Painted Words.


Ariel Richardson at Chronicle has acquired debut author-illustrator and former wildlife education specialist Alexander Vidal‘s Wilds of America, an illustrated nonfiction guide to the wildlife of the United States, showing how animals use their unique tools and adaptations to survive in the many different environments of a country that stretches from the Arctic to the tropics. Publication is planned for spring 2022. Author agent: Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary.

July 25

Joanna McInerney, when at Flying Eye Books, acquired world rights to musician, poet, activist, and educator Amyra León‘s  Freedom, We Sing, a picture book that shows children they are free to dream and be confident, no matter their background or circumstance. Ayoola Solarin will edit. Molly Mendoza is set to illustrate; publication is slated for winter 2020. Illustrator agent: Hannah Mann at Writers House.

July 30

Alex Borbolla at Atheneum has acquired, at auction, A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Sweaters and Stars and a second book by Laura Taylor Namey, author of The Library of Lost Things. After her post-graduation plans fall apart, Lila Flores is sent away to spend the summer with family friends in England. But what Lila expects to be a summer devoid of proper Cuban food and sun turns into one of unexpected love when she falls for teashop clerk Orion Maxwell and, most surprising, England itself. Publication is set for fall 2020. Author agent: Natascha Morris at Bookends.

August 1


August 6

Meghan Maria McCullough and Arthur Levine at Levine Querido have bought two YA novels by debut author André-Naquian Wheeler. Set in the near future, Second Coming follows Ebb, a teen with a traumatic romantic past; that is, until he meets Manny, an immigrant from Nicaragua who loves him openly—and might also be the son of God. The second book, Like and Subscribe, is a contemporary novel about Hunter, a queer black boy struggling to manage his anxiety, fame, and love life in the face of viral stardom. Publication will begin in 2021.

August 8

Kelsey Murphy at Philomel has bought, at auction, Love Sugar Magic author Anna Meriano‘s YA debut Brooms Up. The novel follows an introverted teen girl who joins a Quidditch team to spend time with her best friend before they both leave for college, but family tensions, changing friendships, and an unexpected romance threaten to turn her last summer at home into a disastrous one. Publication is slated for fall 2020. Author agent: Patricia Nelson at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

August 15

Carolina Ortiz at HarperCollins has acquired The Quiet You Carry author Nikki Barthelmess‘s Everything Within and in Between, an #OwnVoices contemporary YA novel about the convergence of family, identity, and assimilation. In the novel, Ri Fernandez, a biracial Mexican-American teenager, fights to reclaim her Latinx heritage and her connection with her absent mother from her strict immigrant grandmother, who has kept her from both. Publication is set for fall 2021. Author agent: Sarah Gerton at Curtis Brown.

August 22

Kiara Valdez at First Second has bought world rights to Rizos, a middle-grade graphic novel by Claribel Ortega and Rose Bousamra about a Latina girl who stops straightening her hair and embraces her natural curls. Publication is slated for 2022. Author agent: Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary.


Naomi Krueger at Beaming Books has bought Charles Ghigna and Matt Forrest Essenwine‘s picture book Once Upon Another Time, a tale contrasting the past with the present and showing children ways they can explore the magic and wonder of the natural world today. Andrés F. Landázabal will illustrate; the book is slated to publish in fall 2020. Illustrator agent: Lucie Luddington at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator in the deal for world rights.


Cheryl Klein at Lee & Low has bought the picture book Fresh Juice by Robert Liu-Trujillo. When Art’s father awakens with a sore throat, Art knows exactly what he needs: Sick-Fighting Juice, loaded with ginger. But finding some ginger will take them downtown, to the farmer’s market, to the food co-op, to the West African grocery, and to an unexpected encounter that brings the whole community together. Publication is set for spring 2021. Author agent: Marietta Zacker at Gallt & Zacker.

August 29

Julie Matysik at Running Press Kids has bought world rights to Katherine Locke‘s Bedtime for Superheroes, a picture book about how even superheroes must wind down, eat a good dinner, take a bath, and read a book before turning out the light. Rayanne Vieira will illustrate; publication is slated for November 2020. Illustrator agent: James Burns at the Bright Agency.


cecilia-02-originalCecilia Cackley is a Mexican-American playwright and puppeteer based in Washington, DC. A longtime bookseller, she is currently the Children’s/YA buyer and event coordinator for East City Bookshop on Capitol Hill. Find out more about her art at www.ceciliacackley.com or follow her on Twitter @citymousedc

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s