Simon & Schuster Children’s Books has signed Dream Hunters, a middle-grade adventure series by debut author Nazima Pathan. Fiction editorial director Michelle Misra pre-empted world rights for the series in her first acquisition for S&S Children’s Books, along with senior editor Arub Ahmed. They bought two titles from Chloe Seager at Madeleine Milburn Agency. The first book will be out in August 2024, followed by the second in August 2025.

Dream Hunters is set in a fantasy India, and follows 12-year-old Mimi, who lives with her controlling aunt in a hilltop citadel, where she studies the ancient practice of making and capturing dreams. One day she uncovers a plot to transform the citadel into a lucrative business selling nightmare potions, some potent enough to murder their victims – and that the crown prince is purchasing nightmares to poison the king. With her dream creature, Lalu, and her best friend, Rafi, Mimi must escape the citadel and begin a perilous journey across India.

Misra said: “With inventive dream-based magic and colourful descriptions of Mumbai, Nazima’s astonishing middle-grade novel beguiled me from the get-go. Simon & Schuster have a brilliant track record of launching debut authors and we can’t wait to add Dream Hunters to our growing fiction list and introduce Mimi, Rafi and Lalu to a whole world of new readers!”

Ahmed said: “I fell in love with Nazima’s writing from the first page – she paints a rich, gorgeous world where dreams and nightmares can be manipulated, and takes us through an adventure full of excitement and wonder across a fantastical India. We are so excited for readers to be enchanted by this immersive yet accessible story.”

Pathan is a graduate of the Novelry and the Golden Egg Academy and was awarded a Megaphone Writes mentorship. She said: “I have always wondered about the brief lives of dreams and thoughts, and how they are gone before we even know it. My story grew out of the idea that if they could be captured, they could be studied and recycled into custom blends to heal or harm. I was delighted to have my amazing agent, Chloe, believe in my story and champion it and I am so incredibly excited to be working with Michelle and Arub and the whole Simon and Schuster team. Their encouragement and belief in this story has been wonderful. I hope readers will enjoy meeting Mimi Malou and the array of dream creatures inhabiting the Citadel.”

Congratulations Nazima!