Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Kit de Waal are reinterpreting Dracula and Moby Dick for their first titles to be published on Orion Children’s Books’ new YA feminist series, Bellatrix.
Becoming Dinah, de Waal’s first YA novel, reimagines Herman Melville’s Moby Dick by telling the story of a teenage girl who is determined to find a life for herself away from her unconventional upbringing.
Meanwhile Millwood Hargrave has written The Deathless Girls – the untold story of the brides of Dracula. 17-year-old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the Boyar Valcar, taken far away from their traveller community. Forced to work in the castle kitchens, Lil meets Mira, a fellow slave girl she feels inexplicably drawn to. But she also learns about the Dragon – a mysterious figure of myth who takes young girls as gifts.
Becoming Dinah will publish in July in paperback and The Deathless Girls will follow in hardback in September.
Orion Children’s, part of the Hachette Children’s Group, announced the launch of Bellatrix in May last year, saying they wanted to “engage readers with stories, voices and characters that demand to be heard in the modern world”,
Helen Thomas, editor-at-large at Hachette Children’s Group, said: “It’s an honour to have two absolutely remarkable authors launching the Bellatrix collection for us this year. Both Kit and Kiran have found untold stories and perspectives lurking within two major classics – they’re changing the story by telling the story, the whole story. What’s most important, though, is that these books are completely unique – it doesn’t matter whether we know Moby Dick or Dracula or not, and we’re not interested in being worthy; these are gripping, inclusive, provocative, exciting books in their own right. This collection is about giving voice where it’s not always heard, through the vehicle of first-class storytelling.”
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