Jacaranda to bring Patterson and Alexander's Muhammad Ali title to the UK

Jacaranda to bring Patterson and Alexander's Muhammad Ali title to the UK

Jacaranda will publish Becoming Muhammad Ali by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander on the 20th October, for Black History Month UK. 

The publisher acquired UK, Republic of Ireland and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) from Charlotte Bodman of Rights People acting on behalf of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 

Illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile, the biographical novel has been written with the co-operation of Ali's estate and will explore the boxer's life up until the age of 17, when he was known as Cassius Clay. 

The synopsis reads: "Before he was a household name, Cassius Clay was a kid with struggles like any other. Patterson and Alexander joined forces to vividly depict his life up to age of 17 in both prose and verse, including his childhood friends, challenges in school, facing bullies and discrimination, and his discovery of boxing. Readers will learn about Cassius's family and neighbours in Louisville, Kentucky, and how, after a thief stole his bike, Cassius began training as an amateur boxer at age 12. Before long he won his first Golden Gloves bout and began his transformation into the unrivalled Muhammad Ali."

Jazzmine Breary, sales, marketing and publicity manager at Jacaranda Books, said: "Becoming Muhammad Ali is one of the most important new books for young readers this autumn and a particularly inspiring story for Black History Month.

"2020 has been a difficult year for the black community and young people have been deeply affected. It is important to remind them of powerful, talented, and socially conscious black heroes who not only excelled in their own areas of expertise, but who stood up for civil rights and equality. We are so proud to be able to bring this title to a UK audience."

The title was published in the US on 5th October 2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Hachette US.