Irish author Catherine Doyle will write an “exciting and magical” middle grade Christmas tale, The Miracle on Ebenezer Street, for Puffin.
Natalie Doherty, editorial director at Puffin, acquired world rights from Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge & White, as a key title for Puffin’s 80th birthday celebrations this year. The Miracle on Ebenezer Street will be published in hardback in October 2020 and publication will be supported by a "major" PR and marketing campaign.
Released to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens, and the 80th anniversary of Puffin, the book is a contemporary reimagining of the beloved classic A Christmas Carol. "Written with a fresh perspective to delight new audiences, The Miracle on Ebenezer Street is an atmospheric and adventurous tale, inviting readers inside a captivating snow globe of magic," Puffin said.
The synopsis reads: "George and his father are about to spend their third Christmas without George's mother. Since she died, Hugo Bishop has thrown himself into his work, and has no time for George–and he definitely has no time for Christmas. It feels like they're living life in black and white.
"Then, George stumbles across Marley's Curiosity Shop. There he finds a mysterious snow globe, which appears to show a scene from George's past. A Christmas in which he and his family were together, and happy. That night, George and his father are swept on an adventure to three Christmases–past, present, and future... Can they begin living life in full colour again?"
Aimed at fans of Matt Haig, Tom Fletcher, Katherine Rundell and Robin Stevens, Puffin said: "Brimming with mysterious and magical characters, the highly talented Catherine Doyle creates an immersive world of wonder The Miracle on Ebenezer Street."
Doyle, based in Galaway, wrote the young adult trilogy Blood for Blood (Chicken House). Her award-winning and bestselling middle grade début, The Storm Keeper's Island, published by Bloomsbury, is set on the magical island of Arranmore, where her grandparents grew up. The sequel, The Lost Tide Warriors, was published in July 2019, with two further Storm Keeper titles still to come.
She said: "As a life-long fan of A Christmas Carol, and die-hard Christmas enthusiast, I'm beyond excited to be putting my own spin on this much-loved tale for the Charles Dickens' 150th anniversary for Puffin. It's been so much fun getting to re-imagine major characters like Marley and Scrooge for a modern middle grade audience, while adding my own magical twist, and of course, some new festive faces. I can't wait to share it with everyone at the end of this year."
Doherty added: "I’m thrilled that the fabulously talented Catherine Doyle is bringing her spellbinding magic to Puffin in our special 80th anniversary year. Cat’s reimagining of A Christmas Carol blew us away: it’s fresh and funny, gorgeously written, and already feels like a timeless festive classic in its own right. The whole team at Puffin has fallen in love with George and we can’t wait to share his adventure with readers young and old."