Canongate is to publish a "magical" children's series by Scarlett Thomas, author of the adult novel The End of Mr Y (Canongate).
Francis Bickmore, Canongate publishing director, acquired world rights to three books in The Worldquake Sequence from David Miller at Rogers Coleridge and White.
Dragon's Green, the first in the series, aimed primarily at 9-12 year-olds, will be published in April 2017. It follows Effie, a pupil at the Tusitala School for the Gifted, Troubled and Strange. When Effie's grandfather becomes ill, she discovers she is set to inherit the family library. Which would be fine if the books were regular books . . . But before she knows it, the library opens up a world of puzzles, spells and curses and Effie's life is at risk from dark forces, intent on using the books and the power they contain.
Canongate has sold over 375,000 copies of Thomas’ titles and foreign rights in The End of Mr. Y have sold into 25 territories.
Rights in The Worldquake Sequence have already been sold in Italy (to Newton Compton Editori) and Spain (to Ediciones Salamandra).
Thomas said: "I'm really delighted to be publishing my first children's book. I started writing it in secret, never thinking it would see the light of day. But soon it turned into the most fun and compelling project I have ever worked on. I was really nervous when I first showed it to Canongate. Luckily, they loved the world of Dragon's Green as much as I did."
Bickmore said: "Dragon's Green is a flat-out amazement, a fully-formed fantasy world, uncannily like our own but one in which books transport us literally to other dimensions and children must learn to harness the ancient lore of magic for themselves. With relatable characters, big ideas, and killer plotlines, Scarlett has really got her groove on in these books. Fans of Ursula Le Guin, TH White, Diana Wynne Jones and Philip Pullman, prepare to fall under Scarlett Thomas's spell.”
The search for an illustrator for the covers for the series is underway.
The US auction for the first three books in the series has reportedly reached six-figures, The Bookseller understands.