Usborne triumphs in seven-way auction for middle-grade debut by Linton

Usborne triumphs in seven-way auction for middle-grade debut by Linton

Usborne has triumphed in a seven-way auction for a middle-grade story by debut author G M Linton celebrating family, friendship and being proud of who you are and your heritage.

Stephanie King, commissioning editor, acquired world rights in all languages for My Name is Sunshine Simpson and two other books from Claire Wilson of RCW. The book will be published in June 2022 with a high-level marketing and PR campaign. Usborne says it will be taking the book to the Bologna Book Fair where it expects keen interest from around the world.

Linton said: “I really wanted to write a story that celebrated the people I knew: a story that encompasses kindness, wisdom, humour and bravery. The 'Windrush' generation is a treasure that should never be lost or forgotten. I also wanted to capture some of the feelings of what it is like negotiating your way through life at the very beginning of growing up, which is something we all have to go through, no matter our background or culture.”

The first book sees Sunshine’s Grandad always telling her to get out and find her adventure, but misadventures seem to have a habit of finding her. With new friend Evie rapidly turning into a worst enemy, a French pen pal to impress, a disastrous home haircut and a stressful school assembly, every day feels like a rainy day. Sunshine’s beloved Grandad has always been there to cheer her up, but as he grows older and quieter, Sunshine is forced to accept that their adventures together may be coming to an end. Grandad’s stories have always helped her in the past – can Sunshine find her voice in time to tell her story at the school’s jubilee assembly?

The publisher described the book as a "warm and moving examination of the unique yet universal bond of a girl and her grandfather, as well as the intimate dramas of the playground and the humour that comes from them". The final copy will include engaging mini fact files about key historical and contemporary Black figures to inspire young readers.