Penguin Children's has acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights for a YA contemporary romance about two teenage boys falling in love, entitled Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by debut author Becky Albertalli.
The pre-empt deal also involved Penguin acquiring the rights to Albertalli’s as yet unnamed second novel.
Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency brokered the deal on behalf of Brooks Sherman and this is the third speedy pre-empt for the book following the US and Germany, said Penguin. North American rights were pre-empted by Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins within three days of the manuscript being submitted, andGerman rights were sold to Carlsen Verlag.
Author Albertalli is a clinical psychologist and spent seven years working with a support group for gender-nonconforming children in the US.
She said: “While Simon… can be described as a story about coming to terms with sexual identity, for me it’s really about that terrifying, thrilling process of piecing together who you are during a time when your entire identity - sexual, social, emotional, etc - is a moving target. So much of being a teenager is this search for authenticity: trying on different identities, exploring new relationships, and discovering how it all fits together.”
Penguin Children's will publish Simon… in early 2015.