Puffin will publish a science book combining information from Stephen Hawking and daughter Lucy’s fiction series George’s Secret Key to the Universe, together with new content for 2020.
Publisher Ruth Knowles and editor Emma Jones acquired world rights from Rebecca Carter at Janklow & Nesbit. Unlocking the Universe will be published in January 2020 and is billed by Puffin as “the ultimate children’s guide to space, time and everything in between”.
“From the creation of the universe and life on Mars to robots, aliens, time travel and climate change, this illustrated compendium is a must-have for budding scientists,” the publisher said. “Lucy and Stephen Hawking’s fiction series George’s Secret Key to the Universe was a global hit, and for the first time the fascinating real-life facts and insights from these books have been collected into one incredible volume – alongside brilliant brand new content for 2020 from key scientists from all over the world.”
The original fiction series has been translated into 40 languages since being published by Puffin and includes: George’s Secret Key to the Universe (2007) which sold 49,804 copies through Nielsen, George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt (2009), George and the Big Bang (2011), George and the Unbreakable Code (2014) and George and the Blue Moon (2016).
Lucy Hawking said: “I am delighted to bring together into one book the science content which spans across the six volume series of the George books and gives us such accessible and profound insights into the universe in which we live. As Annie and George explored the universe, they unlocked it for their readers - and it is a great pleasure to me that we can now put all the fabulous content, from our diverse and worldwide scientists, into this book.”
Knowles said: “Lucy Hawking, through her writing and activism, is the perfect person to curate this fascinating guide to the universe and communicate the importance of science to children all over the world. At the heart of Stephen Hawking’s work was his passion for encouraging young people to constantly ask: why? In today’s world, it has never been more important to give children the power of curiosity, and that is absolutely what Unlocking the Universe intends to do."
Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking was the author of the international bestseller A Brief History of Time (published by Bantam in 1988). The famed cosmologist died in March 2018.
His daughter Lucy works with scientists to communicate complex concepts of science through storytelling for young readers.