Chicken House to publish K-Pop themed YA novel

Chicken House to publish K-Pop themed YA novel

Chicken House has scooped the UK’s "first K-Pop themed YA novel" by journalist Stephan Lee.

Barry Cunningham bought the UK and Commonwealth rights to K-Pop Rookie, in a joint deal with David Levithan and Samantha Palazzi of Scholastic US, from Brenda Bowen at The Book Group. K-Pop Rookie will be published simultaneously in the UK and US in autumn 2020 where it will be published as K-Pop Confidential.

The book follows a Korean-American teen who is picked from obscurity to travel to Seoul in South Korea in the hope of becoming a star of Korean music genre K-Pop.  

The synopsis explains: “Under the strict supervision of her instructors, Candace must hone her performance skills to within an inch of her life, all while fluently speaking Korean and keeping the other group members on her side. There’s only one problem: she’s really not cut out for it. She never did get the hang of Korean, she definitely can’t dance, and the girls seem to hate her. The only saving grace is fellow Korean-American trainee Youngbae, who’s the only one who seems to understand how Candace feels – and he’s kind of cute, too.”

Cunningham said: “What a way to discover a whole new world of music, passion and culture! Stephan is a master storyteller whose enthusiasm for all things K-Pop shines through his characters, and we can’t wait to introduce K-Pop Rookie to UK readers.”

Lee added: “Having my debut novel published in the UK by the legendary Barry Cunningham and Chicken House is truly daebak – which means ‘unspeakably awesome’ in Korean. I can't imagine K-Pop Rookie in better hands!”

Lee is a YA enthusiast, K-Pop fan and journalist, currently working as an associate director at Bustle after a five-year stretch at Entertainment Weekly. He is also working on his first novel for adults.