Hachette Children's Group has pre-empted a middle-grade series by J M Joseph in a six-figure deal.
Lena McCauley, commissioning editor at Hachette Children’s Group acquired world rights to three books, about friendship, unexpected superpowers, Inca legends and a cat named Lemon, from Becky Bagnell at Lindsay Literary Agency. The first book in the series, Fire Boy, will publish in paperback in March 2020.
Fire Boy tells the story of 11-year-old Aidan Sweeney "who receives a mysterious package of confectionary in the post", reads the synopsis. "He and his two best friends, Sadie and Hussein, eat one sweet each … and suddenly develop amazing superpowers. Sadie can move things with her mind. Hussein can control any electronic device. And Aidan can create fire – though he can’t always control the resulting flames. But when they discover the sweets belong to a dangerous criminal who will do anything to get them back, they have to use all their powers to outwit him before everything goes up in a fiery blaze."
Joseph said: "Hachette’s amazing team of editors, publicists and assistants have made me feel so welcome. I know signing a three-book deal with them was the right choice and I cannot wait to get started."
McCauley added: "J M Joseph is one of those rare and talented writers who is able to balance humour and heart – Aidan’s antics as he tries to control his new-found superpower are laugh-out-loud funny, but the underlying theme of the importance of true friends also gives this story a real emotional impact. I’m so excited to launch Fire Boy in 2020."