London UK, 20th November 2018 – Puffin is delighted to announce the acquisition of a new book from global bestselling author, R. J. Palacio. White Bird is a powerful and timely graphic novel about kindness and courage. Natalie Doherty, Editorial Director at Penguin Random House Children’s, bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Nicola DeRobertis-Theye at Trident Media.

To the millions of readers who fell in love with R J Palacio’s Wonder, Julian is best-known as Auggie Pullman’s classroom bully. White Bird reveals a new side to Julian’s story, as Julian discovers the moving and powerful tale of his grandmother, who was hidden from the Nazis as a young Jewish girl in occupied France during the Second World War.

An unforgettable, unputdownable story about strength, courage and the power of kindness to change hearts, build bridges, and even save lives, from the globally bestselling author, R. J. Palacio.

Palacio said: “‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it’. I’m reminded of that George Santayana quote, which is the epigraph of my book, every time I turn the news on. I am truly alarmed and saddened by what’s happening—deportations, roundups, bans—and I worry about the impact this is having on our children, who are witnessing these events without the historical context needed to process them. After ‘The Julian Chapter’ was published, I started hearing from teachers and parents who said that Grandmère’s story was the perfect age-appropriate introduction to the themes of the Holocaust for their children. I wrote White Bird because I believe that now more than ever we need to teach our children about the past—the good, the bad, and the ugly—so that they can protect their own futures. Like Wonder, White Bird is about the power of kindness, but it is also about the unrelenting courage of righteous people. As Grandmère told Julian in ‘The Julian Chapter’: ‘It always takes courage to be kind, but in those days, such kindness could cost you everything.’”
Doherty added: “‘We’re incredibly proud to publish Wonder –a life-changing read and a true publishing phenomenon, which continues to be a word-of-mouth bestseller almost seven years after first publication. In White Bird, readers will be introduced to a powerful new part of the Wonder story: a heartwrenching graphic novel set in wartime France. R. J. Palacio is a skilled storyteller and artist who weaves kindness, strength and acceptance into everything she writes and creates, and we know old fans and new will not be disappointed.”

Since Wonder’s original publication in 2012, it has taken the children’s literary world by storm, launching a nationwide “Choose Kind” movement, kindness curricula in classrooms around the world, a major motion picture, and four additional books in the world of Wonder (Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories, 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s Precepts, We’re All Wonders, and now White Bird: A Wonder Story).

Together, Palacio’s titles have sold more than 16 million copies worldwide. Wonder was the UK’s biggest debut hardback of 2012, hit the #1 slot in the UK children’s charts and has consistently been a New York Times bestseller since publication. It has since been published in 50 languages and won numerous awards including the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize (Younger Fiction) and the Independent Bookseller Book of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and for a Specsavers National Book Award.

The 2017 film adaptation of Wonder was a global box office and critical hit for Lionsgate. The star-studded cast included Academy Award winner Julia Roberts, Oscar nominee Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay, Mandy Patinkin, and Daveed Diggs. The film was directed by Stephen Chbosky.

R. J. Palacio (@RJPalacio) was born and raised in New York City. She got her BFA from the Parsons School of Design, where she majored in illustration. For many years before writing Wonder, she worked as a graphic designer and art director. In addition to Wonder, she has written Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories, 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s Precepts, We’re All Wonders, which she also illustrated, and White Bird: A Wonder Story. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, their two sons, and their two dogs, Bear and Beau.

White Bird: A Wonder Story by R. J. Palacio will be published by Puffin on 3rd September 2019 in hardback.

Media Contacts:
Piya Kapur
Sr Manager Marketing
Penguin Random House India
E: pkapur@penguinrandomhouse.in
Ph: +91 9899561350