We’re absolutely thrilled that Chicken House have acquired Milton the Mighty by debut writer Emma Read, a funny, quirky adventure with a uniquely lovable spider hero at its heart.
The novel was shortlisted for the 2017 Bath Children’s Novel Award. Barry Cunningham, Chicken House Publisher, acquired World Rights to Milton the Mighty and a sequel from Lauren Gardner. Line illustrations and cover have been commissioned from illustrator and picture book author Alex G. Griffiths.
Aimed at readers aged 7+, the story explores themes of fake news, phobia and friendship as Milton is falsely accused of being dangerous in the media.
When little spider Milton discovers he’s been branded deadly on social media – and is targeted by pest-killers BugKILL – he fears for his life and the future of his species. Alongside his BFFs, big hairy Ralph and spindly daddy-long-legs Audrey, he searches for a way to clear his name. But to succeed, Milton realises he must communicate with his house humans, a school-girl called Zoe and her arachnophobic dad … Is he mighty enough to achieve the impossible?
Emma Read has previously worked as a biologist, and now uses her transferable skills such as attention to detail, patience and fine motor skills to both write children’s books and extract Lego from under the sofa. She lives in Bath with her young family.
Emma said, ‘As Milton’s house-human, I’m thrilled to be sharing his adventures with the world. Working with Chicken House is a dream come true, and we are celebrating with a double-helping of fruit-fly flan.’
Illustrator Alex G. Griffiths said, ‘Collaborating with such a great publisher and author has of course been very exciting for me. Emma’s story is heart-warming, funny and filled with great characters, and has been such a pleasure to illustrate.’
Milton the Mighty will be publishing in July 2019 with the sequel to follow in 2020.
Barry Cunningham, Chicken House publisher and MD said, ‘Isn’t it exciting to find a whole world of wonder in those dark corners? Milton will change the way we feel about spiders forever – and I can’t wait to show how respect, love and fun are the really right feelings to have about our eight legged companions!’
Lauren Gardner said, ‘Emma and Milton captured my heart in their wonderful web from the very first submission, and I am delighted to have found them a publishing home with the brilliant team at Chicken House.’