HarperCollins Children's Books has triumphed in a multi-publisher auction for "beautiful" middle grade novel The Last Bear by debut children’s author Hannah Gold.
In a major UK/US co-publication deal, world rights in two books were acquired from Claire Wilson at RCW by Nick Lake, fiction publisher, and Harriet Wilson, publishing director, at HCCB in the UK alongside Erica Sussman at HarperCollins US.
The Last Bear will publish in February 2021 and will be printed in an illustrated hardback edition with simultaneous e-book and audio formats. Levi Pinfold, who won the Kate Greenaway Medal for his picture book Black Dog (Templar), will illustrate the UK edition. It will be backed by an “unmissable and unique” marketing campaign.
The synopsis explains: “There are no polar bears left on Bear Island. At least, that’s what April’s father tells her when his scientific research takes them to this remote Arctic outpost for six months. But one endless summer night, April meets one. He is starving, lonely and a long way from home. Determined to save him, April begins the most important journey of her life...”
Gold, who worked in the film and magazine industries before taking up writing, said: “The Last Bear is a book particularly close to my heart and in HarperCollins Children’s Books I could not have found a more perfect home. I can’t wait for children to travel to the Arctic Circle alongside April, to fall in love with Bear and, under the magical gaze of the midnight sun, to maybe even discover the power of their own roar.”
Wilson called Gold's writing "powerful and poignant", adding: "The Last Bear is a beautiful celebration of the love between a child and an animal, and a battle cry for the environment. At its core is the fundamental message that no one is too small or insignificant to make a difference. It is one of the most profoundly moving books I have ever read–and one that will touch the hearts of children the world over.”
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