Sarah Odedina has made her first acquisitions as children’s publisher at Oneworld imprint Rock the Boat, buying books by Olivia Levez and Nikki Sheehan.
Odedina has bought world English rights to The Island by debut novelist Olivia Levez. The book, which will be published in March 2016, is about a girl marooned on a desert island after an air crash and her struggle for survival. Interwoven with her island story is the story of her life leading up to her journey, the poor choices she made in London and the reason for those choices.
Odedina, who struck the deal with Clare Wallace at Darley Andersen, said: “It is a pulse-quickening read with real heart by a hugely exciting new voice who I very much look forward to publishing and bringing to readers.”
Her second acquisition was Swan Boy, a story about a troubled boy who takes the lead role in a production of Swan Lake, by Nikki Sheehan. World rights to the “surprising and magical” story were acquired in a two-book deal from Julia Churchill at AM Heath, and publication is set for summer 2016.
Finally, Rock the Boat is set to publish The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen, a second novel by Katherine Howe set in New York, in early 2016.
Howe’s Conversion was one of the titles Oneworld launched Rock the Boat with when it announced the imprint.
“The Rock The Boat list will be a truly boutique list, with only around 15 books a year, we will be able to concentrate on each and every book and author and never be in the dilemma of having to prioritise and focus on leads and the ‘others’,” said Odedina. “The list will be eclectic and could in the future include picture books as well as fiction for the beginner readers.”
Odedina joined Oneworld in the spring after stepping down as m.d. of Bonnier-owned Hot Key Books.