Maisie Chan has just won big with Piccadilly Press, an imprint of Bonnier Books. They will be publishing her middle-grade debut, Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths, in June 2021, followed by a second standalone novel the following year.
UK and Commonwealth rights were acquired by Commissioning Editor Georgia Murray. In the UK the book will be illustrated by Anh Cao. US rights have also been snapped up by Erica Finkel at Abrams. Abrams will publish in Spring 2021 as Danny Chung Sums It Up.
Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths is an upbeat read which promises laughter and levity, as well as helping to meet a desperate need for diverse children’s stories. Artistic eleven-year-old Danny loves to draw and can’t stand maths – though, for some reason, everyone insists he’s ‘supposed’ to be good at it. His life is turned upside down when his long-promised surprise turns out to be his little, wrinkly, ex-maths champion grandmother from China. What’s worse, Nai Nai has to share his room, AND she takes the top bunk!
Maisie Chan gushed: “Writing Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths has been a pure joy. Danny is a boy who wants to fit in but also wants to just be himself. I hope the novel speaks to our times, when instead of division, we should be celebrating difference. Its central message is if you give people a chance, then maybe they will surprise you, and perhaps you might even surprise yourself!”
Illustrator Anh Cao added: “I’m really excited to be creating illustrations for a book about the representation of British Asian people in the UK. I think Maisie Chan’s book is wonderful, and I’m looking forward to bringing her vision to life.”
Georgia Murray expressed: “Here at Piccadilly Press we’re actively looking to publish books which represent the world around us. We fell in love with Danny and the British-Chinese community in Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths as soon as we started reading it. This book has all the ingredients of my favourite children’s books – it’s big-hearted, funny, inclusive and empathetic. We’re delighted to welcome Maisie to the list and thrilled to have Anh on board illustrating Danny.”
Maisie Chan is a children’s author from Birmingham. She has written early readers (Hachette) and had short stories published in various books such as Ladybird Tales of Superheroes (Penguin) and Stories From Around the World (Scholastic). In 2018, she started the Bubble Tea Writers to support and encourage new British East Asian writers in the UK.
She enjoys writing cross-cultural tales that often feature generational misunderstandings; this is partly due to her background as a transracial adoptee and her experience caring for her elderly parents. She has a Masters in American Film and Literature and has an interest in race and representation.
She currently lives in Glasgow and is on the Writers Advisory Board for Literature Alliance Scotland.