Latinx Book Deals: January-March 2021

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Compiled by Cecilia Cackley

This is a 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.

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January 5

Alyza Liu at Simon & Schuster has acquired world rights to If Your Babysitter Is a Bruja, a bilingual story in which a child believes their new babysitter might just be a witch, by Brazilian author Ana Siqueira, illustrated by Irena Freitas. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022 and simultaneously in Spanish as Cuando tu niñera es un bruja, with text translated by the author. Author agent: Andrea Walker at Olswanger Literary. Illustrator agent:  Andrea Morrison at Writers House.

January 7

Emily Seife and David Levithan at Scholastic have bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to Invisibles by Christina Diaz Gonzalez, a bilingual middle grade graphic novel about five very different Latinx students who form an unexpected bond after being forced together to complete community service hours. Gaby Epstein will illustrate. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022. Author agent: Jennifer Rofé at Andrea Brown Literary. Illustrator agent: Steven Salpeter at Curtis Brown.

January 12

Wendy Loggia at Underlined has bought world rights to Small Town Monsters by Diana Rodriguez Wallach; Alison Romig will edit. Pitched as The Conjuring meets The Vow, this #OwnVoices Latinx horror story follows the daughter of demonologists and her crush, who face off against evil forces inspired by both American and Latin American folklore. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021. Author agent: Lane Heymont at Tobias Literary.

January 14

Emily Seife at Scholastic has acquired, at auction, Witchlings by Claribel Ortega. This middle grade novel follows a 12-year-old witch who is sorted into a coven of unwanted spare witches with her bully and the new witch in town; they must now band together to defeat the fearsome Nightbeast or risk being turned into a trio of toads. Publication is planned for 2022. Author agent: Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media.

January 21

None.

January 26

Emily Settle at Feiwel and Friends has acquired two titles for the publisher’s new Remixed Classics series: a retelling of The Great Gatsby written by Anna-Marie McLemore, featuring Gatsby as a transgender young man, amid the glamour and sparkle of the 1920s; and a fresh take on Romeo and Juliet by Caleb Roehrig, bringing a queer perspective to Shakespeare’s timeless work. Publication for McLemore’s book is set for fall 2022. Author agent: Taylor Martindale Kean at Full Circle Literary.

Alexa Wejko at Soho Teen has acquired What’s Coming to Me by debut author Francesca Padilla. After the ice cream stand where she works is robbed, 17-year-old Minerva Gutiérrez plans revenge on her complicit boss, while navigating grief, anger, and the possibility of escape from her dead-end town—as well as secrets and mistakes of her own. Publication is planned for summer 2022. Author agent: Kate McKean at Howard Morhaim Literary.

Anuoluwapo Ohioma at Penguin Workshop has bought world rights to Mi Ciudad Sings, written by Cynthia Harmony (l.) and illustrated by Teresa Martinez. This debut picture book by the author tells the story of a Mexican girl and her neighbors as they help each other rebuild their once-vibrant city disrupted by a devastating earthquake. Publication is set for summer 2022. Author agent: Natascha Morris brokered the deal while at BookEnds. James McGowan now represents the author. Illustrator agent: Christine Hong at Astound US.

Nancy Inteli at HarperCollins has acquired world rights to Gato Guapo, a read-aloud about counting kittens, featuring bilingual text by Anika Aldamuy Denise, illustrated by Zara González Hoang. Publication is scheduled for winter 2023. Author agent: Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management. Illustrator agent: Andrea Morrison at Writers House.

February 2

Amanda Ramirez at Simon & Schuster has acquired Meet Me Halfway by Anika Fajardo (What If a Fish), a middle grade novel in the vein of The Parent Trap, about two girls who, after discovering they are half-sisters, go on an adventure to meet their Colombian father for the first time. Publication is planned for spring 2022. Author agent: Thao Le at the Dijkstra Agency.

