Simon & Schuster Children’s Books is to publish a range of historical stories by author Emma Carroll, in collaboration with selected illustrators.
A Night in the Frost Fair, illustrated in full colour by Sam Usher, kicks off the series, which will see Carroll produce a book a year for the publisher.
Adapted from a tale in S&S’ original short story collection Winter Magic, A Night at the Frost Fair is the tale of Maya, a modern-day girl who finds herself transported to the frost fairs of Thameside Georgian London. It will be published in November 2021.
In addition, Ali Dougal, publishing director, secured two further historical tales from Carroll via agent Jodie Hodges at United Agents, winning world rights in a competitive auction. The first book in the new deal will be The Little Match Girl Strikes Back, launching in October 2022. The story follows Bridie Donovan, a Victorian match girl, who — with a little magic — helps the real Annie Besant to lead a protest of factory workers in their demands for better pay and conditions. The illustrator is yet to be announced.
Carroll is the author of a number of middle-grade novels, including Secrets of a Sun King and Letters from the Lighthouse, both of which were selected as Waterstones Books of the Month.
She commented: "I've been so impressed with S&S' stunning vision for Frost Fair, and can't wait to work with them on more highly-illustrated magical stories. This is a new, exciting departure for me, so it's brilliant to be in the very capable hands of such a dynamic team."
Dougal added: "Emma Carroll’s clever approach to historical fiction sparkles with magic, leaving the reader with a strong message – The Little Match Girl Strikes Back is no exception, with its touch of magic, fabulous heroine, and rallying cry for equality. We are delighted to launch this range of gorgeously illustrated, giftable stories, starting with A Night at the Frost Fair this Christmas, and look forward to these future classics being enjoyed by families for years to come."
Managing director Rachel Denwood commented: "At Simon & Schuster Children’s Books we rally behind the UK’s finest children’s writers and illustrators to create exciting publishing and delight readers. Emma Carroll’s writing is utterly enchanting and her accessible storytelling reignited the historical fiction genre in a really exciting way. We’re thrilled to be developing this stunning new line of books with Emma, and the UK’s finest illustration talent over the coming years."
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