Simon and Schuster Children’s Books has acquired a new title from Amy Alward, author and editorial director at Puffin.
The Potion Diaries is about a girl called Samantha Kemi who dreams of going to university to study potions. She has absolutely no magical talent but her instinct for putting together a potion is second to none. When the city’s princess is accidentally poisoned Samantha sets off on an adventure to find all the ingredients.
Elv Moody, fiction editorial director, and Jane Griffiths, commissioning editor at S&S Children’s UK, acquired the world English rights from Juliet Mushens at The Agency Group in a six figure pre-emptive deal.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve seen anything that feels as fresh as this,” said Moody. “With pulse-pounding thrills, a contest to save a princess (who is much more Kate Middleton than Rapunzel) takes place in a whirlwind of paparazzi and social media – with just a touch of perfect romantic chemistry.”
The book, described as "a clean teen title for readers aged 11 plus", will be published in paperback in summer 2015.
Also in The Bookseller, James Dawson speaking about diversity:
YA author James Dawson has called for “diversity monitoring” from children’s publishers.
The author proposed the idea as he delivered the annual Patrick Hardy lecture to the Children’s Book Circle in London last night (17th September). In the speech, Dawson said children’s and YA books should feature characters of different gender, sexualities, faiths, abilities, ethnicities, cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds.
“Children’s books are actually quite diverse but it’s hard to know for sure either way,” he explained to The Bookseller. “It would be a big job to monitor for diversity but it would come down to publishers. It they kept track of diversity they would have actual statistics. They would keep on top of good practice as well.” He added: “There’s always the risk of ticking a box then moving along. We want to track the industry to check that we don’t get a situation where, for example, suddenly it’s been 10 years since they last published a title with a gay character.”