YA author Non Pratt is publishing a second YA novella with Barrington Stoke, a publisher specialising in content for children who have dyslexia or find reading difficult.
World rights in the novella, entitled Second Best Friend, were acquired by Barrington Stoke editor, Emma Hargrave, from Jane Finigan of Lutyens & Rubinstein.
The new story is about friendship, popularity and "finding yourself", according to Barrington Stoke. The Blub reads: "Jade and Becky are best friends, but when Jade’s ex-boyfriend lets on that everyone thinks Becky is the better of the two, Jade finds herself noticing just how often she comes second. When the two wind up going head-to-head in the school's general election, Jade sees it as a chance to prove herself - even if it means losing her best friend".
Pratt said: "Teenagers are used to being weighed and measured by the curriculum, but also by their peers, both online and off. I wanted to tackle that feeling of always losing out in a world where only the winners are lauded - how it can warp your sense of self and make you act shamefully. Politics seemed like a natural home for a story like this one."
Second Best Friend will be published in January 2018 (£7.99 paperback). It follows after Barrington Stoke published a first novella from Pratt, Unboxed, last year.
Hargrave added: “I love how Non has taken the idea of an election - of life as an oddly distorting popularity contest complete with unnerving politics, power play and allegiances - and imagined it into a world so relevant to young adults today. Her characters are instantly recognisable - we can all identity with Jade’s troubles with friends, relationships and with her own sometimes shaky sense of self - and will speak directly to readers' hearts and minds. Second Best Friend is Non's second novel with us, and I am thrilled that it is every bit as gorgeous as her first.”
Pratt has also authored the YA novels Trouble, Remix and the upcoming Truth or Dare (Walker Books).