Melanie Cordova at Candlewick has acquired My Dog Just Speaks Spanish and an untitled picture book by debut author-illustrator Andrea Cáceres. Highlighting the multicultural neighborhood that a girl and her dog explore, the first picture book was inspired by Cáceres’s own dog, who came to New York following Cáceres’s immigration and only understands words like “treat” and “sit” when spoken in Spanish. Publication is slated for spring 2023. Author agent:  Rebecca Sherman at Writers House.

Kendra Levin at Simon & Schuster has acquired world rights to I Love My Body Because by Shelly Anand (Laxmi’s Mooch) and debut author Nomi Ellenson, illustrated by Erika Rodriguez Medina. This picture book celebrates the beauty, versatility, and resilience of the human body in all its various shapes and sizes. Publication is slated for summer 2022. Illustrator agent: Claire Easton at Painted Words.

Brett Duquette at Little Bee Books has acquired world rights to This Magical, Musical Night, written by Rhonda Gowler Greene and illustrated by James Rey Sanchez, an introduction to the orchestra and its various instruments. Publication is planned for fall 2021. Illustrator agent: James Burns at the Bright Agency.

February 4

None

February 11

Zhiqiao Wang at Yeehoo Press has acquired world rights to The Gentle Bulldozer by debut author Amy Baron, illustrated by Rogério Coelho. This picture book follows an unfulfilled bulldozer who takes a solo road trip in search of his life’s purpose. Publication is planned for spring 2022 in the U.S. and mainland China. Illustrator agent: Mohamed Danawi at Illozoo Agency.

February 18

None.

February 23

Nick Thomas at Levine Querido has acquired Neverforgotten by Alejandra Algorta, illustrated by Iván Rickenmann, and translated by International Latino Book Award winner Aida Salazar in her first novel translation. It tells the story of the best bicycle rider in all of Bogotá who, one day, simply forgets how to ride. Publication is set for fall 2021. Author agent: Pablo de la Vega did the deal for world English and Dutch and USC Spanish rights on behalf of Babel Libros. Translator agent: Marietta Zacker at Gallt & Zacker.

Sylvie Frank at S&S/Wiseman has acquired world rights to How to Make a Memory by Elaine Vickers, illustrated by Ana Aranda. This picture book celebrates memory and its place in helping us hold dear life’s precious moments. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023. Illustrator agent: Adriana Dominguez at Full Circle Literary.

Kayla Tostevin at Page Street has acquired world rights to Payden’s Pronoun Party by Blue Jaryn, illustrated by Xochitl Cornejo. This picture book features a child’s quest for the best pronouns and a party for celebrating the perfect match. Publication is planned for fall 2022.

Asia Citro at Innovation Press has bought world rights to Xavier’s Voice by Ashley Franklin, with art by debut illustrator Tatiana Gardel. This picture book follows a socially awkward boy who has no idea how to use his voice to make friends; but after sharing his sketchbook with a new buddy, he learns he doesn’t have to mask who he is in the name of friendship. Publication is set for fall 2023. Illustrator agent: Jemiscoe Chambers-Black at Andrea Brown Literary.

February 25

Alison Deering at Capstone has bought world rights to ¡Hola Lola!, a new chapter book series by Guatemalan-born author Karen Krause, writing as Keka Novales. The series will follow Lola Lopes Martinez, a second-generation Hispanic American girl, as she navigates the “firsts” of growing up. Publication is set for fall 2022. Author agent: Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary.

March 2

Whitney Leopard at Random House Graphic has preempted world rights to Hugo and Dino, a chapter book graphic novel series by Red Panda and Moon Bear creator Jarod Roselló. The books follow a boy who can change the world around him just enough to go on magical adventures with his best friend, Dino. Publication for the first book is scheduled for fall 2023. Author agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary.

Lisa Rosinsky at Barefoot Books has acquired Dinner on Domingos by debut author Alexandra Katona), illustrated by Claudia Navarro (La Frontera). In this celebration of family and food, inspired by the author’s own childhood, a Latinx girl who doesn’t speak much Spanish searches for ways to connect with her Abuelita. Publication is set for fall 2021.

