Bonnier Publishing imprint Studio Press has acquired three illustrated children’s fiction titles from TV presenter and Paralympian, Ade Adepitan.
The publisher signed world rights from Jonny Wilkinson of the John Noel agency.
Having contracted polio in Nigeria, Adepitan and his family moved to the UK when he was three. They settled in London’s East End, and before long Adepitan had made friends with three other boys who lived on his street – they became known as The Parson Road Gang.
For age seven upwards and publishing in May 2018, the first title in the series introduces The Parsons Road Gang and together they help protagonist Ade navigate life in London with a disability. The special bond between Ade and his friends is at the core of the series Ade’s Amazing Ade-Ventures.
Two further titles will follow later in the year and 2019. The titles will be illustrated with black and white line drawings throughout.
Natalie Jerome, acquisitions director and publisher for Bonnier Publishing Limited, said: “Ade is such an inspiration to everyone and to be honest it amazed me that he hadn’t written children’s books already! I received an outline from him 48 hours after our first meeting and it was just so blooming obvious he could write and had something important to say. He believes as passionately as we do at Bonnier Publishing that books are for everyone and every child should see themselves reflected back in them. I couldn’t be more proud of this acquisition and to help Ade realise his dream of becoming an author.”
Adepitan added: "As a kid, I loved reading sci-fi and super hero comics and it wasn't until I got older that I realised I connected with these genres because they contained characters that were different from the norm; characters who felt like outsiders just like I did when I was at school.
"Ade's Amazing Ade-ventures are books loosely based on my early life, the series contains themes of friendship, family and humour and it's these things that helped me overcome the challenges of growing up with a disability. I believe It’s so important that every child recognises themselves in a book and to know that there is a place for you in what can often be a very confusing world, especially when you are growing up.”
Adepitan will be involved in a high-profile publicity campaign that will involve school and consumer events. He is already on the KS2 National Curriculum as part of his work with the 2012 Paralympics.