Publishing Industry Lowdown (April 30-May 18)

It’s that day again–time for Sooz’s YA and MG Publishing Industry Lowdow. The general idea is that I share all the deals I know 0f in the young adult and middle grade publishing world each Friday.

My source for deal news is Publishers Marketplace, which requires a paid subscription. As such I’m only sharing part of the information here–basically, just author names and pitches. If you want to know deal sizes (e.g. advances), editors, publishers, and agents, I highly recommend you sign up for PM–it’s totally worth the cost!

Holy moly, we have three weeks of deals to catch up on. YIKES! We’d best get started!


Bruce Hale’s middle grade SCHOOL FOR SPIES, first in a series pitched as James Bond meets Artemis Fowl, where reluctant orphan-turned-spy Max Segredo discovers intrigue at the Merry Sunshine Orphanage and must confront an international group bent on world domination all while uncovering mysteries from his past, to Stephanie Lurie at Disney-Hyperion, in a good deal, at auction, in a three-book deal, by Steven Malk at Writers House (world English).

THREE TIMES LUCKY author Sheila Turnage’s next middle grade Tupelo Landing novel featuring a 6th grader and her trusty sidekick as they solve mysteries in their tiny North Carolina town, in a two-book deal.

Literary agent, former publisher, and Christopher Award-winner Brenda Bowen’s  middle grade THE FAIRY BELL SISTERS, written again under the pseudonym Margaret McNamara, an early chapter book series about Tinker Bell’s five little sisters and their adventures on magical Sheepskerry Island, pitched as “Little Women with wings,” in a four-book deal.

Eliza Wheeler’s illustrations and cover art for Holly Black’s forthcoming middle grade DOLL BONES, for publication in 2013.

Author Maiya Williams’ middle grade THE DAILY DYNAMITE, following a group of cub reporters from Kaboom Academy (an experimental middle school specializing in “Learnomology,” “Thinkonomics,” and “Edumechanics”) as they uncover a shocking secret about their eccentric principal — a secret that might tarnish the reputation of their beloved school, should they uphold the ethics of journalism and reveal the zany truth in their student newspaper.

NYT bestselling author Lisi Harrison’s four-book  young adult series THE PHOENIX FIVE, in which an unidentified high school student exposes the secret journals of the five most popular freshman, for publication in Fall 2013.

Tatjana Mai-Wyss to illustrate Linda Elovitz Marshall’s young adult  THE PASSOVER LAMB, about a girl’s Passover seder at her grandparents’ home and the unexpected arrival of triplet lambs, for publication in Spring 2013.

Tiffany Schmidt’s young adult  BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE, taking place over the course of one night when a boy is forced to move in the second half of his senior year, rebelling against a girl, the embodiment of all things superficial and popular, who has hidden depths and insecurities, for publication in Winter 2014.

Stonewall Honoree James Klise’s OUTSIDER ARTISTS, the story of a crime and its aftermath told from ten suspect points of view.

Toni De Palma’s young adult DEVIL’S TRIANGLE, in which a seventeen-year-old boy is given one more chance at life and love by the Devil’s sister, and DEVIL’S TEMPTATION, for publication in December 2012.

NEVERSINK author Barry Wolverton’s three-book seafaring saga middle grade THE VANISHING ISLAND, about a 12-year-old boy in a 17th-century English city who is thrown into the midst of an epic adventure when he comes into possession of a powerful and sought-after map, for publication in beginning in winter 2014.

Tess Hilmo’s middle grade SKIES LIKE THESE, again to Margaret Ferguson at Margaret Ferguson Books, about a city girl visiting her aunt in Wyoming at her dog boarding ranch, and the boy she meets who believes he’s related to Wild West royalty – cowboy Butch Cassidy.

Nancy Cavanaugh’s debut middle grade RATCHET, the story of one eleven year old’s quest to make a friend, save a park, and find her own definition of normal, told through the assignments in her homeschool language arts notebook, for publication in Spring 2013.

Peter Reynolds, Paul Reynolds and Fablevision’s middle grade  series, introducing students and teachers to a new learning approach which incorporates the arts into the more traditional STEM model (science, technology, engineering and math); in which siblings discover the world around them through simple science concepts and through their own creative writing, sketching, singing, and more, in a three-book deal.

Kate McMullan middle grade HIT THE ROAD HELEN!, in which Hades tells the story of the Trojan War like you’ve never heard it before — from Helen’s point of view; and AHOY THERE, JASON!, in which Hades gives readers the inside scoop on the Argonauts’ quest for the Golden Fleece..

P.J. Hoover’s middle grade TUT, in which a young immortal King Tut, who has been stuck in middle school for over 3,000 years, must defeat an ancient enemy with the help of a dorky kid from school, a mysterious Egyptian princess, and a one-eyed cat, for publication in Winter/Spring 2014.

Confetti Girl author Diana Lopez’s middle grade ASK MY MOOD RING HOW I FEEL, about a girl who makes a special promise when she discovers her mother has breast cancer, and her struggles to take care of her family, for publication in Spring 2013.

Illustrator and co-founder of design boutique, the Nimbus Factory, Julia Kuo, to illustrate Newbery Medalist Cynthia Kadohata’s new middle-grade novel, for publication in Summer 2013.

NYT and USA Today bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s young adult UNINVITED, the first in a two-book series pitched as The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report; in which a teen’s perfect world unravels when mandatory genetic profiling reveals she’s a carrier for HTS (Homicidal Tendency Syndrome), otherwise known as the “kill gene” and she’s forced to question herself, her world and her love..

