Walker Books will in 2017 publish The City of Secret Rivers, the first book in a London-set children’s adventure trilogy by US writer Jacob Sager Weinstein.
The City of Secret Rivers is about Hyacinth Hayward who, recently arrived in London from America, accidentally unleashes the power of a secret river running through the city. To stop a second Great Fire, she must find a magically charged drop of water from the sewer system.
Weinstein said he came up with the idea whilst walking along the Thames Embankment. “I started thinking about the fact that it was built as part of a sewage project and then began researching the real-life story of the visionaries who built London’s underground sewer system, which soon led me to London’s secret underground rivers. I discovered that London’s history is so magical that it only takes the slightest of tweaks to make it into a fantasy story.”
Fiction publisher Gill Evans and commissioning editor Emma Lidbury negotiated a three-book deal for English and Commonwealth rights from Alex Webb at the Rights People.
Evans said: “It is really exciting to find such inventive energy and wit in writing for a younger audience. His considerable writing talent, combined with Jacob’s delight and passion for London’s secret underground places and forgotten rivers, makes the world of these books a wonderful place for imaginations to roam.”
The City of Secret Rivers wil be published in hardback in early 2017 with books two and three to follow in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Weinstein is the author of four non-fiction books for adults, published by Andrews McMeel, most recently a parody of pregnancy and parenting manuals called How Not To Kill Your Baby. He has also written episodes of US children’s TV show “Shelldon”.