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U.K. Phenomenon, IMPOSSIBLE CREATURES, Coming This September from Random House Children’s Books

Katherine Rundell, photo credit: Nina Subin.
Katherine Rundell, photo credit: Nina Subin.

Following an extraordinary reception in the U.K., where it was an instant Sunday Times bestseller, a Children’s Book of the Week in the Times, the Independent, and the Daily Telegraph, and the recipient of the prestigious Waterstones Book of the Year award, IMPOSSIBLE CREATURES by Katherine Rundell will now be published in North America by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.

The exciting news were it was announced last Friday by Melanie Nolan, VP & Publisher, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers. Nancy Siscoe, Senior Executive Editor, Knopf, won North American rights in a multi-house, multi-round auction. The North American edition will be released on September 10, 2024, with a first printing of 250,000 copies.

Siscoe says, “I knew from the very first lines of the manuscript that this writer and this book were something special. I would follow Katherine Rundell on any journey she wanted to take me on—and what a journey this is! Rundell introduces readers to the last magical place on earth. A world that is awesome, and beastly, and dangerous, and worthy of our fierce love and protection. She’s working in the grand tradition of children’s fantasy—it’s no surprise to me that reviewers are comparing her to Philip Pullman and C. S. Lewis and J. R. R Tolkien—but her voice and her vision are also fresh and modern and invigorating. I am impossibly excited for this and all the books to come from this remarkable writer.” 

The first in an enthralling new middle-grade fantasy trilogy, IMPOSSIBLE CREATURES has been likened by reviewers to some of the greatest children’s fantasy classics of all time, including His Dark Materials, the Chronicles of Narnia, and The Hobbit. The Telegraph called it “the most staggering children’s book of the year. A tour-de-force,” and Rundell has been praised by such notable authors as Neil Gaiman (“Katherine Rundell is a phenomenon”) and Philip Pullman (“I love Katherine Rundell’s writing . . . Readers who already know her books will seize this with delight, and new readers will love it and demand all her others at once”). 

Ever since Christopher was born, animals have unnaturally and unexplainably sought his attention. His father claims it’s something to do with his scent, but when Christopher goes to stay with his recluse of a grandfather—and a stampede of magical beasts almost tramples him—he learns the truth. He is a descendant of a family of guardians to a secret world called the Archipelago, a collection of islands where all the creatures of myth and legend are real . . . and in danger. 

When a flying girl and her griffin seek his help, Christopher embarks on a wild adventure in search of someone who can explain why the magic is fading and why the animals are suddenly dying. Together, they consult sphinxes and battle kraken and negotiate with dragons; but the closer they get to the dark truth of what’s happening, the clearer it becomes that they are the only ones who can save the Archipelago. At once a fast-paced, rip-roaring adventure and a soul-stirring call to protect what we love, IMPOSSIBLE CREATURES begins a landmark new series that delivers on multiple levels, an instant classic with brilliantly developed characters and a breathtaking new fantasy world that will be devoured by readers both young and old.

The North American edition of IMPOSSIBLE CREATURES will contain more than 60 interior illustrations, including a map and an illustrated bestiary of magical creatures. The first printing will also feature a foil and embossed jacket, full-color designed endpapers, red stained edges, and a red case cover with gold stamping. The book is available for pre-order now everywhere books are sold. 

About Katherine Rundell

Katherine Rundell is the author of Rooftoppers (ALA Notable Book, winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize), Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms (Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winner), The Wolf Wilder, The Explorer (winner of the Costa Children’s Book Prize), and The Good Thieves. She grew up in Zimbabwe, Brussels, and London, and is currently a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. Her books for adults include Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne (winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize); Why You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise; and the forthcoming Vanishing Treasures: A Bestiary of Extraordinary Endangered Creatures, which will publish in November 2024. Very occasionally she goes climbing across the rooftops of Oxford, late at night. You can follow her on Instagram at @Katherine.Rundell 

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