USA Today Bestselling author of THE ELEVENTH PLAGUE, Jeff Hirsch’s thriller young adult DOG SOLDIER, about a 16 year-old soldier who abandons his post and tries to make his way home across a country torn apart by a near future civil war while being hunted by both sides and accompanied only by a loyal stray dog.

Vassar College senior and soon to be MFA candidate at Columbia University Emil Ostrovski’s debut young adult novel, TO GRANDMA’S HOUSE WITH SOCRATES, in which a high school senior kidnaps his infant son, names him Socrates, and goes on an odyssey with his best friend and ex-girlfriend to his grandma’s house to introduce the two of them before his grandmother passes away, and a second young adult novel.

Natalie Parker’s young adult BEWARE THE WILD, pitched as Twin Peaks meets The Village, in which a claustrophobic Louisiana town is dominated by its sinister, encroaching swamp, which swallows up a boy who is instantly forgotten by everyone except his sister, and replaced by a mysterious girl from the past who is intent on taking over his family and his life, in a two-book deal, for publication in Winter 2014.

Paula Freedman’s young adult MY BASMATI BAS MITZVAH, set firmly in today’s most multicultural borough, Queens, humorously capturing the dilemma a 13-year-old faces when she starts to wonder whether she’s Indian or Jewish, and if she has to choose, for publication in Fall, 2013.

Barbara Stewart’s young adult THE IN-BETWEEN, a psychological thriller in which a 14-year-old Elanor’s near-death experience opens a door to a world inhabited by bold, beautiful Madeline — a girl who is everything Elanor isn’t — and Elanor finds her life quickly spiraling out of control.

Jennifer Armentrout’s untitled 4th and 5th books in the young adult Lux Series, which continues the story of a book blogger who has fallen in love with the not-so typical alien next door as they continue to evade the DOD and even more powerful enemies, in a two-book deal, for publication in Summer 2013.

P.J. Hoover’s young adult SOLSTICE, about a near-future global heating crisis and a Texas teen who uncovers the strange untold ending of the Persephone myth, only to find that she is part of the story — and that her choices in love, in family, and in friendship will determine the destiny of her world,  for publication in Spring 2013.

Nina de Gramont’s young adult THE BOY I LOVE, in which best friends both fall for the same guy, creating an unusual love triangle, especially when Tim has a secret of his own.

BISG executive director and former COO of the American Booksellers Association Len Vlahos’s young adult THE SCAR BOYS, a humorous coming-of-age story about a severely burned and disfigured high school boy who finds refuge playing guitar in a mid-80s punk band.

Former Seventeen fitness blogger and Oprah guest, Whitney Holcombe’s young adult 1 YEAR, 100 POUNDS, filled with encouraging diet and exercise tips, about how at 14 years old and 230 lbs., the author was able to safely lose the weight all on her own, to Nicole Geiger at Beyond Words.

Bethany Crandell’s young adult SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS, in which a snarky, privileged 17-year-old swaps her designer duds for lanyards and “Kumbaya” when forced to work at a summer camp for disabled teens, gaining unexpected friends and an important life lesson in return, for publication in Spring 2014.

Emily Kate Johnston’s young adult THE STORY OF OWEN, set in our world, but with vicious, destructive dragons that feed off our ever-increasing carbon emissions (and we all know dragons must be slain), for publication in Spring 2014.

Laurie Boyle Crompton’s young adult ADRENALINE, about a thrill-seeking girl who pushes herself too close to the edge one fateful day, and must learn to live with the consequences of her actions.

Amelia Kahaney’s young adult THE BROKENHEARTED, in which a wealthy ballerina living in a heightened, Gotham-like version of Chicago, has her heart broken – literally – and receives a dangerous bionic heart, transforming her into a superhero, in a two-book deal, for publication in Fall 2013.

Leslye Walton’s debut YA novel THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER, about a sixteen-year-old pariah with useless wings who traces her lineage to understand why she was born this way, and the boy who tragically mistakes her for an angel, for publication in Spring 2014.

Lisa Roecker and Laura Roecker’s young adult THE HUSH FUND, when a girl drowns at an annual private school picnic a group of friends pool their trust funds to expose the high society culprit, for publication in Spring 2014.

Heather Montgomery’s WILD DISCOVERIES, a look at weird and wacky newly discovered animals and prompts young readers to help discover more,  for publication in spring 2013.

Frances Sackett’s debut, PETER LUBINSKY AND THE MAGICIAN’S DOG, in which the son of a deployed soldier adopts a talking dog who offers to teach him magic but only if he first helps rescue the dog’s former master, an evil magician who might destroy him, and using magic may make him evil, too.

PRETTY AMY author Lisa Burstein’s DEAR CASSIE, the companion young adult novel that follows Cassie’s post-prom arrest to a rehabilitation retreat in the woods, told in Cassie’s irreverent voice via her diary entries, for publication in 2013.

Cecily White’s ANGEL ACADEMY: Prophecy Girl, a debut young adult series about a girl who is the center of a prophecy that states she is destined to kill everyone she loves, for publication in Spring 2013.

Martha Wells’s young adult EMILIE AND THE HOLLOW WORLD, an adventure story with elements of Victoriana and steampunk, in a two-book deal.

Karen Akins’s young adult LOOP, in which a time traveler accidentally brings a boy from the past into the 23rd century, only to discover he’s already in love with her future self and is keeping his own set of secrets, pitched as HEIST SOCIETY meets BACK TO THE FUTURE, in a two-book deal.

(Source: Publisher’s Marketplace)