Macmillan Children’s Books has acquired a YA romance from journalist Harriet Reuter Hapgood for a six-figure sum.
The Square Root of Summer is described as a YA contemporary with a twist, in which seventeen-year-old physics prodigy Gottie Oppenheimer navigates a summer of grief, trying to reconcile her first heartbreak with her last.
Senior commissioning editor Rachel Petty acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights to the novel in a two-book deal, beating seven other publishers in an auction, from Gemma Cooper at the Bent Agency.
Petty said: “This is one of those rare books that feels both timeless and completely fresh. It’s an unbelievably confident debut and we’re thrilled that Harriet chose us to be her publisher.”
MCB will publish The Square Root of Summer hardback in May 2016 and an untitled stand-alone a year later.
North American rights have been sold at auction to Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan US. Auctions have also concluded in Brazil, Spain and Italy, with French rights selling in a pre-empt.
Reuter Hapgood, currently a sub-editor at Marie Claire, was the winner of Hot Key Books’ inaugural Unlocked romance writing competition and her e-novella Last Christmas was published in December 2013.