Victoria Hislop will return to The Island (Headline Review, 2006) for a children's edition titled Maria's Island, published by Walker Books. The edition will be illustrated by Gill Smith.
Walker's executive editorial director Denise Johnstone-Burt acquired UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada) rights from Stephanie Thwaites on behalf of Jonathan Lloyd at Curtis Brown. Illustration rights were acquired from Claire Cartey at Holroyde Cartey. The title will be published in 2021.
The original book followed a young woman compelled to unravel her Cretan mother’s mysterious past. In Maria's Island, the story of the Cretan village of Plaka and the tiny, deserted island of Spinalonga will be narrated by Maria Petrakis, one of the children in the original version.
Hislop said: "The idea came out of a conversation with some school teachers in Crete. They commented that there were so many themes in the story that were as relevant to children as to adults but felt that the original novel was a little too grown-up for many of them. I realised that much of the book is actually about children and their experiences of stigma and loss, so this has been a wonderful experience for me, to look at things through their eyes. Writing for children requires a whole different set of skills and I hope they will enjoy reading it."
Johnstone-Burt commented: "I absolutely loved The Island when I first read it and Victoria’s idea of telling it from a child’s point of view for children is brilliant. This moving story draws out powerful universal themes in a subtle and resonant way."
Hislop has also written One August Night, a sequel to The Island, which will be published in October.