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.
Namrata Tripathi at Kokila has acquired, in a six-figure preempt, Golden State by William C. Morris Award-winning author Isabel Quintero (Gabi, a Girl in Pieces; My Papi Has a Motorcycle). The YA novel follows 18-year-old Maricela, who, after finding out her father has another family he’s been keeping secret from her, embarks on a road trip through California to meet her half-brother for the first time. Publication is scheduled for summer 2023. Author agent: Peter Steinberg, at Fletcher & Company.
Connie Hsu at Roaring Brook has bought Tomatoes in My Lunchbox, written by Costantia Manoli and illustrated by Magdalena Mora. This picture book features a girl who feels displaced in her new country when her teacher mispronounces her name, until she discovers that all it takes is one friend, one connection, to bring two worlds together. Publication is planned for spring/summer 2022. Illustrator agent: Steve Malk at Writers House.
Mallory Kass at Scholastic has bought North American rights to Valentina Salazar Is Not a Monster Hunter by Zoraida Córdova, pitched as a genderbent Supernatural meets Unicorn Rescue Society. When a mythical egg surfaces on YouTube, the Salazar siblings steal the family van to race across the U.S. to save the egg before it hatches and goes viral—except their eldest sister and her dreaded monster hunters will stop at nothing to destroy the beast first. Publication is set for 2022. Author agents: Victoria Marini at Irene Goodman Literary, Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media.
Erin Clarke at Knopf has acquired Sofía Acosta Makes a Scene by Emma Otheguy (Silver Meadows Summer) about a fifth-grade girl trying to figure out where she fits in her ballet-obsessed Cuban American family and her affluent suburban community. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022. Author agent: Adriana Dominguez at Full Circle Literary.
Molly Yao Shen at Yeehoo Press has bought world rights to Who Is It, Whoodini? by Roman Yasiejko, illustrated by Gustavo Ramos. In this picture book, when a mysterious bird crashes in a tree, two owl sleuths fly off to gather the facts for the surprise reveal and rescue. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022 in the U.S. and mainland China. Illustrator agent: Mohamed Danawi at Illozoo Agency.
Julia McCarthy at Atheneum has acquired world rights to I Want to Be a Vase, a picture book written by comedian, former SNL writer, and co-creator of Los Espookys Julio Torres, illustrated by 3D artist Julian Glander. This tale of a plunger who dreams of a more decorative life was inspired by Torres’s HBO comedy special My Favorite Shapes, which explores the interior dramas of everyday objects. Publication is set for summer 2022. Author agent: Richard Abate and Olivia Gerke at 3Arts.
Andrea Welch at S&S/Beach Lane Books bought world rights to Just You and Me by Jennifer Ward and illustrated by Alexander Vidal, a picture book about unlikely pairs—like zebras and ostriches, hippos and egrets, and bees and flowers—that help each other survive in the wild. Publication is scheduled for fall 2021. Illustrator agent: Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel.
Paula Wiseman at S&S/Wiseman has bought world rights to Beginning by Shelley Moore Thomas (From Tree to Sea), illustrated by Melissa Casatrillon. This picture book answers the question, “What does something become when it isn’t itself anymore?” and shows the wonder of what happens at the end of something that causes something else to begin. Publication is planned for spring 2022.
Hannah Hill at Underlined has bought Bad at Love by Gabriela Martins (Like a Love Song). This YA romance follows Brazilian teen rocker Daniel, who has a bad boy reputation with the tabloids, and aspiring journalist Sasha, who’s determined to dig up dirt on Daniel—and finds herself falling for him along the way. But when she uncovers Daniel’s biggest secret, Sasha must decide if she’ll follow her heart or deliver the hottest story of the summer. Publication is set for summer 2022. Author agent: Chelsea Eberly at Greenhouse Literary.
