A book that bestselling children's author Louis Sachar had played so close to the vest that not even his agent,

Ellen Levine at Trident Media Group, knew about it until last week, is right now being eagerly read by the American and British editors who had a huge success with Sachar's Holes and are delighted at the prospect of a sequel—which is what the new book is. It's called

Small Steps and will contain, said Levine, some of the same characters as appeared in Holes.It will deal with issues of race and celebrity and will also offer settings in the rock music world.

Frances Foster, with her own line of books at FSG, was eagerly reading it as this went to press and preparing an offer, and her fellow option holder in the U.K.,

Sarah Odedina at Bloomsbury, has also just received it. Meanwhile Sachar himself was winging his way over to Liverpool, which had picked Holes as its reading favorite, to make appearances there. Trident's

Sara Crowe will be selling foreign rights at Frankfurt and expecting strong interest from the many overseas publishers to whom Sachar is also a star.