Hodder Children's Books has acquired a timely and powerful graphic novel from Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin and illustrated by Giovanni Rigano. Lifelong comic fans, Colfer and Donkin have collaborated previously on five very successful graphic novel adaptations of Colfer's books. This is their first original graphic novel together.
ILLEGAL is the story of Ebo and Kwame and their tortuous journey from North Africa to seek a new life in Europe. Eoin Colfer says, "We wanted to tell this important story in the visually rich and immediately engaging format of a graphic novel - it's the perfect medium in which to do it."
Visualised in glorious full-colour art, this extraordinary story is brought to vivid life for an audience of children and adults who are aware of the very real plight of migrants and asylum seekers through the news today. On a topic which is often dehumanised through the media, Colfer and Donkin offer a first person perspective of what migrants and refugees must overcome to survive, told with empathy and undertanding. Additionally, the graphic novel also features three powerful stories of migrants told in their own words, adapated into the graphic format by the team.
Hodder will publish ILLEGAL in autumn 2016.
Hodder’s publishing director Anne McNeil, who acquired world rights in a single-book deal from Sophie Hicks at the Sophie Hicks agency, said: “I was born in West Africa. On one of several trips back as an adult, I met a young man on the beach who told me about his boat trip to Europe. He told me that the seas were huge, and people were literally praying on their knees. When they got to their destination, the people on the boat were jailed; and then sent back. He came home to his village, lay on the beach and cried. His story stayed with me. I am proud to be publishing Illegal – a book from master-storytellers that will open the minds of all who read it.”