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21-Year-Old Author Nabs 7-Figure Deal

Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé to release 2 young adult books, one with Black protagonists
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 3, 2020 11:56 AM CDT
Updated Sep 3, 2020 12:10 PM CDT

(Newser) – A 21-year-old author has agreed to a seven-figure deal for a pair of young adult novels, per the AP. Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, announced Thursday that it would publish Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé's highly anticipated debut, the thriller Ace of Spades, in June 2021. The author also plans a second novel, currently untitled. Feiwel and Friends is calling Ace of Spades a combination of Gossip Girl and Get Out, the story of two Black students at an overwhelmingly white private school and how they get caught up in a "disturbing and deadly game." Feiwel acquired North American rights to the two books. Usborne will release Àbíké-Íyímídé's work in the UK.

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"I hope readers in the US see that Black people belong in stories like Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, and that above everything else we deserve happy endings," Àbíké-Íyímídé, a London resident currently attending college in Scotland, said in a statement. (Her website is here.) The author recently wrote about topics including police brutality and a lack of diversity in publishing on The Bookseller website. "There is this sentiment often felt by Black writers and readers both in the US and UK that the industry values one kind of story over another, particularly graphic depictions of Black suffering and death," she wrote. "Overturning this message is central to the Black Lives Matter movement: we matter in life as much as death."

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