Joanna Cárdenas at Kokila has bought world rights, at auction, in the two-book deal, to Angelica and La Guira by Angie Cruz (Dominicana), illustrated by Disney Television Animation story artist Luz Batista. The picture book debut follows a girl in Washington Heights who has been given a guira by her grandfather in the Dominican Republic and finds her musical voice—a power so strong that it brings her entire community together. Publication is scheduled for fall 2023. Author agent: Dara Hyde at Hill Nadell Literary.
Meredith Mundy at Abrams Appleseed has acquired world rights to Measuring a Year: A Rosh Hashanah Story by Linda Elovitz Marshall, illustrated by Zara González Hoang. Through verse, this tale encourages a child to thoughtfully look back over their past year. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022. Illustrator agent: Andrea Morrison at Writers House.
Amy Novesky at Cameron Kids has acquired world rights to two picture books written and illustrated by Mirelle Ortega. The first, Magic, is a story inspired by the author’s magical childhood growing up on a pineapple farm in Veracruz, Mexico. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022, and the second untitled book is scheduled for fall 2023. Author agent: James Burns at the Bright Agency.
Rebecca Kuss at Inkyard has acquired, at auction, Salt and Sugar by Rebecca Carvalho. This telenovela-esque YA rom-com debut follows the grandchildren of two rival Brazilian bakeries who fall in love despite their families’ feud while working to win a contest that would save both of their bakeries from being driven out by a predatory supermarket chain. Claire Stetzer will edit. Publication is planned for fall 2022. Author agent: Thao Le at Sandra Dijkstra Literary.
Maria Dismondy at Cardinal Rule Press has acquired world rights to Beto’s Super Cool Guayabera by YA author and a founder of Latinxs in Kid Lit Cindy L. Rodriguez, illustrated by Begoña Fernández Corbalan; Adam Blackman will edit. This picture book tells a story using a traditional Mexican shirt along with a creative boy trying to solve conflict in his family. Publication is planned for summer 2022. Illustrator agent: Erin Tisdel at Advocate Art.
Sylvan Creekmore at Wednesday has bought, in a preempt, contemporary YA romance Ander and Santi Were Here by Jonny Garza Villa. Pitched as Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe meets The Sun Is Also a Star, a non-binary teen muralist falls for the newest waiter at their family’s taquería, sparking a romance made complicated when ICE shows up at the taquería and the love interest is a potential target. Publication is slated for spring 2023. Author agent: Claire Draper at the Bent Agency.
Marino at Delacorte has acquired, in a preempt, The Grimoire of Grave Fates, a multi-authored YA fantasy-mystery told in a series of interconnected, diverse POVs set in a world created by Hanna Alkaf (The Weight of The Sky) and Margaret Owen (The Merciful Crow), following the untimely murder of a professor at an esteemed wizarding school and the efforts of various students to track down his killer. Contributors will include Cam Montgomery, Darcie Little Badger, Hafsah Faizal, Jessica Lewis, Julian Winters, Karuna Riazi, Kat Cho, Kayla Whaley, Kwame Mbalia, L.L. McKinney, Marieke Nijkamp, Mason Deaver, Natasha Diaz, Preeti Chhibber, Randy Ribay, Tehlor Kay Mejia, Victoria Lee, and Yamile Saied Méndez. Pitched as a response to the exclusion of minority and LGBTQ+ groups from fantasy worlds, the creators will be partnering with We Need Diverse Books to establish initiatives for marginalized authors using their proceeds from the sale. Publication is set for fall 2022. Author agent: Victoria Marini at Irene Goodman Literary.
Nick Thomas at Levine Querido has bought High Spirits by debut author Camille Gomera-Tavarez. The YA book interweaves stories exploring machismo, family, and identity in the Dominican diaspora. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022.
Kathleen Merz at Eerdmans has acquired I’ll Always Come Back to You by Charlotte Zolotow Award-winning author Carmen Tafolla, illustrated by Grace Zong, a picture book meant to make the many transitions of being away from parents less stressful and more fun. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022. Author agent: Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary.
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