Puffin is releasing Pony this autumn, a new novel from bestselling Wonder author R J Palacio.
The novel will be published on 28th September 2021, in a global publication with Alfred A Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books in the US.
Pony is the first of Palacio's novels outside of the world and characters of her 2012 debut Wonder (Corgi). The new title is part of PRH's original two-book deal for Wonder.
The blurb explains: “Set in the mid-1800s, Pony takes readers on an exciting yet distinctly beautiful journey through the vast American landscape. It is a story of adventure, friendship, and the invisible bonds that connect us. Readers will meet a young boy that only Palacio could envision. Twelve-year-old Silas is awoken in the dead of night by three horsemen who have come to take his father away. Silas is left shaken, scared, and alone except for the presence of his companion, Mittenwool…who happens to be a ghost. When a mysterious pony shows up at his door the next morning, Silas knows what he has to do. He will set out on a perilous quest to find his father—an adventure that will ultimately connect him with his past and future, and the unknowable world around him.”
Palacio said: “Pony has been with me for quite a while, partly because it took me a while to figure out how to tell an epic tale in only 60,000 words, but mostly because it’s a very personal story for me. From the time I was very young, my greatest fear had always been that I’d somehow be left alone. It’s not an uncommon childhood fear, and this novel is about facing that fear, but it’s also about realising that the connections we make in our lifetimes never really end. So, yes, it’s a story of resilience and courage, an adventure story in the most classic of ways, but for me, at its core, it’s about love.”
Wonder has been published in more than 50 languages since its publication in 2012. A film adaptation of White Bird: A Wonder Story (Puffin) will be released by Lionsgate and is expected to be in cinemas in September 2022 with a star-studded cast that includes Helen Mirren and Gillian Anderson.
Through Nielsen BookScan in the UK, Palacio has sold 814,316 print books for £4.65m, with Wonder's 2013 paperback selling 620,632 copies.
Natalie Doherty, Palacio’s UK editor, said: “We’re delighted to be publishing this stunning new novel from R J Palacio, whose debut Wonder was a true phenomenon and a life-changing read. Auggie Pullman, the hero of Wonder, showed readers how to Choose Kind, and now in Pony, Silas Bird teaches us to Choose Courage – even in the most unlikely of places. R J weaves adventure, friendship, and just a hint of magic into an epic and unforgettable story for readers of all ages, which will sit alongside books such as The Book Thief, War Horse and His Dark Materials – a true modern classic.”