Canongate has signed a new book in Scarlett Thomas's Worldquake children's book series.
The book will be the fourth in Thomas’s fantasy series about the magical education of a group of pupils at the Tusitala School for the Gifted, Troubled and Strange.
Publishing director Francis Bickmore acquired world rights, including audio, from Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown.
The series began in 2017 with Dragon’s Green, which has sold over 30,000 copies in the UK, according to the publisher. Writer Joanne Harris described the book as "the most exciting debut in children’s fiction since Harry Potter. Immersive engaging, original; delightful in its details".
Canongate published the second book The Chosen Ones in April 2018 and will publish Galloglass (Worldquake Book 3) in April 2019, followed by the fourth book in April 2020.
The series already has eight publishers internationally, including Simon & Schuster in the USA, Salamandra in Spain and Newton Compton in Italy.
Thomas said: "I’m so thrilled to be able to continue this exciting journey with my long-term publisher Canongate. Working on the Worldquake Sequence puts me in touch with storytelling in its purest form. The response from children and adults has been so brilliant. I hope that everyone finds something to connect with in the continuing adventures of Effie, Maximilian, Wolf, Lexy and Raven."
Bickmore said that the series is a "serious contender" to succeed Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials as the children's fantasy series of choice for a generation.
"Scarlett Thomas’s children’s books have a thermodynamic power to excite young readers", he said. "We’ve seen it first-hand with teachers, librarians, booksellers and children themselves. Her Worldquake universe really is a seismic cosmic event, an immense world with infinite potential, and one navigated by a series of gifted and distinctive characters who develop with each book."
He added: "It’s such a rush to be working with a writer who knows how to apply the great lessons of classical storytelling but refuses to fall back on cookie-cutter templates. And the exceptional Dan Mumford’s visionary covers complement the books brilliantly."