Pushkin Children's wins four-publisher auction for Johnson debut

Pushkin Children's wins four-publisher auction for Johnson debut

Pushkin Children’s Books has triumphed in a four-publisher auction for two novels in a series from debut author Daisy May Johnson (pictured).

Editor-at-large Sarah Odedina acquired UK and commonwealth rights from Bryony Woods of Diamond Kahn & Woods Literary Agency. The first book, How to be Brave, will be published in autumn 2021 with the second published in 2022.

Odedina explained: “How to be Brave is the perfect adventure for young readers: a lost parent, a group of friends who pull together no matter what, a mystery around a duck and a trip to the Amazon, what more could we want!  With Daisy’s wonderful imagination, her sheer joy in the world she has created and her brilliant handling of jeopardy and adventure, this is a book that will delight and engage a multitude of young readers.  Pushkin is thrilled to have a two-book deal.’

Johnson is a researcher, critic and writer who specialises in children's literature. She co-hosts “Novel Gazing”, a fortnightly podcast about literary fiction, for Book Riot and writes the firm's weekly newsletter about the new releases in the children's literary world. She also teaches for the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education and the University of York Centre for Lifelong Learning.

She said: "I am so very thrilled to be working with Pushkin on bringing How to be Brave into the world. This is a book about the redemptive power of a well-timed biscuit, the mysteries of ducks, and friendships formed under the most trying of circumstances. I can't imagine a better publisher for it."

Woods added: “Daisy May Johnson is an astonishing new talent, whose writing is bursting with heart, joy, quirkiness and an extraordinary number of jokes about ducks. I’m absolutely delighted that after a passionately fought auction, her debut How to be Brave has found the perfect home with Sarah at Pushkin.”