Hodder signs children’s series by Grisham
25.02.10 | Catherine Neilan
Hodder & Stoughton has acquired two children’s novels from John Grisham, introducing what will be his first series character, Theodore Boone.
This will be the first time Grisham has been published by Hodder; Random House company Cornerstone is the long-term publisher of his adult novels.
Hodder bought rights to UK and Commonwealth territories, excluding Canada, for two novels, the first of which will be published on 10th June this year. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, was negotiated via agent David Gernet.
The novels follow Boone, a 13-year-old boy “who knows more about the law than most lawyers do”, as he becomes “unwillingly” caught up in a local murder trial. Although H&S said it would appeal to 9-12 year-olds, the books are aimed at “all the family”.
The publisher described the forthcoming launch as “a major international event in the media, in bookshops and in online communities”. The second book in the series will follow in 2011.
Oliver Johnson, who had been Grisham’s longtime editor at Century before joining Hodder as associate publisher a few months ago, described the series as a “terrific new project”.
He said: “Theodore Boone is vintage Grisham: great legal drama, a loveable hero who brought a smile to my face and a really satisfying ending, all delivered at breakneck, page-turning speed. It’s going to appeal to young and old alike.”
Tim Hely Hutchinson, chief executive of Hachette UK, said: “It is thrilling to see John Grisham at the beginning of a new venture and Theo is a delightful example of his range and capabilities. We have exciting plans to introduce Theodore Boone to the widest possible audience.”
A spokesperson for Cornerstone said: “Theodore Boone is a wonderful character and this book will appeal to children throughout the world. We wish Hodder in the UK and its US publisher every success with this exciting new project.
“We remain honoured to be the publisher for John Grisham’s adult books and indeed very much look forward to publishing his brilliant new thriller this autumn.”