Mitch Johnson—who last year won the Branford Boase Award for his debut Kick published by Usborne—is moving to Hachette Children's Group for his second title.
The author and Waterstones bookseller will follow Kick with his new children's book, Pop!, "a warmly funny, action-packed adventure about an outrageous theft, a huge reward and the power of courage".
According to HCG, Pop sits squarely at the heart of the funny middle-grade space while tackling issues such as pollution, big corporations and excess.
It tells the story of Queenie, "who stares out at the ocean dreaming of a world beyond her small town ... When a priceless recipe for the world’s most popular drink – thought to be lost for ever – washes up at her feet, Queenie’s life instantly changes. Everyone wants it and with a $10 million bounty on her head, Queenie’s soon on the run. Pursued by bounty hunters, black-ops helicopters and angry mobs, Queenie’s journey involves a trip to Area 51, a man-eating alligator and an unlikely new friend, Todd."
Tig Wallace, senior commissioning editor at Hachette Children’s Group, acquired world rights to two books from Felicity Trew at the Caroline Sheldon Agency. The first will publish in paperback in July 2020.
Wallace said: "I am fizzing with excitement to be publishing Mitch Johnson’s incredible new book. Mitch is a huge talent and everyone at HCG is thrilled to be working with him on the next chapter of his writing adventure."
Johnson added: "I’m so happy that Hachette Children’s Group will be publishing Pop! next summer, and I can’t wait for readers to join Queenie on her white-knuckle ride across America."