Usborne has acquired an "explosive" high-school thriller by debut author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé that examines institutionalised racism.
Ace of Spades is about Devon and Chiamaka - rivals at the Niveus Private Academy. An anonymous texter starts spreading secrets about the two students, who find themselves at the centre of a disturbing game.
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.”
Commissioning editor Becky Walker acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights from Hannah Sheppard at DHH Literary Agency.
“Faridah is a truly remarkable new talent, and, with Ace of Spades, has announced her arrival on the UKYA scene,” said Walker. “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.”
Usborne will publish Ace of Spades in summer 2020.