Random House has announced the publication of Bridge of Clay, a highly anticipated YA novel by Markus Zusak, the internationally bestselling and award-winning Australian author of The Book Thief (Knopf, 2006). The book is scheduled to be released in the U.S. by Knopf on October 9, with a 500,000-copy first printing. The book will publish simultaneously in Australia, and in the U.K. two days later.

The novel tells the coming-of-age story of the five Dunbar brothers, including Clay, as they learn the secret of their father’s disappearance. It will be edited in the U.S. by Zusak’s longtime editor Erin Clarke.

Zusak said in a statement, “Thirteen years is probably long enough between books, but Bridge of Clay was never meant to be easy. It’s a boy in search of a miracle, and that’s how I feel about finishing. Every book we write means something to us, but sometimes it comes to mean everything—and Bridge of Clay, for me, is that latter type: the book you have to fight for, but is all the more rewarding. I hope readers will enjoy spending time with the Dunbar boys, and all their raucous habits—but it’s Clay I feel for most, and his attempt to build that bridge of his, and find a way back home.”

The book will be published in hardcover and e-book formats, and will also be available as an audiobook. Random House is launching a marketing and publicity campaign, including a 12-city U.S. tour, book club promotion, and sweepstakes to connect Zusak with select reading groups.