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Powerful Young Voice Hits the UK YA Scene as Usborne Acquires Twenty-Year-Old Debut Author

Usborne continues to build its list of breakthrough UK YA voices with the acquisition of an explosive high-school thriller that delves deep into the heart of institutionalised racism from an astonishing new voice – twenty-year-old Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé.

Commissioning editor at Usborne, Becky Walker, has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to Àbíké-Íyímídé’s debut novel, Ace of Spades, and a second novel, from Hannah Sheppard at DHH Literary Agency.

Welcome to Niveus Private Academy, where money paves the hallways, and the students are never less than perfect. Or were perfect. Because anonymous texter, Aces, is spreading secrets about two students – rivals Devon and Chiamaka. Secrets that no one should have known. But as Devon and Chiamaka investigate, what appeared to be a high-school prank is revealed as something much more sinister. Suddenly they find themselves at the centre of a disturbing and deadly game. But how can you play the game when the cards are stacked against you?

High-octane, utterly compelling and with a twist you will never forget, Ace of Spades is set to publish in summer 2020. Exploring the barriers people of colour must overcome to achieve the same things that come so easily to their white counterparts, Àbíké-Íyímídé describes the novel as “embodying themes that I am very passionate about, such as homophobia in the black community, institutional racism and the diversity of thought amongst black people. I am so grateful for this opportunity to share this story and have others see themselves for the first time in these characters.”

'Faridah is a truly remarkable new talent, and, with Ace of Spades, has announced her arrival on the UKYA scene. At once peeling back the layers that can mask the magnitude of systemic racism, while simultaneously weaving a nail-bitingly-plotted story that keeps you guessing from beginning to end, Faridah is nothing short of searingly exceptional. We know that Faridah has a glittering future ahead of her, and we couldn’t be more proud to be her publisher.' Becky Walker, Commissioning Editor

I am so excited to be working with Usborne on my story Ace of Spades! So many of my favourite books have been published by Usborne and so working with Becky is truly a dream come true. Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, author of Ace of Spades
Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, author of Ace of Spades

Tags: Children's fiction acquisitions

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