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A.F. Steadman's 'Skandar and the Unicorn Thief' named Waterstones Children's Book of the Year

A.F. Steadman's debut middle grade novel Skandar and the Unicorn Thief has been selected as the Waterstones Children's Book of the Year for 2022. Acquired by Simon and Schuster in a world record-breaking deal, this is the first in a planned five-book series and rights have been sold in more than 30 territories, plus a film deal has been struck with Sony. Skandar and the Unicorn Thief has had a phenomenal worldwide response, featuring in the top five in the New York Times bestseller list as well as the official UK Children's bestseller chart. 

Waterstones said: "The bedrock is, of course, an absolutely genius concept: warrior unicorns hatched in a mysterious island school and bonded to a specific rider. But whilst the premise may have drawn booksellers in, it was A.F. Steadman’s propulsive, page-turning storytelling that led them to passionately recommend Skandar and the Unicorn Thief to children, parents and just about anybody else that set foot on their shopfloor.

"Hugely imaginative and epic in scope yet – crucially – rooted in credible characterisation with protagonists readers could take to their hearts, the story of Skandar Smith’s thrilling battle with the terrifying Weaver more than lived up to the hype bestowed upon it by its author’s seven-figure book deal. Make no mistake: Skandar and the Unicorn Thief heralds the biggest children’s fantasy series of its generation – and the good news is the second instalment is also now available to pre-order!"

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