Little Island Books acquires The Lonely Book, by Meg Grehan
Little Island Books announces the acquisition of The Lonely Book, a verse novel about non-binary identity – and independent bookshops! – by award-winning queer Irish author Meg Grehan (The Deepest Breath, Baby Teeth).
Publisher Matthew Parkinson-Bennett acquired world rights directly from the author.
Children’s book reviewer Ruth Ennis believes there is a great sense of agency to be found in reading verse. “You might have heard in your early poetry classes that you can interpret poetry any way you want, there’s no wrong answer. This is even truer for verse novels.”
The Lonely Book, Grehan’s fourth title with Little Island, sees her return to middle-grade after the well-received YA novel Baby Teeth (2021).
Grehan’s previous book for this age-group, The Deepest Breath (2019), has become a firm bookseller favourite, having been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and winning the Judge’s Special Prize at the KPMG–Children’s Books Ireland Awards.
The Lonely Book
Every morning, when Annie’s moms open their bookshop, there’s a pile of books on the counter, waiting for the right reader to come and find them. But one day, there’s a book nobody comes for.
Nobody ever comes, and each day the book gets lonelier, and the bookshop becomes an unhappy place. Who can the book be for, and why don’t they come?
Eventually, the book finds the reader who needs it: Annie’s sibling, Charlie. Charlie asks the family to use ‘they/them’ pronouns now.
The bookshop cheers up. Customers start buying books again.
Deeply personal and beautiful experience
Little Island’s Parkinson-Bennett says that The Deepest Breath is one of Little Island’s favourite books, and that it’s with great pleasure Little Island is announcing its sibling title.
“Meg has a wonderful gift for capturing emotion, and the warmth between characters, in deceptively simple, inviting verse. She has once again written a kind, reassuring story that will be of deep importance for many young readers, their families and schools.”
Meg Grehan said that writing about gender in particular was deeply personal and a little daunting, but she also found it a beautiful experience.
“Little Island have been so kind and supportive. I hope this little book finds its readers and that they find some warmth between its pages. I put my whole heart into this book, all my love and care, and I hope that readers feel that. I’m excited for them to meet Annie, Charlie and their moms!”