The Bookseller – News – Usborne bewitched by Isi Hendrix’s debut fantasy trilogy

Usborne has seized the Children Come and Go trilogy, a middle-grade fantasy series by debut American-Nigerian author Isi Hendrix, after triumphing in a heated auction.

Fiction director Rebecca Hill acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, in a three-book deal with Claire Wilson at RCW on behalf of Peter Knapp at Park & ​​Fine Literary & Media.

The series will be supported by a “major” marketing and PR campaign, with the first title publishing in hardback in autumn 2023 as Usborne’s lead middle-grade fantasy debut, simultaneously with Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins in the US.

The trilogy was inspired by the author’s work with shamanic tribes in the Amazon and Gabonese rainforests, as well as Nigerian customs, superstitions and stigmas.

“Life in the Swamplands is tough for 12-year-old orphan Adia,” the synopsis reads. “Her aunt and uncle believe she is an ogbanje, a demon-possessed child thought to bring misfortune. And when Adia manifests mysterious powers, accidentally destroying her village, she starts to think they might be right. Adia flees the village with nothing but a small pouch of change, her cat Bubbles, and the promise of a kitchen apprenticeship at the faraway Academy of Shamans – where she hopes someone will be able to figure out what is wrong with her and fix it. across a bunch of squabbling deities with a secret.

“Joining forces with a snarky Goddess, a 500-year-old warrior girl and a status-obsessed soldier boy, Adia goes on a mission through hidden realms to save her kingdom. But if she is to succeed, she must learn to wield her mysterious powers and figure out who she really is. Whatever choices Adia makes, the fate of the world hangs in the balance.”

“The Children Who Come and Go trilogy is that special, breathtaking fantasy adventure that grips you from the very first page and doesn’t let go,” Hill said. “Isi’s richly-imagined world bursts with magic, demons, a snarky goddess, battles, humor and courageous characters that young readers everywhere are going to fall in love with. There was such a rush of excitement at Usborne when this came in and I knew I’d do anything to work on this exceptional series and welcome Isi to the Usborne list.”

Hendrix is ​​a Pitch Wars 2020 mentee with degrees in anthropology and psychology. She has spent many years living in the Amazon and Gabonese rainforests, working with shamanic tribes.

“From my first meeting with Rebecca and the team at Usborne, I knew that they understood what I wanted to say with this book and why it was such an important story for me to tell,” she said. “Plus, Usborne publishes so many of my favorite books, so it’s a dream come true to partner with them for my debut. I hope this series will speak to everyone, but especially to children growing up in cultures where it’s dangerous to be or say anything viewed as different. I’m so thrilled that the Children Who Come and Go trilogy will be coming to the UK!”

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