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.
Kate Fletcher has signed graphic novelist Mel Valentine Vargas to create a graphic novel interpretation of award-winning YA novel Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina, about a Latina teen who is targeted by a bully at her new school and must discover resources she never knew she had. Publication is planned to coincide with the book’s 10th anniversary in 2024. Illustrator agent: Elizabeth Bennett at Transatlantic Agency. Author agent: Jen Rofé at Andrea Brown Literary.
Neal Porter at Holiday House/Neal Porter Books has bought world rights to A-M-O-R Spells L-O-V-E by Michael Genhart, author of Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music. The picture book, illustrated by three-time Pura Belpré Honor artist John Parra, is about a boy competing in the National Spanish Spelling Bee who learns of his own abuela’s childhood experience when she was banned from speaking Spanish at school. Publication is slated for summer 2023. Author agent: Nicole Geiger at Full Circle Literary. Illustrator agent: Adriana Dominguez and Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary.
Katherine Harrison at Knopf has acquired at auction world rights to Esperanza Caramelo by Lotería author Karla Arenas Valenti, illustrated by Pura Belpré Honor artist Elisa Chavarri. In the vein of the Nutcracker or Doña Flor, this is a tale of spun-sugar ornaments come to life and cake catastrophe averted on the eve of Nochebuena. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023. Author agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary. Illustrator agent: Claire Easton at Painted Words.
Christy Ottaviano at Little, Brown/Ottaviano has bought, in an exclusive submission, North American rights to No Going Back by Patrick Flores-Scott, the author’s third YA novel. It’s the Friday after being released from a year of juvenile detention, and biracial Antonio Sullivan is heading home for a fresh start. His parole terms state he can’t drink, can’t break the law, can’t see his father, and he must be on time to meet his parole officer on Monday before school, or else he’s headed back to detention. Antonio has one weekend, one crazy friend, one old flame, and a dad who won’t give up. What could go wrong? The book is set for spring 2023. Author agent: Steven Chudney at the Chudney Agency.
Luana Kay Horry at HarperCollins has acquired, in a preempt, the early reader graphic novel series Super Serious Mysteries by Josh Crute, illustrated by James Rey Sanchez, in a two-book deal. In the first book, The Untimely Passing of Nicholas Fart: A Who-Dealt-It Mystery, detective-in-training Penelope Whiff must catch the culprit of a very mysterious and stinky crime. The first book is set for summer 2023, and the second for summer 2024. Illustrator agent: Alex Gehringer at the Bright Agency.
Sophia Jimenez at Atheneum has acquired world rights to Veo, Veo, I See You, a picture book by Pura Belpré Award Honoree Lulu Delacre. While out running errands with their mami during the Covid-19 pandemic, Marisol and Pepito play a game of Veo, Veo (I Spy) that helps them see how the workers in their neighborhood are, and will always be, essential. Publication is planned for fall 2023.
Jessica Echeverria at Lee & Low Books has bought world rights to Still Dreaming/Seguimos soñando by Claudia Guadalupe Martínez (Not a Bean), illustrated by Magdalena Mora. This bilingual picture book tells the story of a child wishing for a life without borders after he and his parents are forced to leave their home during the Mexican Repatriation. Along their journey they meet others with similar stories. Publications is slated for fall 2022. Author agent: Adriana Dominguez at Full Circle Literary. Illustrator agent: Steven Malk at Writers House.
Stacey Barney at Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books has bought middle grade debut Rostam and the Red Dwarf by Olivia Abtahi (Pefectly Parvin), a space opera inspired by The Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings, in which 12-year-old Rostam accidentally plunges his entire planet into darkness and must now defeat the demon king Zahhak to save their sun. Publication is slated for spring 2023. Author agent: Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich, & Bourret.
Luana Kay Horry at HarperCollins has bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to Phenomenal AOC: The Roots and Rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, written by Pura Belpré Honor author Anika Aldamuy Denise (Planting Stories) and illustrated by Loris Lora (Legendary Leaders Who Shaped the World). From her earliest days in the Bronx, to her electrifying primary win, to the halls of Congress—the phenom known to her family as Sandy and to the world as AOC proves what’s possible when you speak truth to power and aren’t afraid to shake the table. Publication is slated for fall 2022. Author agent: Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management. Illustrator agent: Sally Heflin at Heflinreps.
Janine O’Malley at FSG has acquired world rights to On the Fourth of July by Maggie Rudd in a two-book deal, both illustrated by Pura Belpré Honor artist Elisa Chavarri. This picture book celebrates the joy of being an American on the Fourth of July as the daytime fun of picnics and swimming gives way to wonder and delight at a night of fireworks. Publication is scheduled for spring 2023. Illustrator agent: Claire Easton at Painted Words
Luana Kay Horry at HarperCollins has bought world rights, at auction, in a two-book deal, to Abuela’s Super Capa by Ana Siqueira, illustrated by Pura Belpré Honor artist Elisa Chavarri. It’s an intergenerational story about love and remembrance in which Luis and Abuela put on their super capas and save the world, until one day when Abuela must hang up her capa. Publication is slated for winter 2023, and simultaneously in Spanish. Author agent: Andrea Walker at Azantian Literary represented the author while at Olswanger Literary. Illustrator agent: Claire Easton at Painted Words.
Anne Heltzel at Abrams has bought debut YA novel Lightlark by Alex Aster (Emblem Island), an untitled sequel, and an untitled graphic novel. Lightlark is a twisty fantasy that features six rulers competing in a high-stakes game set on a lush magical island, with 100 days to break the deadly curses that have plagued their realms for centuries. The first book is set for fall 2022. Author agent: Katelyn Detweiler at Jill Grinberg Literary.
Anna Roberto at Feiwel and Friends has acquired world rights to Painting the Sky with Love by Mary Baca Haque, illustrated by Tatiana Gardel. In this picture book, a child “paints” the sky with love; hearts cascade and bounce down, while people looking up open their hearts to love. Publication is planned for fall 2023. Illustrator agent: Jemiscoe Chambers-Black at Andrea Brown Literary.
Sophia Jimenez at Atheneum has bought Free to Learn: How Alfredo Lopez Fought for the Right to Go to School by Cynthia Levinson (The Youngest Marcher), a picture book based on the true story of a boy whose family was part of Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court case that won access to education for undocumented immigrant children in the U.S., illustrated by Mirelle Ortega (Small Rooms, Big Dreams: The Journey of Julian and Joaquin Castro). Publication is planned for spring 2024. Illustrator agent: James Burns at the Bright Agency.
Kate Jacobs while at Roaring Brook acquired world rights to Lily and the Other Guy by Shelley Tougas, illustrated by Sara Palacios; Emily Feinberg will edit. Lily is not sure about the new guy her Mom is seeing, and she misses Dad, but with a little patience and humor she learns that having fun with a new step-parent doesn’t mean forgetting Mom or Dad, and that letting someone new into your life means more love all around. Publication is set for summer 2022. Illustrator agent: Minju Chang and Kendra Marcus at BookStop 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