Scholastic has acquired a "huge-hearted" middle grade story of bravery and hope as its lead title for Frankfurt Book Fair.
Lauren Fortune, editorial director at Scholastic UK, struck a two book deal, at auction, for world rights in all languages to Lightning Chase Me Home by Amber Lee Dodd and publish as a paperback original in January 2019, with a second book following a year later. The deal was done with with Hellie Ogden of Janklow and Nesbit UK.
In Lightning Chase Me Home, Amelia Hester McLeod is named after two of her mum's favourite fearless explorers: Amelia Earhart and Lady Hester Stanhope. But Amelia doesn't always feel very brave. Living on the tiny Scottish island of Dark Muir, her mum has left and she's about to start at a new school where her dyslexia will make her a target for bullies. When she makes a wish on her birthday to be reunited with her mum, Amelia finds herself disappearing and reappearing elsewhere on the island, where she finds clues about her parents' past. Can she harness this strange magic to find her mum, wherever she is?
Lee Dodd said: “Lightning Chase Me Home came from a love of stories of inspirational female explorers, unlikely heroes and Scottish myths. Scholastic is the perfect fit to bring it to life. The talented team there had the immediate passion and vision for my book, and I couldn't be more excited about working with them in the future.”
Fortune added: “Lightning Chase Me Home captivated me from the very first page: ‘Early on the morning of my eleventh birthday I was standing in the harbour wearing mismatched shoes and holding a lobster. This is not how birthdays should start.’ This is an uplifting and unforgettable story. Narrator Amelia faces her fears in such a relatable way, and Amber’s exploration of dealing with dyslexia and an absent parent is beautifully, sensitively handled. We’re enormously proud to be publishing this special book and bringing such a wonderful writer as Amber to Scholastic.”