Egmont has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, including Australia and New Zealand, to Serafina and the Black Cloak, a gothic historical adventure by US author Robert Beatty.
Set in America’s Deep South, the story is about Serafina, the daughter of a man who works for the wealthy Vanderbilt family. Her father has told her never to go into the forest, but when children in the area start disappearing, Serafina is the only person who knows that the culprit is a terrifying man in a black cloak.
Egmont’s editorial director for fiction, Lindsey Heaven, secured the rights in a three-book deal from Julia Churchill at AM Heath, who was acting on behalf of Brandt and Hochman in the US, in a hotly contested auction.
Egmont will publish Serafina and the Black Cloak in May 2016, and the sequel, Serafina and the Twisted Staff, simultaneously with Disney Hyperion in the US in August 2016.
“I am so excited to be publishing Serafina and the Black Cloak,” said Heaven. “Robert Beatty’s writing is atmospheric and incredibly addictive.”
In the US the book is currently number four on the New York Times bestseller list. The Serafina Facebook page has racked up more than 117,000 fans and the book has been voted by readers as one of the top Goodreads middle grade reads of 2015.