Puffin has acquired debut middle-grade series, The Accidental Diary of B.U.G, from author-illustrator talent Jen Carney in a "heated" six-figure auction.
Emma Jones, commissioning editor at Puffin, did the deal for world English rights for three books through Chloe Seager at Madeleine Milburn. Puffin will publish The Accidental Diary of B.U.G in April 2021, the second book The Accidental Diary of B.U.G: Basically Famous in August 2021 and book three (currently untitled) in 2022.
The Accidental Diary of B.U.G introduces readers to "the hilarious world of Billie Upton Green and her whip-smart, laugh-out-loud observations on life in her doodled-up diary". Billed as perfect for fans of Tom Gates and Wimpy Kid, according to Puffin the series sets out to celebrate diverse families as an inclusive and accessible series for young readers. Carney originally wrote the story for her own son who, adopted by two mums like Billie, had never seen his family unit represented in this kind of funny fiction.
The synopsis reads: "This Accidental Diary belongs to Billie Upton Green, who has only one rule: never call her by her initials—who wants to be nicknamed BUG? When a new girl arrives at Billie’s school, she decides to make friends, teach the new girl the Biscuit Laws, and show her that two women can get married—after all, Billie’s mums’ wedding is the event of the year. But despite her best intentions nothing quite goes to plan, and Billie ends up at the centre of a very embarrassing case of mistaken identity…"
Jones said: "Billie’s diary may be accidental, but from the very first page it’s absolutely unforgettable. Billie is sparky, relatable and just the right amount of rude – I can’t wait to introduce her to readers who I know are going to fall for her just as our whole team did. It was no surprise to us that the creator of this irresistible book was just as wonderful as her writing and illustrations: Jen is a rare talent and I am delighted to be working with her to bring this brilliant world to life."
Carney said: "I am over the moon that my books have found such an amazing home with Puffin—a team of diverse professionals whose enthusiasm bowled me over from the get-go. I’m so excited for children to dive into Billie’s life, I might wee."
Seager said: "I knew from the first page that B.U.G was a truly special book full of warmth, inclusivity and belly laughs, and that Jen was a shining star."