HCG pick up J.J Arcanjo’s thrilling middle-grade series

7 September 2021

Hachette Children’s Group has acquired three books in a “thrilling” new middle-grade series by Bloomsbury editorial assistant and author Joel Arcanjo, writing as J J Arcanjo.

Lena McCauley, senior commissioning editor, acquired world English language rights from Josephine Hayes at The Blair Partnership. The agency holds translation rights and has closed deals in France, Germany, Portugal, Russia, Greece and the Netherlands in a flurry of auctions and pre-empts. The first book in the series is titled Crookhaven: School for Thieves and is published in August 2022

Billed as “Oceans Eleven” meets “Kingsman” for readers aged nine to 12, the Crookhaven series will tell the story of Gabriel, a brilliant young pickpocket. One day, practising his criminal art at a train station, he’s caught but instead of being arrested, he is recruited to Crookhaven, a top-secret school for young thieves in training. The Crookhaven graduates are taught subjects such as lock-picking, forgery and “crim-nastics”, and are released into the world to do good – by conning the bad into giving back to the innocent. 

McCauley said: “With the brilliant hook of a secret ‘swindle school’, a compelling group of trainee thieves and intriguing themes of right and wrong, Crookhaven stole my attention from the first page. I can’t wait for the readers to be introduced to Joel’s amazing world.”

Arcanjo commented: “I am so incredibly excited to be working with Lena and the wonderful team at Hachette Children’s Group to bring Crookhaven into the world. My little crew of trainee crooks couldn’t be in better hands.”

The author has previously published two novels with HQ, The Seventeen in 2014 and 2015’s The Number 8.