Nosy Crow is delighted to announce the acquisition of two middle-grade standalone novels by Catherine Bruton. The first of these, No Ballet Shoes in Syria, will be published in the UK in June 2019.
Tom Bonnick bought world rights from Caroline Montgomery at Rupert Crew.
No Ballet Shoes in Syria tells the story of ten-year-old Aya, who has arrived in Britain with her mother and baby brother as refugees from Syria. When Aya stumbles across a local ballet class, the formidable dance teacher, Miss Helena, spots Aya’s exceptional natural talent and believes that she has the potential to earn a scholarship at the prestigious Royal Northern Ballet School. But at the same time, Aya and her family must fight to be allowed to remain in the country, to make a new home for themselves, and to find Aya’s father – separated from the rest of the family during the perilous journey from Syria. With a powerful and important message championing the rights of refugees, wonderfully authentic ballet detail, and beautiful, classic writing, this captivating story is filled with warmth.
The second title, Another Twist in the Tale, is a brilliant re-working of a Dickens classic – telling the story of Oliver Twist’s secret sister, Twill, and will publish in 2020.
Catherine Bruton comments: “I wanted to tell the story of a young Syrian asylum seeker: her life before and during the war in Aleppo, her flight from her war-torn country and struggle to make a new life in the UK. It was a difficult story to tell, and and I drew inspiration from the books that had an impact on me as a child: ‘When Hitler Stole the Pink Rabbit’, ‘The Silver Sword’ and ‘Ballet Shoes’, as well as real-life accounts of child refugees and their families. I hope it’s a story that will make young readers think about words like ‘refugee’ and ‘asylum seeker’ differently – to see the child behind the label, as a child with hopes and dreams just like they have. Ultimately I hope it is a story of heartbreak – but also of hope.”
Tom Bonnick, Senior Commissioning Editor at Nosy Crow, comments: “I fell in love with No Ballet Shoes in Syria from the very first page. It is properly classic storytelling – the writing reminded me of Eva Ibbotson and Noel Streatfeild. And it is a truly special story – filled with kindness, heartbreak and beauty – and I’m delighted that Catherine has joined the Nosy Crow list.”