Hachette Children’s Group, along with Hachette US and Hachette Australia, has won an eight-publisher Frankfurt auction to acquire debut children’s author Jessica Townsend.
Nevermoor, the first story in a middle grade trilogy, is a magical story about a girl who has to complete “near-impossible” trials to earn her place in the city of Nevermoor.
The book will be published under the Orion Children’s imprint in the UK, although title and publication date are yet to be announced.
Helen Thomas, editorial director at HCG imprint Orion Children’s Books, bought the novel in a three-book, six-figure deal, with Alvina Ling at Hachette US and Fiona Hazard at Hachette Australia. The deal was for world English rights, acquired from Gemma Cooper at the Bent Agency.
Thomas said: “Jess has artfully created a daring, brilliant, utterly compelling hero, and a fantastical new world that will entirely absorb readers, leaving them begging for their own invitation to Nevermoor, just as children have been waiting for their letter from Hogwarts, or to discover their His Dark Materials daemon. This is a series that will set the imaginations of children soaring for years to come.”
Cooper has also struck pre-empt deals in the Netherlands, Spain, France, Hungary, Israel and Finland. At least another five territories are currently at auction, she said.
Townsend is based in Australia. She was previously a copywriter and the editor of a children’s wildlife magazine for Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo.