Faber snaps up YA verse novel about gun crime

Faber snaps up YA verse novel about gun crime

Faber Children's will publish a YA verse novel about American gun crime from author Jason Reynolds.

Long Way Down will be illustrated throughout with black and white illustrations from UK illustrator Chris Priestley.

Faber’s former commissioning editor Naomi Colthurst acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Alex Webb at the Rights People on behalf of Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties in the US, with publication expected in December 2017.

A Faber spokesperson said: "After his brother is shot in a gang crime, 15-year-old Will knows the next steps. Don't cry. Don't snitch. Get revenge. So he gets in the lift with a gun, determined to follow The Rules. Only when the lift door opens, everything changes, and Will has to ask himself if he really knows what he's doing."

Reynolds is a multi award winning author who has twice made the Time books of the year list and was described as "one of the most promising of YA novelists" today by NBC. He lives in Brooklyn and is on the faculty at Lesley University for the Writing For Young People MFA programme. He won the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers for As Brave As You (published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books).

Faber publisher Leah Thaxton says: "Faber is often cited as the home of poetry, so when we saw this extraordinary novel told in verse - a brilliant, bleak, beautiful snapshot of the effects of gun culture in a city in America - we knew we had to buy it. Jason Reynolds is a bold new voice for YA readers, and we are delighted to welcome him to the list."

Reynolds was referred to as "an unstoppable force of award-winning creativity in both middle grade and young adult" by Simon & Schuster's president and c.e.o. Carolyn Reidy in her email roundup to staff last year.

Colthurst left Faber and now began her new role as editor at Penguin Random House Children's earlier this month.