US actor Neil Patrick Harris, star of hit TV series "How I Met Your Mother", is writing “a magical middle grade series” for Egmont.
Liz Bankes, commissioning editor for fiction at the publisher, acquired four titles from Esmond Harmsworth at the US-based agency Aevitas Creative Management. Egmont bought rights for UK and Commonwealth excluding Canada, with Australian-based Hardie Grant Egmont acquiring the rights for Australia and New Zealand.
The Magic Misfits is the first book in the series of the same name and will be published in hardback on 30th November, shortly after it launches in the US with Little, Brown and the paperback will follow in 2018. Artist David Litchfield will illustrate the cover. It is aimed for children aged eight and above.
The “funny and magical new middle grade series” features the adventures of a gang of young magicians and offers real magic tricks for readers to try at home. It follows street magician, Carter, an orphan who is forced to be an accomplice for his con man uncle, Sly Mike. Carter runs away and meets magic shop owner Dante Vernon and his daughter, an escapologist called Leila and her friends. The group try to foil carnival ringleader, B.B. Bosso, who uses magic to rob his audience and plans to steal a priceless diamond.
Ali Dougal, fiction publishing director at Egmont said: “Neil Patrick Harris is a huge star, and here he proves himself to be a terrific children’s writer. So many children will see themselves in this diverse gang of marvellous misfits who show that wonder and magic can be part of the everyday world – and they’ll learn some real magic tricks along the way.”
Harris added: “Playing with the elements of magic, adventure and friendship, The Magic Misfits is the kind of series that would have thrilled me as a kid. And I hope it does just that for today’s young readers.”
Harris is an actor, producer, director, host, and author, best known for his role as Barney Stinson on the hit comedy series "How I Met Your Mother". He is currently starring as Count Olaf in the Netflix adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events.
His “structurally innovative memoir”, Neil Patrick Harris, Choose Your Own Autobiography, was published in the US by Crown Publishing Group, Division of Random House Inc in October 2014.