PRH Children’s buys Soviet spy novel in translation

PRH Children’s buys Soviet spy novel in translation

PRH Children’s has acquired one of the winning titles from last year’s In Other Words programme, organised by BookTrust to promote children’s literature from outside the UK.

The Raven’s Children is a historical, magical realism novel by Yulia Yakovleva, set in 1938 in the Soviet Union, about two children whose parents and brother suddenly disappear and are rumoured to be spies.

Publisher Ruth Knowles and editorial director Natalie Doherty acquired world English rights from Samokat Publishing House in Russia and will publish in July. The English language translator is Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp.

Knowles said: “It has been many years now since we acquired some new writing in translation for young people for the Penguin Random House list, and so we were delighted to discover this story through the fantastic In Other Words programme… Yulia’s story of a young boy’s journey to reunite his family, torn apart by Stalin’s Russia, is a powerful, exciting and fascinating read, and Ruth’s translation has brought it beautifully to life for English-speaking readers of nine and upwards.”

The Raven’s Children was one of the four “honour” titles chosen as part of 2017’s In Other Word’s programme, which was was funded by Arts Council England. The chosen titles, judged by industry figures such as Waterstones’ children’s buyer Florentyna Martin, were supported by a bursary of £1,500 each to help them get a UK publishing deal.

The other honour titles were: Sputterfly by Simon van der Geest, translated from Dutch by Laura Watkinson; A Good Day for Climbing a Tree by Jaco Jacobs, translated from Afrikaans by Kobus Geldenhuys; and Elise and the Second-hand Dog by Bjarne Reuter, translated from Danish by Sian Mackie.

BookTrust will announce its 2018 In Other Word’s honour titles Honour Titles at the London Book Fair on 11th April.