Macmillan Children’s Books has commissioned a sequel to Eva Ibbotson’s classic, The Secret of Platform 13, now celebrating its 25th year in print, from Sibéal Pounder, bestselling author of Witch Wars and Bad Mermaids. Fully endorsed by Eva Ibbotson’s family, this exciting new standalone adventure is inspired by Eva’s original story, and features many of her richly-imagined magical locations, and beloved characters.
The deal, which is for World Rights, was done by Lucy Pearse, Senior Editor, 6+ Macmillan Children's Books with Gemma Cooper at The Bent Agency on behalf of Sibéal Pounder and Stephanie Thwaites at Curtis Brown on behalf of the Eva Ibbotson Estate.
Beyond Platform 13 will be published in paperback, audio and ebook on 3rd October 2019, with illustrations by Beatriz Castro (Nevermoor). A 25th anniversary edition of The Secret of Platform 13, also illustrated by Beatriz Castro, will be published at the same time.
Venetia Gosling, Publisher 6+, Macmillan Children’s Books, says, “We are thrilled to have Sibéal joining the MCB list for this very special sequel to one of Eva’s most loved novels and are delighted to be bringing the world of The Secret of Platform 13 to a whole new generation of readers.”
Sibéal Pounder comments, “I grew up reading Eva's wonderful work and I particularly adored Odge the hag, so to be asked to revisit the world of Platform 13 has been both surreal and truly magical. She was an incredibly special writer and woman who filled her work with innovative humour and heart. I hope I can in some small way do her and her characters proud.”
Justin Ibbotson, on behalf of Eva’s family, comments, “It seems incredible to Eva’s family that The Secret of Platform 13 can really be 25 years old, and there are still so many new readers both young and old enjoying her wit, humour and vivid imagination. We are delighted that Sibéal Pounder, who was inspired by the books as a child, has written such a wonderful tribute to Eva in the form of a sequel in Beyond Platform 13. We look forward seeing a new generation of fans enjoying Sibéal’s inspirational imagining of what happened next to Odge Gribble, Ben and the other characters in Eva’s much loved book.”
The launch of Beyond Platform 13 will be supported by a full marketing and PR campaign including train advertising, sampling at stations, press coverage and events.
This new book is part of a larger programme of Eva Ibbotson publishing and new writing launching at Macmillan in the lead up to the centenary of her birth in 2025, reinforcing her position as one of our leading classic authors. July 2019 will see the release of a trio of her adult novels which are perfectly pitched for summer reading: The Morning Gift, The Secret Countess and A Song for Summer, beginning a striking new jacket approach for all of Eva’s older novels, with new introductions from long-time fans. Plans are also in place to celebrate 20 years of Eva’s bestselling, prize-winning and well-loved novel, Journey to the River Sea in 2021, with more details to be announced at a later date.