March 4

Shelly Romero at Scholastic has bought world rights to Join the Club, Maggie Diaz by Nina Moreno (Don’t Date Rosa Santos), illustrated by Courtney Lovett. The illustrated middle grade novel follows a 12-year-old Cuban American girl who is determined to discover who she is and what her “thing” is, no matter how many activities or clubs it takes. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022. Author agent: Laura Crockett at Triada US Literary.

Ariel Richardson at Chronicle has bought world rights, at auction, to The River of Dust: Africa to the Amazon by debut author Jilanne Hoffmann, illustrated by Eugenia Mello. Celebrating the power and wonder of Earth’s ecosystems, this nonfiction picture book follows Dust across the globe as it revels in the beauty of its journey and the vital role it plays in nurturing life. Publication is set for spring 2023. Illustrator agent: Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties.

March 9

Lisa Mangum at Shadow Mountain has bought Missing Okalee by Laura Ojeda Melchor. Her debut middle grade novel features 12-year-old Phoebe Paz Peterson, who can’t seem to shine more brightly than her little sister, Okalee. Phoebe is sure that snagging the solo in the school choir will finally give her a chance at the spotlight. But when a tragic accident takes Okalee from her, Phoebe loses her beautiful singing voice and gains a terrible secret. Publication is planned for fall 2021. Author agent: Danielle Chiotti of Upstart Crow Literary.

Neal Porter at Holiday House/Porter has bought world rights to Pass the Baby! by Orbis Pictus Honoree Susanna Reich (Stand Up and Sing!), illustrated by 2020 Eric Carle Museum Honoree Raúl Colón (Imagine!), a riotous picture book about a diverse family celebrating a meal together… and the baby who’s the center of their attention. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023. Illustrator agent: Brenda Bowen at the Book Group.

March 11

Courtney Code at Abrams has acquired Pa, Me and Our Sidewalk Pantry by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by Zara González Hoang. The picture book is about a girl and her grandfather who build a shared sidewalk pantry to accompany their shared library, helping her neighbors in hard times with foods that can be enjoyed with favorite books. Publication is slated for spring 2023. Illustrator agent: Andrea Morrison at Writers House.

March 16

Alessandra Balzer at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has acquired, in a four-house auction, The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by debut author Sonora Reyes. A YA contemporary for fans of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, it follows 16-year-old Yamilet Flores, who has just started at a new Catholic school after being outed by her ex-best friend and crush at her old school. Her new goals: make her mom proud, keep her brother out of trouble, and most importantly, don’t fall in love. But that’s not easy when Bo, the only openly queer girl at school, is funny, cute, and seems like she might be interested in Yami. Publication is set for spring 2022. Author agent: Alexandra Levick at Writers House.

Kate Harrison at Dial, in an offer made as a three-imprint house bid, has bought Mexikid, a middle grade graphic memoir by cartoonist Pedro Martin in a preempt. Recounting the winter that Pedro’s family piled into a Winnebago and drove down to a small town near Guadalajara with a mission—bring their Abuelito back to America—the memoir is a family story going back generations to the Mexican Revolution in the early 1900s and an epic road trip story. Publication is slated for spring 2023. Author agent: Daniel Lazar at Writers House.

Sarah Ketchersid at Candlewick has acquired, at auction, world rights to Millie, written and illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist Lauren Castillo, as well as a second untitled picture book. The first book tells the story of a child overcoming shyness and anxiety, gaining comfort and confidence from the love and companionship of a new dog. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023. Author agent: Paul Rodeen at Rodeen Literary.

Farrin Jacobs at Little, Brown has acquired world rights to Brown Girl, Brown Girl by poet Leslé Honoré, illustrated by Coretta Scott King and Caldecott Honoree Cozbi A. Cabrera (Me & Mama). This debut picture book is inspired by Honoré’s poem that went viral in 2020, which celebrates the beauty and strength of girls of color. Publication is planned for fall 2022. Author agent: Johanna Castillo at Writers House. Illustrator agent: Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates.

