UK & Commonwealth rights to Jennifer Iacopelli’s powerful YA novel, Break the Fall has been acquired by Hachette Children’s Group at auction.

Following the fiercely competitive world of gymnastics, the novel centers around gymnasts who speak out about their experiences following the arrest of their coach for sexual assault.

Commissioning editor at Hachette Children’s, Polly Lyall Grant, acquired the rights to the novel, and will publish it in 2020 – ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

US rights were sold to Razorbill PRH, in a deal announced last week. Hachette Children’s Group and Razorbill PRH will be working closely for an ambitious global launch next year.

German rights to the novel have gone to HarperCollins Germany.

The only thing seventeen-year-old Audrey Lee dreams about is swinging her way to Olympic glory on the uneven bars. Nothing is going to stop her, not even the agony in her back that forced her out of the gym for a year and will bring her career to an end after the Games. Every spasm and ache will be worth it once she has that gold medal around her neck.

But none of her training prepares her for her coach being led away in handcuffs, accused by a fellow gymnast of the unthinkable. No one knows what to believe and Audrey’s teammates, including her best friend, are at each other’s throats. With a new coach, Olympic officials and the media circling like vultures, only one person seems to understand – her new coach’s son, Leo, with his sparkling green eyes, cocky smile and Olympic dreams of his own.

 As the Olympic torch closes in on Tokyo  – and the end of her career along with it – Audrey has no idea who to trust, let alone what life holds after her final dismount. The only thing she can do is hope that in the end, belief in herself and what’s left of her team, will be enough for gold.

Polly Lyall Grant said of the acquisition: Break The Fall is compulsive and thrilling, with timely themes of #MeToo and perfectly pitched writing – Jennifer takes the reader into an exclusive, electrifying world of competitive sports, and shows us the unstoppable power that women have in triumphing over adversity together.”

Jennifer said of the deal: “Writing about gymnastics – a sport close to my heart for more than two decades – and a story of survival and sisterhood has been a dream come true. Break The Fall celebrates young female athletes who dedicate their entire lives to a nearly impossible dream and shines a spotlight on a system that allowed abusers to flourish for far too long. I am beyond thrilled to bring this story into the world with Polly Lyall Grant and the whole team at Hachette Children’s Group.”

Jennifer Iacopelli was born in New York and has no plans to leave, ever. She writes authentically about sports; she covered the Rio Olympic games in 2016 and has made several featured appearances on the famous gymnastics podcast, GymCastic.