Quercus has bought a children's book by US rapper 50 Cent. Playground, for the 12-plus age group, is a semi-autobiographical novel on the subject of schoolyard bullying.
Children's editorial director Roison Heycock bought UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) at auction from Helen Boomer of the Penguin Young Readers Group in the US. The book will be published on 3rd November, alongside the rapper's latest album.
50 Cent (real name Curtis Jackson), who has sold over 22 million albums worldwide and has 11 Grammy nominations to his name, said he wanted to write the book to explore "how a kid becomes a bully" and has drawn on events from his own childhood and adolescence for the novel. "This book would have been very helpful for me growing up and now that I have a teenage son, it is my goal that this will have a positive influence on all teenagers," he said.
Heycock called Playground "a powerful and ultimately uplifting book about the choices kids face growing up," saying: "We were struck by how subtle and honest the book was and how 50 Cent speaks to readers who might not always feel their experiences are being written about." She predicted a "diverse readership" for the novel.