Stead's sci-fi novel recently won Newbery Medal

Amber Entertainment is reaching for “When You Reach Me,” winning a bidding war for feature rights to Rebecca Stead’s sci-fi novel, recently awarded the Newbery Medal for children’s literature.

Amber principal Ileen Maisel (“The Golden Compass”) and Stead will produce.

“When You Reach Me,” which spent 14 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list for children’s books, is set on the Upper West Side in 1979 New York and centered on a plucky sixth-grade heroine. Story weaves together a wide range of genres — mystery, friendship, coming of age and time travel, deliberately referencing Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time” — as the protoganist and reader solve a complex puzzle.

Wendy Lamb Books published “When You Reach Me.”

Amber Entertainment was created last year by New Line veterans Mark Ordesky (who produced the “Lord of the Rings” franchise), Maisel and Jane Fleming, along with documentary and TV producer Lawrence Elman. It’s prepping thriller “Bad Luck” with David Ellis directing, and developing a feature based on Jackie Collins’ Lucky Santangelo character in “Vendetta — Lucky’s Revenge.”

Collins and Amber have already partnered on direct-to-DVD romantic thriller “Paris Connections,” which is premiering in Europe later this year.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more