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Usborne acquires timely middle-grade debut by exciting new literary author

Usborne has acquired a beautifully poetic and political novel from debut author, Darren Simpson, an exciting new voice in literary children’s middle-grade fiction. World English Language rights for Scavengers were acquired by Commissioning Editor Stephanie King from Laura Susijn at the Susijn Agency.

A striking allegory for our times, Scavengers explores the fine line between fear and prejudice, love and oppression, obedience and control, and questions what it really means to be “civilised”. With echoes of The Jungle Book and The Wasp Factory, packed with neologisms and wickedly clever observations about the world we live in, Scavengers is a book unlike any other, and Usborne cannot wait for publication in March 2019.

Landfill is a boy raised with animals behind the walls of Hinterland –
an industrial landscape succumbing to weeds and wild flowers. His
guardian, a tormented scavenger called Babagoo, protects him from the horrors of Outside. But as he gets older, Landfill's curiosity is winning out over obedience and he begins to question the whether Outside is deserving of such fear and loathing…

 Stephanie King, Usborne Commissioning Editor:

“From the moment I began reading Scavengers I knew I was in the hands of a uniquely talented writer. Darren’s voice is vivid, visceral and brimming with energy and insight, and this compelling coming-of-age had me hooked from the first page. I am so thrilled to be welcoming Darren to our list, and cannot wait for young readers to discover the jaw-dropping twist at the core of this book."

Darren Simpson, author of Scavengers:

"I'm ecstatic that Usborne will be publishing Scavengers, and still have to pinch myself several times a day. My young boys have many Usborne books at home, so I'm aware of how Usborne's books not only entertain and educate children, but also respect and reassure them. I feel this makes Usborne the perfect home for Scavengers, which explores themes I hope are relevant in what appears to be an increasingly insular environment for our children. Serious stuff aside, working with Stephanie and the rest of Team Usborne is such a pleasure and a huge amount of fun."

Darren Simpson is in his thirties and lives with his wife and children in Nottingham. He has written numerous adult short stories, and The Dust on the Moth, a crowdfunded multimedia collaboration including music downloads, art and photography. This is his first book for younger readers. He can be found on Twitter at @DarrenSimpson44

Darren Simpson, author of Scavengers
Darren Simpson, author of Scavengers

Tags: Children's fiction acquisitions


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