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.
Jenny Bak at Viking has acquired, at auction, Up in Flames, a contemporary retelling of Gone with the Wind by debut author Hailey Alcaraz. Pitched in the vein of diverse retellings like Anna K, the privileged and irrepressible Ruby Ortega vies to win the heart of her best friend while fighting to save her family’s home and the local Latinx community from the California wildfires, all while avoiding the help of a young, annoyingly attractive entrepreneur. Publication is set for spring 2023. Author agent: Amy Stapp at Wolfson Literary.
Liza Kaplan at Philomel has bought world rights, at auction in a two-book deal, to picture book A Girl Can Build Anything by Pat Zietlow Miller and E. Charlton-Trujillo, illustrated by Keisha Morris, an affirmation of the power of vision and persistence. Publication is set for spring 2023. Author agent: Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary Agency.
Connie Hsu at Roaring Brook has acquired, at auction, world rights to the picture book Until Someone Listens by 11-year-old Estela Juarez, illustrated by Teresa Martínez, which follows the true story of how Estela’s mother, Alejandra, was deported to Mexico when Estela was eight years old. Focused on getting her mother back, Estela wrote letters to Congress, to the president, and to many others, which culminated in a powerful video shared at the 2020 Democratic National Convention. After three years of separation, last week Alejandra was granted a one-year parole to return to the U.S.; this Mother’s Day Estela will spend it with her mother. Publication is slated for fall 2022. Author agent: Johanna Castillo at Writers House. Illustrator agent: Christine Hong at Astound US.
Ashley Hearn at Peachtree Teen has acquired The Ghosts of Rose Hill by YA debut author R.M. Romero (The Dollmaker of Kraków). The magical realism verse novel follows Latina violinist, Ilana, whose parents send her to her aunt’s house in Prague to witness the humble life of an artist. There she meets the ghost of a boy in an abandoned Jewish cemetery and, as she restores his grave, is tempted by the dark magic that binds him to the city. Publication is slated for summer 2022. Author agent: Rena Rossner at the Deborah Harris Agency.
Kate Meltzer at Roaring Brook has bought at auction Hedgehogs
Don’t Wear Underwear by Marissa Valdez, a debut picture book about a tighty-whitey-wearing hedgehog named Jacques who’s afraid to go public with his secret love of underwear. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022, with a second untitled picture book to follow in fall 2023. Author agent: Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary.
Joanna Cárdenas at Kokila has bought, in an exclusive submission, reprint rights for They Call Me Güero, the award-winning middle grade novel in verse by David Bowles, as well as They Call Her Fregona, a companion novel in verse that follows the budding relationship between narrator Güero and his girlfriend Joanna Padilla. They Call Me Güero is set for August 2021, and They Call Her Fregona is planned for fall 2022. Author agent: Taylor Martindale Kean and Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel.
Courtney Fahy at Yellow Jacket has bought Pauli Murray: The Life of a Pioneering Feminist and Civil Rights Activist, a middle grade biography in verse about the queer civil rights and women’s rights activist who conceptualized the arguments that would win Brown v. Board of Education and in 1964, the arguments that won women equality in the workplace, written by her niece Rosita Stevens-Holsey and Terry Catasús Jennings. Publication is set for spring 2022. Author agent: Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary.
Erin Siu at Feiwel and Friends has acquired debut picture book The New Favorite Thing by author-illustrator Olga Herrera, about an anxious dog whose daily routine is disrupted when he encounters a monstrous new thing in the living room. Publication is slated for winter 2023. Author agent: Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary Agency.
Andrea Hall at Albert Whitman has bought world rights to Santiago’s Dinosaurios by debut author Mariana Ríos Ramírez, illustrated by Udayana Lugo. When Santiago moves from Mexico to the United States, he doesn’t understand English. On his first day in his new school, how will he communicate with his peers? While they all may not speak the same language, they do all speak dinosaur! Publication is slated for fall 2022. Illustrator agent:Christina Doffing at Astound US.
Simon Boughton at Norton Young Readers has acquired Todo Sobre Mi Abuela, a YA memoir-in-verse by YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Winner Rex Ogle, and a second untitled memoir. The story is centered on the author’s relationship with his grandmother. Publication for the first book is slated for summer 2022, with the second to follow in fall 2023. Author agent: Brent Taylor at Triada US.
Maria Barbo at HarperCollins has acquired The Keeper by Guadalupe Garcia McCall, a middle grade horror/mystery about a brother and sister who move to a seemingly idyllic neighborhood in the Pacific Northwest only to get threatening letters from a mysterious stranger who calls himself The Keeper. Publication is set for January 2022. Author agent: Andrea Cascardi at Transatlantic Agency.
Neal Porter at Holiday House/Neal Porter Books has acquired world rights to Song for Jimi by Coretta Scott King Award winner Charles R. Smith, Jr., illustrated by Society of Illustrators Gold Medal winner Edel Rodriguez, a meditation on the life of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix. The book is scheduled for fall 2021. Illustrator agent: Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties.
Luisa Beguiristain at Roaring Brook has bought, in a two-book deal, world rights to Monster Baker by Laura Lavoie. This pun-filled picture book follows overeager monster baker Tillie as she tries to make her Grandmonster the best birthday treat, with a little inspiration from her idol, famous baker Pierre du Monstère. Vanessa Morales will illustrate the first book; publication is set for spring 2023. Illustrator agent: Natascha Morris at the Tobias Literary Agency.
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