Andersen Press will publish Sally Nicholls' The Silent Stars Go By in November.
The novel is the second in a two-book deal made between publishing director Charlie Sheppard and Jodie Hodges of United Agents. The first book in the deal, Things a Bright Girl Can Do, was published in 2019 and was shortlisted for a Carnegie Medal, National Book Award, Books Are My Bag Readers Award and the YA Book Prize.
Since, Andersen Press has contracted a further two YA novels from Nicholls, acquiring world rights for both.
The Silent Stars Go By follows Margot and her fiancé Harry. In Christmas 1919, Margot's family is gathering for the first time since the First World War and Harry, who was reported missing in action on the Western Front, has miraculously returned to the village. Margot has a secret which threatens to destroy her life and she is afraid of what will happen if she tells Harry the truth.
The publisher is planning a "bumper" Christmas campaign for the book, including a "lavish" hardback release, media appearances from the author and "wide-reaching" consumer marketing.
Nicholls said: "For me, Things a Bright Girl Can Do was a masterclass in how publishing should be done, from editing to publicity. I'm so excited to be working with the same team on The Silent Stars Go By, and I can't wait for everyone to come back to Christmas 1919 and meet Margot and Harry."
Sheppard added: "Once again Sally has shown her incredible ability to distil meticulous historical research into a warm, unforgettable human story. The Silent Stars Go By is a Christmas treat of a novel that you will want to read again and again. At Andersen Press we are thrilled to be her publisher."