Alyssa Miele at HarperCollins/Quill Tree has bought The Year the Maps Changed, the middle grade debut by Australian author Danielle Binks, based on the real-life Operation Safe Haven, which in 1999 relocated thousands of Kosovar-Albanian refugees to “safe havens” around the world.
The novel takes place in an Australian seaside town, following 11-year-old Winifred (“Fred”) who, six years after the death of her mother, befriends a pregnant refugee woman from the Haven and tries to save her from deportation, all while struggling to come to terms with the changing makeup of her own family now that her father’s new girlfriend is moving in. Publication is set for fall 2022; Annabel Barker at Annabel Barker Agency handled the deal via Jacinta di Mase at Jacinta di Mase Management.
Of the sale, Danielle says; “Maps is a very Australian-focused book, and I am incredibly thankful that it’s been acquired by a US-publisher who is intending to keep it that way. I also know that this acquisition would not have happened were it not for the love that Maps received here in Australia; this is really down to the booksellers, librarians, teachers, and the readers most of all – and I am so thankful for their support!”