Finally, the BIG NEWS!

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

DISNEY BOOK GROUP ACQUIRES MULTI BOOK SERIES AT AUCTION FROM BEST SELLING AUTHOR MAUREEN JOHNSON

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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