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Latest Acquisitions & Adaptations

By Georgie Cutler, Eva Lee, Niamh Parr and Emily Retford

Acquisition News

Neem Tree Signs Morani’s Debut English Translation

Neem Tree Press has acquired YA historical crime novel The Djinn’s Apple by Algerian author Djamila Morani. Set in the Abbasid period – the medieval Islamic period that inspired the 1001 Nights tales – the novel follows the journey of teenage girl Nardeen, the only survivor after her family is murdered by a group of anonymous intruders, as she works to fulfil her vow to bring her family’s killers to justice. After being unexpectedly taken under the wing of a renowned medical professor, Nardeen finds herself in a resourceful position to unravel the secrets behind the group of killers. With the help of a mysterious manuscript and a magical herb, she must uncover their identities whilst also deciding just how far she is willing to go for her revenge. The Djinn’s Apple received the 2021 English PEN Translates Award and has subsequently been translated into English from the Arabic by Sawad Hussain. It marks Morani’s debut translation into English; her previous publications include the 2015 novel Taj el-Khatiaa in Arabic. World rights in the English language were bought directly from the author and translator by Neem Tree CEO and Publisher Dr. Archna Sharma. The Djinn’s Apple will be published in paperback and eBook format in February 2024.

Usborne Lands Kisner YA Horror Debut

Becky Walker, Senior Commissioning Editor at Usborne, has acquired UK rights to Old Wounds, Logan-Ashley Kisner’s debut novel, alongside a second unnamed title. Old Wounds follows Erin and Max, two transgender youngsters trying to reach California. Both on separate yet interconnecting emotional journeys, the two find themselves fighting monsters and ghosts from their past in an attempt to survive. When they find themselves stranded in rural America, they must confront a terrifying, legendary creature, fighting together to overcome it. But more importantly, they must confront each other and their own problems, in order to complete their journey. Walker describes Old Wounds as “heart-poundingly terrifying, as it is raw and emotional,” telling of their pride to bring Kisner’s talent to the UK (Usborne). Despite its setting in rural America, the representation of trans resilience in the novel is relevant and present, with Kisner’s horror debut commenting on different emotional hurdles that transgender youth have to endure. Old Wounds was acquired at auction from Chloe Seager of Madeline Milburn Associates, and will be published by Usborne in October 2024.

From Book to Screen

My Life With the Walter Boys on Netflix

Are you ready for a new romance coming-of-age series that will soon hit Netflix? Adapted from Ali Novak’s Wattpad novel of the same name, the ten part series My Life The Walter Boys follows Jackie Howard (Rodriguez) from New York where she loses her family in a car accident and ends up being an orphan. She moves to the state of Colorado and is taken in by the Walter family, a family with ten sons living together. A long journey awaits Jackie as she learns how to fit in, coping with living in a new environment and relationships. An exciting cast features the likes of Nikki Rodriguez, Ashby Gentry, Noah LaLonde, Sarah Rafferty and Marc Blucas. Stay tuned for the premiere on 7 December 2023 on Netflix.

Leave The World Behind comes to Netflix

After its theatrical release on 24 November 2023, Sam Esmail’s take on the film adaptation of Leave The World Behind can be streamed this December. Based on the apocalyptic thriller novel by Rumaan Alam that was released in October 2020, it follows Amanda and Clay, a couple who are having a weekend getaway with their children in a luxury rental property. Two strangers knock on the door in the middle of the night, breaking news of a strange cyberattack and seeking sanctuary in the property they claim to own. The families must co-habit in a rapidly changing world where technology is failing. It features a star-studded cast, including the likes of Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke, Mahershala Ali, Myha’la Herrold, Kevin Bacon, Farrah Mackenzie and Charlie Evans. The project has been executive produced by the author in addition to Daniel M. Stillman, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Tonia Davis and Nick Krishnamurthy. The official trailer was released in October and can be found here. You can watch Leave The World Behind on Netflix from 8 December 2023.


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