Walker Books acquires 'wonderful' middle-grade novel about two autistic friends

Walker Books acquires 'wonderful' middle-grade novel about two autistic friends

Walker Books UK and Walker Books US will simultaneously publish Meera Trehan's debut middle-grade novel The View from the Very Best House in Town.

Susan Van Metre at Walker Books US bought world English rights at auction from Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency. Publication is planned for autumn 2021.

The View from the Very Best House in Town is "full of empathy and humour, all about embracing who you are, and what it means to be a friend." The story is told from the perspectives of a pompous house, Donnybrooke, and of two autistic friends, Asha Wood and Sam Moss.

Asha Wood loves Donnybrooke but it is now home to Asha's nemesis, Prestyn Donaldson. Only Asha's best friend, Sam, knows how she feels, but he starts to become a regular guest at Donnybrooke. Asha doesn't want Sam to be taken away by Prestyn, but Sam doesn't want Asha to affect his new-found friendship.

The house, Donnybrooke, knows that it is special but when its princess—Prestyn—manipulates its features to bully Sam, Donnybrooke is shaken to its foundations.

Trehan is Indian-American, like her character Asha, and has an autistic daughter; she lives just outside Washington DC. Meera worked with an autistic sensitivity reader on the book.

Executive editorial director Denise Johnstone-Burt said: "From the very first page, I loved the authenticity of the voice in The View from the Very Best House in Town and the originality of the whole novel. It is a wonderful story told with humour and personality and I was delighted to support Susan in her bid for Walker US in what will make a perfect addition to the Walker fiction list."