Simon & Schuster Children’s Books has pre-empted four books from journalist and television presenter Nick Sheridan.
Amina Youssef, commissioning editor, acquired world English rights in one non-fiction title and world rights in three fiction titles from Lydia Silver at The Darley Anderson Children’s Book Agency.
S&S will launch with Sheridan’s non-fiction debut, Breaking News: How to Tell What's Real from Rubbish, in August 2021. Breaking News is a funny, friendly, highly illustrated handbook to help children aged eight to 12 navigate a subject that affects them all: the complicated and ever-evolving media landscape. David O’Connell has been signed to illustrate, in a deal with Jodie Hodges at United Agents.
Sheridan’s fiction debut, a "hilarious new contemporary series" for readers aged seven-plus, is about enterprising friends using their powers of detection, and will follow in 2022, with two books publishing across that year and the third in 2023.
Youssef said: "When Breaking News landed in my inbox on the first day of the new year, I immediately knew I was on to a winner. Nick’s ability to effortlessly explain complex concepts surrounding the world of modern-day news, in an accessible and genuinely laugh-out-loud style, is astonishing. We quickly realised that an author of Nick’s calibre would be the perfect fit for funny, illustrated fiction, so we are delighted to be taking a two-pronged approach to Nick’s publishing. We can’t wait for non-fiction and fiction readers alike to pick up one of Nick’s books and laugh their socks off!"
Sheridan spent two years reporting and presenting RTE's "News2day", the young person’s news programme for Ireland’s national broadcaster, before moving to the main newsroom, where he worked on the foreign affairs desk. He currently works for BBC News in Scotland, where he is the consumer affairs correspondent and presents the news review show, "Seven Days". He is also a regular presenter of "Drivetime" of BBC Radio Scotland.
Commenting on the books, he added: "Breaking News is the book I wish I had growing up. It’s a one-stop-shop for children trying to make sense of the world around them. Now more than ever, young people are being bombarded with information from every direction. Breaking News will help them to recognise the fakes, understand the complicated issues and maybe even inspire them to become rookie reporters themselves. And hopefully they will have a few laughs along the way! I’m beyond thrilled to begin this journey with Amina and the team at S&S."