Egmont wins hilarious and poignant middle-grade debut from comedian and teacher Jim Beckett

Egmont’s Senior Fiction Editor, Sarah Levison, has acquired World rights in all languages at auction in a brilliantly funny and heart-warming new series from comedian, Jim Beckett. Rights for two books were sold by Hannah Sheppard at DHH Literary Agency, with the first launching in Spring 2021 and the second in early 2022.

The Caravan at the Edge of Doom is an action-packed adventure combining laugh-out-loud humour with a perfectly pitched and surprisingly emotional story about loss and learning to believe in yourself. The book will be illustrated by exciting new talent Olia Muza.

When her four grandparents queue up to explode in their caravan toilet late one night, twelve-year-old Harley discovers a surprising truth: their toilet is a gateway to the Land of the Dead, and they are its Guardians. Well, they were. But there’s no time to mourn their passing. Because Harley’s baby brother has accidentally gone with them, hidden in his grandma’s wheelie bag. And Harley only has 24 hours to rescue him before he’s trapped in the Land of the Dead for all eternity…

Full of heart and with unforgettable characters, this brilliantly subversive new series will appeal to fans of Dahl, Walliams and Pratchett.

Sarah Levison, Senior Fiction Editor said: ‘From the moment Harley’s grandparents exploded in the toilet in the opening pages of The Caravan at the Edge of Doom, I knew this book was something special. In reluctant hero Harley’s adventure in the afterlife, Jim Beckett has created a story that is laugh-out-loud funny with a searing undercurrent of emotion that takes you by surprise and brings tears to your eyes. Egmont is the home of funny fiction and I couldn’t be happier to bring this brilliantly conceived and hilarious debut to our award-winning list.’

Jim Beckett added: ‘Being at Egmont is brilliant! Sarah and the team have been so welcoming and wise and supportive – and you should see their offices! They’ve got free biscuits and table tennis and weird-shaped chairs… it’s proper modern. And it feels so good to vindicate Hannah’s tireless faith in my work. And to have my words accompanied by Olia’s stunning artwork… Life really does begin at 42!’

Illustrator Olia Muza is a rising star who was born in Uman, Ukraine. After studying graphic design she decided to try her hand at illustration. In doing so she discovered her passion for illustrating stories and hasn’t looked back! The Caravan at the Edge of Doom is Olia’s first fully illustrated black-and-white fiction title.

The Caravan at the Edge of Doom publishes Spring 2021 in paperback

The second title in the series will publish in early 2022

£6.99 for ages 9-12

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