Walden Media will develop Ingrid Law's debut children's novel Savvy following a joint acquisition with Penguin Young Readers Group to North American rights to the unpublished book and a pre-emptive multi-book deal with agent Daniel Lazar at Writers House.

Savvy centres on 12-year-old Mississippi 'Mibs' Beaumont, who must use the magical powers that family members inherit on their 13th birthdays to mitigate a tragedy.

Walden Media head of production Alex Schwartz will oversee the adaptation on the company's behalf. Executive vice president of business and legal affairs Jim Meenaghan negotiated the film rights deal.

Savvy is the fifth book to be published under the joint venture between Walden Media and Penguin Young Readers Group. White Giraffe was the first project from the partnership to be optioned for film.

'Savvy is a true original - I was awed by Ingrid Law's stylish, commanding voice and by the cleverness of the story itself,' Lauri Hornik, vice president and publisher of Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, said.

'I read the novel in one sitting, smiling all the way through. This is a book with so much kid appeal, and with so much heart. I can't imagine any reader not responding to Mibs and her quest.'

'We were all blown away by this book,' Walden's senior vice president of publishing Deborah Kovacs said. 'The story has a sense of mystery and magic that leaps off the page, and that we know will translate beautifully to the big screen as well.'

Savvy will be published by Dial Books for Young Readers/Walden Media in May 2008 and edited by Alisha Niehaus.