'Abstinence Teacher'

Tom Perrotta struck gold with the film adaptation of his 1998 novel, Election(Putnam), a spot-on sendup of high school politics. Despite its flunking box office, many consider it one of the smartest recent studio films and the rare teen comedy with an IQ above special ed. Perrotta is that rare author who has mainstream Hollywood beating a path to take on his challenging subject matter. (Little Children [St. Martin's, 2004], featuring an ex-bisexual suburban mom and a pedophile on the loose, is in production with Kate Winslet and Jennifer Connelly.) For The Abstinence Teacher (St. Martin's, 2007), Perrotta trades student government for the student nurse: a sex education teacher is pressured by religious fundamentalists to promote abstinence. Lippincott Massie McQuilkin's Maria Massie and Sylvie Rabineau rep Perotta. Expected delivery of the manuscript: 2006.

'Teacher Man'

Having survived an unsparingly tragic childhood, Frank McCourt covers a happier time in a memoir of his adulthood, Teacher Man (Scribner, Nov.; reviewed on p. 60)—about his 30 years as a teacher in the New York City public schools. McCourt began his career at a Staten Island vocational training school and was later recruited to teach creative writing at one of the city's most competitive magnet schools. His time in the classroom not only inspired his students, it also gave him the confidence to pen his own family's incredible story—Angela's Ashes(Scribner, 1996). Producers, however, may have to check their enthusiasm on this one: McCourt reportedly has not decided what he wants to do with the film rights. Aaron Priest Literary Agency's Molly Friedrich reps McCourt.

'A Dirty Job'

Talking fruit bats, dim-witted angels and a blues-loving sea beast are just some of the characters in Christopher Moore's world. His most recent novel, The Stupidest Angel (Morrow, 2004) sold over 100,000 copies in hardcover, but he's hardly a new discovery to Hollywood—seven of his eight books are under option or owned outright. A Dirty Job (Morrow, Apr. 2006) promises to up the outrageous ante when neurotic paranoid hypochondriac Charlie Weiner looks death in the face—literally. Nick Ellison of Nicholas Ellison Inc. is readying the manuscript for a fall submission.

'Blood & Scissors'

Depending on whom you ask, Mark Haddon's follow-up to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Doubleday, 2003) is about a) a man dealing with a protracted midlife crisis; b) a time-traveling Ukrainian cleaning woman; or c) maybe both. (The first chapter, which appears in the tsunami charity anthology New Beginnings [Bloomsbury, 2005], suggests "a.") His agents aren't saying. Regardless, Haddon has no shortage of producers eager to take a blind leap with the man whose crossover novel about an unusual boy and a neighbor's dead dog became an international must-read. Plan B and Harry Potter's David Heyman are producing Incident for Warner Bros. Blood manuscript due in October. The U.K.'s Clare Alexanderof Gillon Aitkenand Toby Moorcroft of Sayles Screen handle Haddon.

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