Usborne has acquired two middle-grade titles by Clare Povey, editorial and communities manager of the Writers' & Artists' website. Fiction director Rebecca Hill snapped up world rights in all languages for Povey's middle-grade debut, two titles in the Paris-set Unexpected Tale of Bastien Bonlivres series, from Kirsty McLachlan at David Godwin Associates.
Povey, who grew up in a working-class family, was inspired by the stories in her local Redbridge & Dagenham Library as a child. “I especially adored reading Madeline’s Parisian escapades. It seemed like the perfect city for all sorts of unexpected adventures and a far cry from where I lived," she said. She also fell in love with France after reading Usborne's First Thousand Words in French. “The magic of speaking in another language propelled me to be the first in my family to study at university, to live and work in France, and ultimately to write The Unexpected Tale of Bastien Bonlivres.”
The titular Bastien Bonlivres, who lives in the Orphanage for Grotesque Garcons in Paris, writes about his night-time adventures in the city with his best friend Theo in his secret notebook. But when it's stolen, he must go on an adventure into the heart of the capital to re-write his own story.
Usborne fiction rights controller Lauren Robertson commented on recent global rights successes for the publisher, such as Peter Bunzl's Cogheart and Helena Duggan's A Place Called Perfect: “Our customers already know that Usborne prides itself on its classic adventure stories, full of lovable heroes and memorable villains, that are global in their appeal. The Unexpected Tale of Bastien Bonlivres is all of that and more, and we’re confident that Clare’s quirky adventure story will join the ranks of our worldwide bestsellers.”