Simon & Schuster has acquired four novels from Jenny Valentine, across the middle-grade and young adult fiction genres.
S&S Children's managing director Rachel Denwood acquired world rights in all languages for A Girl Called Joy and three further books from Veronique Baxter at David Higham Associates.
Denwood said: "There’s an exciting opportunity to grow a major new author in the contemporary realistic middle-grade market and I’m thrilled that Jenny Valentine is bringing her storytelling talents to this readership. Creative, inquisitive, open-hearted Joy Applebloom is a girl who would be as happy climbing trees with Pippi Longstocking as she would be debating life’s big stuff with Anne Shirley – she is unforgettable, and a wonderfully empowering new character for readers to fall in love with. S&S looks forward to working with Jenny on many successful future books across middle grade and YA."
Launching in paperback in spring 2021, A Girl Called Joy is the first in the series about 10-year-old Joy Applebloom. The synopsis suggests the series will "explore many of the real-life concerns that the target readership cares deeply about from the environment to social issues and inequality."
Valentine has sold 213,308 books for £573,848, with her biggest sellerTen Stations/Mates Dates (HarperCollins), co-authored with Cathy Hopkins sold 128,011 copies. Her best solo seller, Broken Soup (HarperCollins) has sold 29,759 copies through Nielsen BookScan UK TCM.
Valentine said: "I am so happy to be working with Rachel Denwood again at S&S. Joy has leapt onto the page, full of laughter and packed with fresh ideas and resilience. I can’t wait to see where she goes."