Kelly Sonnack

Senior Agent


Kelly is accepting queries by referral only

Kelly started her career in publishing as a Life Sciences editor at an academic publisher where she learned she loved working with authors, but that post-graduate textbooks and monographs were never going to hold a candle to working on kids' books. Since making that career leap, she's never looked back. 

For the past 15 years, she's been championing writers and artists in nearly every category, format, and age group. She represents debut authors and illustrators as well as bestsellers and award-winning clients.

Kelly is on the board of the Association of American Literary Agents (AALA). She is also on the AALA's Membership Commitee and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee where she co-directs a mentorship program that provides support to agents from underrepresented backgrounds. Kelly also served on the Advisory Board for UCSD's Certificate in Writing and Illustrating for Children and she is the co-founder of the City Heights Young Writers Workshop.

NYT bestseller Sharon Cameron's next YA, ARTIFICE, set in 1940's Amsterdam, about a girl who sells art forgeries to the Nazis in order to fund the rescue of Jewish babies through the Dutch resistance. Sold to Scholastic in a six-figure deal.

Author of TURN THIS BOOK INTO A BEEHIVE Lynn Brunelle's next picture book, LIFE AFTER WHALE, about a whale whose death starts what is called a whale fall, a process in which the whale's carcass becomes a gift to thousands of ocean dwellers for generations. To be illustrated by Jason Chin. Sold to Holiday House.

Boya Sun's graphic novel PATCH, about a child whose favorite soft toy comes to life when he mends it with magic fabric he finds in the attic of his new home; strange things start to happen and our world and the dimension toys belong to start warping into each other. Sold to First Second/Macmillan.

Michelle Mee Nutter to illustrate two more graphic novels written by Megan Wagner Lloyd. In LUNA, a girl attempts to understand her late mother through the naturalist notebooks she left behind while trying to connect with her grandmother and reconcile her ideas of family and home. In OUCH, a car accident puts a young adventurer in the hospital with a broken pelvis and she has to figure out how to stay occupied as she recovers, faces a new normal, and considers how she can return to her old life. To Graphix/Scholastic in a six-figure deal.

Shawn Pryor's graphic novel FAST BREAK, in which a 7th grade basketball prodigy is denied a spot on her new school's team and ends up joining the motley co-ed Firebirds -- not exactly the team she was looking for, but maybe exactly where she belongs, with illustrations by Courtney Hahn. Sold to FSG/Macmillan.

Monica Wesolowska's picture book ELBERT IN THE AIR, about a boy named Elbert whose mother defends his individuality when others try to keep him tethered to the ground. To be illustrated by Jerome Pumphrey. Sold at auction to Dial/PRH.

Marissa Valdez's picture book HEDGEHOGS DON'T WEAR UNDERWEAR, about a tighty-whitey wearing hedgehog who's afraid to go public with his secret love of underwear, and an untitled second picture book to follow. Sold at auction to Roaring Brook/Macmillan.


Earl Grey tea



Comics/graphic novels

I'm the product of a kindergarten teacher mom and a salesman dad. Pretty much the perfect combination for a kids literary agent!
"Writing is nothing more than a guided dream." Jorge Luis Borges