Newly formed Oxford indie Guppy Books has bought two middle-grade books by American author Sharon Creech.
Cecilia de la Campa and Alessandra Birch at Writers House negotiated the two-book deal for UK and Commonwealth rights with Bella Pearson, publisher at the children’s press.
The first title, which will be published in hardback in April 2020, is Saving Winslow, billed as “the heart-warming story of a young boy called Louie who is distracted from his loneliness as he learns to care for a sick donkey”.
The synopsis reads: “Everyone is convinced that Winslow won’t survive, but Louie is determined to nurse him back to health, learning an important lesson about life, loss and love along the way.”
Moo, the second title is scheduled for publication in August 2020. It is a light-hearted story of siblings Reena and Luke, who find themselves looking after a belligerent cow named Zora when their parents decide to move the family to the countryside. “Hilarious and heart-warming in equal measure, Moo is the perfect tale of learning responsibility – and believing in yourself,” Guppy Books said.
The publisher said of middle grade books: “Both stories have family and friendship at their heart, and told in the gentle, lyrical style that is synonymous with Creech’s writing.”
Pearson, the former publishing director at David Fickling Books, launched Guppy Books focusing on middle-grade (MG) and YA fiction in February, with the first titles launching this autumn.
Pearson said: “I have loved Sharon Creech's books since reading Walk Two Moons and Love That Dog as a children's bookseller many moons ago, and publishing two novels on the Guppy list is simply a dream come true. Both Moo and Saving Winslow demonstrate Sharon's ability to create clear-sighted stories that are comical and heart-warming, and reflect childhood experiences with empathy and understanding. Perfect for our times.”
Based in Maine in north-east America, Creech is published in more than 20 languages. Her style ranges from novels in verse to fantasy, and have received various awards recognition including the Newbery Medal for Walk Two Moons and the Newbery Honor for The Wanderer. In 2003 she became the first American author to win the prestigious CILIP Carnegie Medal for Ruby Holler. Before beginning her writing career, she taught English for 15 years in England and Switzerland.
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