Beckett the endgame for Egmont's Levison

Beckett the endgame for Egmont's Levison

Egmont has triumphed at auction in a new “subversive” and “heart-warming” middle-grade debut series from comedian Jim Beckett which features exploding caravan toilets and a rescue mission in the afterlife.

Sarah Levison, Egmont senior fiction editor, bought world rights in all languages to Beckett’s The Caravan at the Edge of Doom and another title from Hannah Sheppard at DHH. The first title launches in spring 2021, with the follow-up coming in early 2022. The book will be illustrated by Ukraine-born Olia Muza in her first book for a British publisher.    

The Caravan at the Edge of Doom revolves around 12-year-old Harley, whose four grandparents seem to die when their caravan toilet explodes late one night. But then she discovers a surprising truth: that toilet is a gateway to the Land of the Dead, and her grandparents are its guardians. Then she realises her baby brother has accidentally gone with them, hidden in his grandma’s wheelie bag. And Harley only has 24 hours to rescue him before he’s trapped in the Land of the Dead for eternity.

Levinson said: “From the moment Harley’s grandparents exploded in the toilet in the opening pages of The Caravan at the Edge of Doom, I knew this book was something special. In reluctant hero Harley’s adventure in the afterlife, Jim Beckett has created a story that is laugh-out-loud funny with a searing undercurrent of emotion that takes you by surprise and brings tears to your eye.”

Beckett is the one half of comedy duo Bob and Jim and also an English teacher at a south London secondary school. He said that being at Egmont was “brilliant” as the team “have been so welcoming and wise and supportive – and you should see their offices! They’ve got free biscuits and table tennis and weird-shaped chairs... it’s proper modern.”