Hachette Children’s Group has pre-empted a "magical" middle-grade fantasy series from debut author Andy Sagar in a six-figure deal.
Editorial director Kate Agar acquired world rights, excluding Germany and Italy, in three books from Emily Talbot at United Agents.
About a strangeling born with antlers, the first title,Yesterday Crumb and the Storm in a Teacup, will be published by the Orion Children’s Books imprint in paperback in February 2022.
Following huge international buzz, rights have already sold in "significant" pre-empts in Germany and France, and at auction in Italy, with more deals said to be in the pipeline.
"Yesterday Crumb has never fitted in – it doesn’t help that she’s a strangeling, who was born with antlers," reads the book's synopsis. "Forced to work for the circus, Yesterday longs for an adventure to whisk her away. But then Yesterday discovers Dwimmerly End – the magical, walking teashop run by the flamboyant Tea Witch, Miss Dumpling. A place of flying teapots, fantastical customers and magic in every teacup!
"Taken in by Miss Dumpling, Yesterday finally feels a sense of belonging. However, lurking behind the teashop’s wondrous magic is an inexplicable darkness, and an encounter with a mysterious figure might be all it takes for Yesterday’s new life to come crashing down…"
Agar said: "We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome Andy to HCG. He has created a colourful world filled to the brim with magical wonders, a deliciously independent protagonist, and the added sweetener of messages about the importance of self-love and acceptance. Yesterday Crumb is going to inspire all readers to be true to themselves – as well as making them long for their own enchanted teacups! We know this will be absolutely everyone’s cup of tea in 2022."
Sagar, the book's author, previously worked as a teaching assistant in a primary school and has just finished studying for a Master’s degree in Law at the University of Cambridge. He's now pursuing a PhD on the role of law in witch-hunts. He said: "I’m completely and overwhelmingly happy that Yesterday and co have found a home at Hachette Children’s Group. I can’t wait for everyone to delve into her world of tea and cake and witchery."