'Unprecedented' deals for Penguin's Sally Green

Penguin has secured deals in 25 languages for Sally Green's YA debut Half Bad within 13 weeks of its acquisition.

Editorial director Ben Horslen made a "substantial" investment when he acquired world rights in the novel, one of the hot books of this year's Bologna Children's Book Fair, from Claire Wilson of Rogers, Coleridge and White.

The landmark 25th rights deal was struck with Norwegian publisher Cappelen Damm, with previous sales included the US (Viking), France (Editions Milan), Germany (CBJ), Brazil (Intrinseca), Israel (Kinneret), Netherlands (Moon), Serbia (Evro Giunti), Italy (RCS Libri), Denmark (Carlsen), Lithuania (Baltos Lankos) and further territories. Almost all of the deals were pre-empts or negotiated at auction, the publisher said.

Horslen commented: "From the very first pages of Half Bad, I knew that I would stop at nothing to publish Sally Green, so I'm thrilled that so many overseas publishers have discovered the same enthusiasm for this remarkable debut. The fact that, in circumstances publishers can usually only dream about, our substantial investment in the novel has already been returned by these deals, a whole eight months prior to publication, is just the icing on the cake."

Rights director Zosia Knopp said: "We're delighted to have achieved such unprecedented success in an extremely short period of time, and have no doubt that Sally is set to become an international star."

Half Bad is a supernatural thriller set in a modern world inhabited by covert witches. Green is a former accountant who lives in Warrington with her husband and 10-year-old son. The author said she was "amazed and delighted" by the international reaction.