Saturday, October 12, 2013

E Nesbit sequel for Faber as it grows kids list

11.10.13 | Joshua Farrington - The Bookseller

Faber has signed new books from Kate Saunders and Jeff Norton as it grows its children’s list.
Kate Saunders’ Five Children on the Western Front will be a sequel to E Nesbit’s classic Five Children and It. The book, aimed at children aged nine and up, is set in 1914, with the children now older and ready to take part in the First World War. When the younger siblings meet the magical Psammead, even his magic cannot change history. Alice Swann, commissioning editor of children’s books, signed world rights to the book and two others from Caradoc King at A P Watt, and plans to release in hardback in October 2014.

Faber Children’s publisher Leah Thaxton (pictured) has also signed world rights in Jeff Norton’s Adam Meltzer: Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie from Zoe King at The Blair Partnership in a “major” deal. The book, aimed at children 10 and over, is about a typical pre-teen with all the usual problems—as well as being a zombie. It will be released in October 2014.

Meanwhile Faber Children's lead non-fiction title for 2014 will be David Long’s Rip the Rescue Dog . . . And Other Extraordinary Stories of Animals in Wartime. Thaxton secured world rights for the book, a history of “animals’ bravery, loyalty, and even humour in times of war”, from Penny Holroyde at Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency. The book stems from Long’s research into his adult book The Animals’ VC (Preface, 2012), about animals that have won the prestigious Dickin Medal for bravery.
Thaxton said: “Faber has a great brand and great recognition, but I don’t think enough was being made of the children’s list. We were doing about 30 titles a year, which we have managed to bring up to around 50, which is a good sustainable number. We have also grown the team, with three new people joining in the past year [Alice Swann, designer Emma Eldridge and publicist Hannah Love] and several part-time roles made permanent.”

She added: “We’re focusing on different things. We want to produce really strong YA, but we also want to have children’s non-fiction too, really targeted on things kids love. Next year we’re also releasing our first picture book list—Faber has done a couple on an ad-hoc basis before, but this will be the first dedicated list.”
Thaxton, who sits on the board of Faber, which has just posted record results, said: “It has been great having the backing of the company to produce all this, and Stephen [Page, Faber c.e.o.] has been really supportive. We just want to consolidate what we’ve achieved so far and create a high quality, commercial list.”

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