Brian Geffen at Henry Holt has acquired, in an exclusive submission, A Monster Is Eating This Book by Karen Kilpatrick, illustrated by Germán Blanco, as well as the third picture book in their When Pencil Met Eraser series. In the first book, the words and pages are slowly getting eaten by the monster inside of it. Why is he eating all the words out of the book? Why is his shadow so scary? Publication of both titles is set for 2022. Illustrator agent: Deborah Warren at East West Literary.

Wiley Blevins at Reycraft has acquired The Legend of the Spirit Serpent by Adaiah Sanford, winner of the First Annual Caribbean Writer’s Contest, illustrated by Afro-Caribbean artist Ken Daley. This retelling of a traditional Kalinago tale has a twist that challenges gender inequality. Publication is set for winter 2022. Author agent: Anette Thomas-Sanford. Illustrator agent: Christy Ewers at the CAT Agency.

March 18

Brian Geffen at Henry Holt has bought, at auction, Doña Quixote: Knight of the Nagual and a sequel by Rex Ogle writing as Rey Terciero, illustrated by Monica M. Magaña. This middle grade graphic novel is a gender-flipped reimagining of Don Quixote that follows Lucia Castillo’s obsession with becoming a modern-day knight. After finding a family heirloom that lets her see the supernatural world of Mexican lore, Lucia’s parents think she’s imagining things just like her “Abuelo Loco” had years before, but she’s determined to prove them wrong and thwart the villainous Mayor’s dangerous plans for the town. Publication is set for spring 2023 and 2024. Author agent: Simon Lipskar at Writers House.

March 23

Elise Howard at Algonquin has acquired world rights to Mermaid and Pirate by Tracey Baptiste (The Jumbies), illustrated by Leisl Adams. This picture book features a Black mermaid and a salty pirate who form a friendship after helping each other during a storm. Publication is slated for spring 2023. Author agent: Marie Lamba at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.

Amy Novesky at Cameron Kids has acquired world rights to Edna: The Flavorful Life of Southern Chef Edna Lewis by Melvina Noel, illustrated by Caldecott, Siebert, and Coretta Scott King Honor artist Cozbi Cabrera, a picture book about a culinary star and early proponent of farm-to-table food. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022. Illustrator agent: Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates.

Lisa Rosinsky at Barefoot Books has acquired Yoga Adventure! by debut author Jamaica Stevens, the founder of JAMaROO Kids, and illustrated by Rocío Alejandro (Mindful Tots). This singalong picture book takes readers around the world with a sequence of yoga poses inspired by animals on all seven continents. Publication is slated for fall 2021.

March 25

Margaret Quinlin at Peachtree has acquired world rights for Wombat Said Come In by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist Brian Lies. Inspired by the 2019 Australian bushfire tragedy as well as Deedy’s own experience as a refugee, the picture book follows a kindhearted wombat who sacrifices personal space and comfort to shelter a series of animals escaping a wildfire. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022. Author agent: Brenda Bowen at the Book Group.

March 30

Rosemary Brosnan at Quill Tree has bought two untitled middle grade novels by Pura Belpré Award winner for middle grade fiction Ernesto Cisneros (Efrén Divided), with publication for the first title scheduled for fall 2024. Author agent: Deborah Warren at East/West Literary.

Kate Harrison at Dial has bought, at auction, Cabaret Macabre, the graphic novel debut by author-illustrator Mercedes Acosta. Set in a New Orleans rich with magical realism and characters inspired by legends around the world, this supernatural family drama features 13-year-old Kara, who discovers that a troupe of performers aren’t what they seem—and neither is she. Publication is set for 2023. Author agent: Nicole Geiger at Full Circle Literary.

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cecilia-02-original

Cecilia 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

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