UK and US rights have been snapped up following heated auctions for two Second World War-set spy novels from YA débutant Matt Killeen.
Usborne secured UK and Commonwealth rights to Killeen’s Orphan, Monster, Liar, Spy, and its sequel.
The novels feature a fearless 15-year-old Jewish girl who is sent undercover by the British Special Operations Executive to a boarding school attended by Nazi officers’ daughters.
Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency negotiated the deal with Usborne senior editor Sarah Stewart, who called the book’s protagonist “a hero from the past who is perfect for teens right now”, adding: “We couldn’t be prouder to be introducing this jaw-dropping book, and Matt’s formidable talent, to UK readers.”
Killeen, a writer for The LEGO Group, has an MA in Creative Writing for Children from Manchester Metropolitan University.
Ker Hawn sold North American rights to Kendra Levin, executive editor at Viking Children’s Books/ Penguin Random House US, for a mid-six-figures advance. Translation rights were pre-empted in Spain (Roca Editorial) and Poland (Media Rodzina), and bought at auction by Garzanti in Italy.
Negotiations are ongoing in other territories.