Walker pre-empts 'irresistible' middle-grade series in six-figure deal

Walker pre-empts 'irresistible' middle-grade series in six-figure deal

Walker Books has acquired Justyn Edwards’ debut middle-grade series in a three-book, six-figure deal.

Executive editorial director Denise Johnstone-Burt acquired world rights in all languages from Kirsty McLachlan. This marks the first acquisition from McLachlan’s newly created agency Morgan Green Creatives.

The first title, The Great Fox Hunt, will follow young heroine Flick Lions. The synopsis reads: "Flick has won a place on The Great Fox Hunt, where competitors race to solve the puzzles and win the legacy of the late, famous magician, the Great Fox. She may only have one leg but she has plenty of tricks of her own up her sleeve and she’s not interested in winning the Fox’s tired old props. She’s after something much more important. Because the Great Fox destroyed her family, Flick knows that at the end of the hunt there is something that will change the world of magic forever..."

Johnstone-Burt said: "It was deeply refreshing to meet a fun middle-grade heroine who is empowered by her intellect, technical skills and curiosity, and one who travels an emotional journey to come to see her difference to others as the source of her power and strength. The story arc of the contest, with ‘tests’ set by a mystery magician, is irresistible and we all quickly become willing participants in Justyn’s magic show. I expect young readers will queue hungrily for each instalment in the series."

Edwards commented: "I’m extremely grateful to Kirsty for her help, support and belief in me, and I’m very excited to be given the opportunity to work with Walker Books, home of so many authors that I’ve admired. The support and positivity is overwhelming—I’m still in a state of disbelief! I can’t wait to work with them on the rest of the series!"