Orchard Books has acquired The Ethan I Was Before, the middle-grade debut about friendship and grief, from debut author Ali Standish.
Jessica Clarke, editorial director at Orchard Books, brokered a five-figure two-book deal with Polly Nolan at the Greenhouse Literary Agency, acquiring UK & Commonwealth Rights.
The book is about a boy who moves with his father to a seaside town, following the death of his best friend. While struggling to make sense of the past, a mysterious new girl enters his life.
Clarke said the characters, setting and story "all leap off the page and straight into your heart."
US-born Standish spent several years as a teacher and programme administrator in Washington. She now lives in Cambridge, the UK.
Orchard will publish The Ethan I Was Before in hardback in March 2017 simultaneously with HarperCollins in the US.
- Debut middle-grade writer Nicola Skinner signs with HarperCollins
- Bloomsbury to publish Conaghan's first middle-grade title
- S&S UK bags 'super commercial' middle-grade series in six-figure pre-empt
- Piccadilly acquires Bethell middle-grade novel
- Doyle's middle-grade debut to Bloomsbury after five-way auction