UCLan Publishing will publish a middle-grade standalone fiction title from Anne Cassidy in spring 2022.
The Drowing Day will be Cassidy’s first book for a middle-grade audience and is billed as a story about the importance of the powerful human connections we make with each other and the extraordinary strength we find when those connections are threatened.
The synopsis explains: "Set in year 2052 and against the backdrop of a fragile land dotted with abandoned past-world buildings and where the waters are rising fast, Jade and her fellow Wetlanders are given permission to travel north to seek refuge from the flood but she cannot leave her dying grandfather. After making a promise to him on his deathbed, she leaves the village with her only friend, Bates, in search of her sister and a better life. However, on her journey she faces many challenges and when Jade is robbed one night by a group of Ferals, her chances of a better future are all but lost. She finds help in the unlikeliest of places and must learn to trust those she fears, as well as trust herself. The waters are rising and time is running out."
Hazel Holmes, publisher, signed the deal for UK and Commonwealth rights with Sophie Hicks of the Sophie Hicks Agency.
Holmes said: "We’re absolutely delighted to be adding Anne Cassidy’s stunning debut into middle grade to our ever-growing list. With echoes of 'Mad Max', Anne has written a richly layered adventure story set in an alternative future and from the very first sentence, keeps you hooked and thinking long after you have finished reading the book."
Cassidy added: "It's been a challenge and pleasure to write a story for younger readers. For me, The Drowning Day is all about a group of kids trying to do the right thing in a broken world."
Cassidy's first novel was published in 1991 and she has since published over 40 YA novels. Her 2004 novel, Looking for JJ (Harcourt Children's Books) was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. Her latest book, No Shame, was published by Hot Key Books in 2017.