John August, who counts Big Fish and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory among his screenwriting adaptations, has just made a deal to author three books targeted at middle-grade children. The first will be Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire, set to be published in early 2018 by with Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. It follows a boy who joins a mountain scouting troop and discovers that his fellow campers aren’t just training in outdoor survival — they are learning to harness the wild magic that lies deep within the forest.
The series marks August’s first foray into children’s literature. It was inspired by his childhood experience as a Boy Scout, during which he learned many of the same skills Arlo does: tracking animals, building snow caves and starting fires with materials like flint and steel.
In January, August received the WGA West’s 2016 Valentine Davies Award in recognition of his humanitarian efforts and civic service, as well as his pivotal role in fostering a community of writers. August is co-host of Scriptnotes, a popular weekly podcast about the craft of screenwriting. He is also the founder of Quote-Unquote Apps, a tech company that creates an array of screenwriter-centric apps.
The deal was negotiated by Jodi Reamer at Writers House for world English rights. UTA reps August.
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