With early readers-turned-fans such as Wicked author Gregory Maguire, Goosebumps author R.L. Stine, and Life of Pi screenwriter David Magee, Soman Chainani’s The School for Good and Evil is one of the most anticipated fantasy YA novels of the year. The first 496-page book in the trilogy — set in a world where two children are kidnapped each year and trained to become either a fairy tale hero or villain — will be published by HarperCollins Children’s Publishers on May 14, and we’ve got your exclusive first look at the appropriately imaginative trailer below.
The story centers on two best friends, Sophie and Agatha, whose assignments seem to have been switched. Sophie, with her love of pink dresses, glass slippers, and good deeds, ends up in the School for Evil, where the curriculum includes Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training. Black-wearing, wicked pet-owning antisocial Agatha, meanwhile, is enrolled in the School for Good to learn Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.
Chainani, a Harvard-educated fairy tale expert who also graduated from Columbia University’s MFA Film Program, is adapting the book with Hook screenwriter Malia Scotch Marmo for Ella Enchanted producer Jane Startz. The script and book will be shopped together to studios this spring.