As Bologna Book Fair gets underway, we’re thrilled that US rights to Kereen Getten’s Middle Grade Debut, The Last Girl on Sycamore Hill, have been snapped up by Delacorte (Penguin Random House) in a major six-figure pre-empt.

And not long after, UK & Commonwealth rights  were sold to Pushkin Press following a four-way auction.

The novel is about 12-year-old Clara, who can’t remember anything about the previous summer and whose life changes forever when a new girl arrives on the island. It will be published as Storm Girl in the US and The Last Girl on Sycamore Hill in the UK in early 2021

Described by The Bookseller as ‘one of the hottest books at the Bologna Book Fair‘, the novel has previously received plaudits at the 2017 Faber FAB prize, where it was highly commended. It is a leading example of the rise in stories by authors from backgrounds underrepresented in publishing until now.

There are things Sycamore Hill wants to forget…

The witch doctor incident, and what happened last summer.

Twelve-year-old Clara lives on an island that visitors call exotic. But for Clara, there is nothing exotic about her life. Her best friend no longer wants to be her friend, and she cannot remember anything that happened last summer.

But things are looking up.

A new girl with pink hair is coming to Sycamore Hill, and she is about to change Clara’s life forever…

Sarah Odedina at Pushkin Press said: “Kereen’s novel is the début of an exciting new talent in Middle Grade fiction. She has written a delightful, heartwarming novel and created a kind and loving Caribbean community that is not without tensions and secrets, as we find out what happened last summer.”

Kereen is a Birmingham based author who has previously written short stories. She draws on her experiences of living in Jamaica and of emigrating to a new country for her novels.