Bloomsbury Children's Books is to publish middle-grade adventure Alfie Miller, Lightning Catcher by debut author Clare Weze.
Lucy Mackay-Sim, commissioning editor for children’s fiction, acquired world rights in all languages for the book, also securing a second, as yet untitled, standalone novel, from Abi Fellows at The Good Literary Agency.
Weze’s debut novel tells the story of Alfie Miller, who has "noticed a few things since his family moved to Folding Ford". The synopsis summary describes: "There's nothing to do in the countryside. He and his sister Lily are the only kids in the whole place who aren't white. And the weather is bonkers. When Alfie investigates the town’s weird weather patterns and accidentally unleashes a lightning creature from the sun on the village, he finds himself in the centre of a perfect storm of trouble."
Mackay-Sim said: "Clare is an outstanding storyteller. In Alfie Miller, Lightning Catcher she has created a book with the adventure and camaraderie of 'Stranger Things' mixed with the heart and sense of wonder of Skellig. As Alfie and his lightning creature learn to soar in the face of the small-mindedness they encounter in Folding Ford, we’re cheering them, shedding a few tears too, every step of the way. Bloomsbury is so proud to be publishing this brilliant debut."
Weze was awarded the Northern Writers' Award in 2016 and has written short fiction for The Conglomerate and Commonword. She said: "I’m so excited that Bloomsbury and The Good Literary Agency have given me the opportunity to introduce Alfie to the world. I wrote his story to explore resilience, friendship and fitting in to new places when you’re different, but most of all I wanted to capture the excitement of this unusual and dicey investigation by one boy, and the amazing discoveries that come from it."
Alfie Miller, Lightning Catcher will be published in paperback on 6th May 2021, with the second standalone title to follow in 2022.