Finally, the BIG NEWS!

September 10th, 2009 • Kate

Sparkling_Champagne_HolidaysAs the press release says, “For Immediate Release”:


New York, September 10, 2009—Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group, has acquired a three book series from best selling young adult author Maureen Johnson at a hotly contested auction. The agreement was negotiated by Jennifer Besser, Executive Editor, Disney Book Group, and Kate Schafer Testerman of kt literary.

The series begins with a modern-day thriller about an American high-school student who enrolls at a London boarding school for her junior year. Soon after her arrival, a series of murders begins to take place across the city—on the exact dates and in the exact style of Jack the Ripper. Her ties to the killer bring her in contact with a secret paranormal branch of the British police. The first book in the series will be published in Summer 2011 with a new book following each subsequent summer.

“Maureen has incredible range as a writer,” said Jon Yaged, vice president, US publisher, Disney Book Group. “We’re thrilled to have her join the Disney-Hyperion list—she’s a wonderful addition and a perfect fit.”

Maureen Johnson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and studied writing and theatrical dramaturgy at Columbia University, where she earned her MFA. In addition to writing books, she is also a scriptwriter for the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince videogame. She lives in New York City, and travels to the UK on a regular basis. Her books include The Key to the Golden Firebird, The Bermudez Triangle, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, the Andre Norton-nominated Devilish, Girl at Sea, Suite Scarlett, Let It Snow, and the forthcoming Scarlett Fever. Her works have honored by the New York Public Library, the American Library Association, IndieBound (formerly known as Booksense), and Publishers Weekly’s “Cuffies.”

Since its inception in 1991, Disney Book Group has amassed an array of best selling authors and illustrators, including Rick Riordan and his Percy Jackson series; Kadir Nelson’s We Are the Ship; Gail Carson Levine’s Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand; Sara Pennypacker and Marla Frazee’s Clementine series; Eoin Colfer’s blockbuster Artemis Fowl series; Mo Willems’s Knuffle Bunny Too! and The Pigeon Wants a Puppy; Melissa de la Cruz’s Blue Bloods series; Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson’s Science Fair; Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s American Heroes series; The Runaway Dolls by Ann M. Martin, Laura Godwin, and Brian Selznick; Miles to Go by Miley Cyrus; and Burning Up: On Tour with the Jonas Brothers. Disney Book Group also publishes best selling titles from key Disney franchises, including High School Musical, Disney-Pixar Cars, Disney Fairies, Hannah Montana, and Playhouse Disney properties.

Disney Book Group (DBG) is a unit of Disney Publishing Worldwide, the world’s largest publisher of children’s books and magazines, with over 400 children’s magazines published and 120 million children’s books sold each year. DBG’s vertically integrated imprints include Disney Editions, Disney-Hyperion, Disney-Jump at the Sun, and Disney Press. Headquartered in White Plains, New York, and Milan, Italy, Disney Publishing Worldwide publishes books and magazines in 85 languages in 75 countries, reaching more than 100 million readers each month.

Needless to say, Maureen and I are THRILLED. British rights to this new series, as yet untitled, have also been pre-empted by Harper UK.

Between this, and the sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelopes, also due in Summer 2011, we’re looking forward to a great couple of years!

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28 Responses to “Finally, the BIG NEWS!”

  1. JJ Says:

    Wow a thriller series from Maureen! I'm excited!

  2. Rebecca Says:


  3. Brillig Says:

    Huh-UUHHHH! That's fantastic! Congrats to you both!

  4. Rachel Bateman Says:

    Wow. I am so excited for Maureen and SO excited to read those books!

  5. Kirsten Hubbard Says:

    That is absolutely brilliant.

    (said wirh a British accent)

  6. Stephanie Perkins Says:

    WOW, that sounds excellent. I can't wait to read! Congratulations, Kate & Maureen!! WOO HOO!

  7. Brittany Landgrebe Says:

    Wow congratulations Maureen & Daphne! That it was such a hot auction proves that its gonna be one heck of an awesome series, and I can't wait to be able to read them. A thriller series from Maureen is gonna be awesome, looking forward to more news. Way to go!

    BTW, Maureen you are one busy writer! Don't explode.


  8. Sara Says:

    Exciting news indeed! Can't wait!

  9. Kelly Says:

    Congrats to you both! Loving the sound of this series.

  10. Frankie Says:

    That is seriously fantastic news and I'm already excited to read it!!!

  11. Rebecca (Fie Eoin) Says:

    Wow, that is great! Congrats to you both!

  12. Suzanne Casamento Says:

    Congratulations to both you and Maureen! All this great news lately – kt literary is on fire!

  13. beth Says:

    Oh, yay! I am so thrilled.

    (although, I must admit, also a teeny bit disappointed. I was secretly hoping there was a movie deal in MJ's future, specifically for 13LBE or DEVILISH….)

    BUT: YAY!!!! Fireworks galore!

  14. Casey McCormick Says:

    WOW! A murder thriller? Craziness. Maureen in so talented. I had a feeling it was a book deal, but a movie deal would have been really exciting, too. Work on that for us, k? ; )

    Congrats Maureen!!

  15. Julia Says:

    OMDSL! Wowzer! Congratulations, Maureen & Kate! WooHoo! This is awesome news!

  16. Sara Raasch Says:

    Dude!! Congrats all around — this is amazing!

  17. Kathleen MacIver Says:

    Waahooooo!!!! Congratulations!

  18. dust Says:

    “Maureen has incredible range as a writer,” said Jon Yaged, vice president, US publisher, Disney Book Group. “We’re thrilled to have her join the Disney-Hyperion list—she’s a wonderful addition and a perfect fit.”

    I wonder if Maureen ever knew she would grow up to write YA Jack-the-Ripper murder mysteries for Disney…


  19. Sara Says:

    Wow — so much great news about so many great ktlit authors lately! Hearty congrats to all! (My TBR list keeps growing…)

  20. Amy Lynn Sonnichsen Says:

    Incredible. Congratulations to you both!!

  21. Kim Kasch Says:

    Love Jack the Ripper stories – CONGRATS!

    Scary. . .

  22. RKCharron Says:

    Hi 🙂

    Congratulations Daphne & Maureen!

    A three-book deal with Disney Hyperion and the British rights sold already to Harper UK.

    Plus the sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelopes!

    Thank you from Maureen's fans: More terrific books to lovingly devour!

    It's great to see writing genius rewarded.

    All the best,



  23. Carrie Harris Says:

    WOO HOO! Congratulations!!!!!

  24. Christina Says:

    Wow! This is huge! Congrats to both of you!

  25. #139: the keys to the golden firebird « blurry like bigfoot Says:

    […] #139: the keys to the golden firebird | Sep 11th 2009 and with this, i’ve read every maureen johnson novel. (except, of course, for the new series that was just announced yesterday!) […]

  26. Misrule Says:

    I'm sorry, but I find it difficult to be all that thrilled at the idea of a "modern-day thriller" for teens recreating the vicious, misogynistic murder of (at a minimum) 5 women. The murders in the book are to be in the "exact style" of the Ripper murders? Do you know how these women died? These murders were brutal and sickening in the extreme: hacked throats and evisceration is not the stuff of light entertainment to "lovingly devour". I'm not one for censorship, but the whole idea of this makes my skin crawl.

  27. Kiki Hamilton Says:

    Congratulations to both you and Maureen! Fantastic news!

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