Hachette Children’s Group has acquired two YA novels-in-verse from Dean Atta, author of The Black Flamingo, including a "must-read queer romance" publishing in 2021.
Commissioning editor Polly Lyall-Grant acquired world rights to two titles from Becky Thomas at Johnson & Alcock.
The first title, Only on the Weekends, will publish in paperback, e-book and audio in August 2021 under the Hodder Children's Books imprint, with book two to follow in August 2022.
Only on the Weekends follows 15-year-old Mack, who is happy to finally be in a relationship with Karim after liking him for a long time. When Mack has to move from London to Scotland, he discovers how painful long-distance can be and he meets a new boy, Finlay, on a film set. It isn't long until Mack's old life and new life collide.
Lyall-Grant said: "HCG is so proud to be Dean’s publishing home. He has fast established himself as one of the most powerful UK YA voices. As with The Black Flamingo, Dean has written a story that puts teenage experiences in the spotlight – this time navigating a long-distance relationship and the powerful, nuanced emotions of first love. Mack’s journey to discovering that he deserves love, just like in the movies, is beautiful to behold. I can’t wait for readers to experience it too."
Atta commented: "My move from London to Glasgow has been a great source of inspiration. I’m excited to set Only on the Weekends here in my new home. This book is a contemplation on boyhood, masculinity, and love. While romance is at the heart of Only on the Weekends, it pays close attention to friendship, and family (including chosen family) relationships. I hope readers enjoy getting to know Mack, Karim, Finlay, and all their family and friends, as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them!"
The Black Flamingo (Hodder Children's Books, 2019) was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize.