My Book Has Been Optioned for TV!!

Miriam Halahmy, author of The Emergency Zoo and Saving Hanno (our January Book of the Month) is a regular Pop Up collaborator. We are really excited to hear that the Emergency Zoo, which is part of our 2021 Pop Up Festival programme, has been optioned for a TV series! In this guest post, Miriam described the experience of seeing her work adapted for different formats.


My Middle Grade book, The Emergency Zoo, has been optioned for a TV series by Red Planet Productions. The contract has been signed, the initial payment made and work has started. I couldn’t be more excited, and all this has happened in the middle of a Pandemic!

My novel, The Emergency Zoo, tells the little-known story of the euthanasia of 750,000 pets at the outbreak of WW2. People felt they couldn’t feed their pets once rationing started and that the animals would go mad when bombing started. Then in August 1939, the government said that pets wouldn’t be allowed in public shelters. That was the final straw. Queues built up outside vet clinics and mounds of dead cats, dogs and other beloved pets, piled up in yards, like those awful pictures of dead cattle during the 1980s CJD crisis.

I read about the Great Pets Cull in a newspaper article and immediately thought, what would the children do? I decided they would hide them away in a den in the woods and my story was born. The books was published in 2016 by Alma Books and has proved very popular. Many teachers use The Emergency Zoo as a class book when they are teaching about WW2.

So how did the TV Option happen?
This is something many authors dream about and I still have to pinch myself to believe it has really happened. The story goes back to another novel of mine, Hidden, which was adapted for the stage and toured schools, festivals and small theatres in Autumn 2018. The script writer was Vickie Donoghue. You can find out more about the play and watch a clip here

Vickie loved my books and she was very keen to adapt another for children’s TV. She pitched several of my YA and MG books to Kate Rowland, Creative Consultant at Red Planet Productions. Kate chose The Emergency Zoo.

Miriam Halahmy was featured in Pop Up Festival 2020
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Find out more:

Click here to find out more about The Emergency Zoo on Pop Up Hub

Buy the book here

Visit Miriam’s website here