Hodder Children’s Books has acquired a graphic novel written by Irish children’s laureate Eoin Colfer and author and graphic novelist Andrew Donkin, and illustrated by Italian Giovanni Rigano.
Illegal is based on the idea of asylum and features the stories of migrants Ebo and Kwame as they make their way from African to Europe.
Hodder’s publishing director Anne McNeil, who acquired world rights in a single-book deal from Sophie Hicks at the Sophie Hicks agency, said: “I was born in West Africa. On one of several trips back as an adult, I met a young man on the beach who told me about his boat trip to Europe. He told me that the seas were huge, and people were literally praying on their knees. When they got to their destination, the people on the boat were jailed; and then sent back. He came home to his village, lay on the beach and cried. His story stayed with me. I am proud to be publishing Illegal – a book from master-storytellers that will open the minds of all who read it.”
Hodder will publish in paperback in autumn 2016.