Bloomsbury Children’s Books will publish Lesley Parr’s debut novel The Valley of Lost Secrets, featuring two children evacuated to Wales during the Second World War with a mystery to solve.
Fiction editorial director Zöe Griffiths acquired world rights in a two-book deal from Amber Caravéo at the Skylark Literary agency. Publication of the first book is set for January 2021 with the second book coming out in 2022.
The Valley of Lost Secrets tells the story of Jimmy and his younger brother Ronnie who are evacuated to Llanbryn, Wales, from a war-torn London during the Second World War. Jimmy thinks he is safe there, but the discovery of a human skull will shake this belief, and will bring to light a mystery that had plagued the village for years.
Griffiths said: "I am beyond delighted to welcome Lesley to the Bloomsbury list. I was immediately captivated by Jimmy’s voice and transported back to 1939. Lesley writes the most authentic, flawed yet relatable characters. This is the kind of fiction that is timeless, with relationships and characters that speak to every reader. Hers is a rare talent and we are very proud to publish her."
Parr said: "From the very beginning, Bloomsbury shared my vision for the story I wanted to tell. A story about home and family, and the different ways we find them. I’m really excited to introduce Jimmy, Ronnie and Florence into the world, and hope future readers will love them as much as I do."
Caravéo added: "I couldn’t be happier to see Lesley Parr settled at Bloomsbury. Zöe and Bloomsbury are the perfect team to publish this extraordinary novel."