Wren & Rook, the non-fiction imprint of the Hachette Children’s Group, is publishing the first children's book by Times journalist and Olympian Matthew Syed.
The "inspiring and empowering" title, called You Are Awesome: Find your confidence to become brilliant at (almost) anything, recasts some of the principles Syed discusses in his adult titles around confidence and resilience for a 9+ readership. The intention is to encourage children to adopt a "growth mindset", based on hard work and determination, practice, self-belief and resilience.
Syed, the author of smart thinking titles Bounce (Fourth Estate) and Black Box Thinking (John Murray), will use real life stories - for example, featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Serena Williams and JK Rowling - and pop science to demonstrate that success is earned rather than pre-ordained, and that our abilities can be transformed through practice. Illustrations are provided by Toby Triumph, who has worked on campaigns for Coca Cola and Manchester United.
Debbie Foy, publishing director for Wren & Rook, secured world rights from Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown Group to publish on 19th April 2018. Illustration rights were acquired by Laura Hambleton, Art Director for Wren & Rook, through Dorcas Brown at Grand Matter.
Syed said: "Parents often ask: how can I get my child to be more curious? To have the courage to try new things? To show resilience when facing setbacks and challenges? To lose that terrible fear of failure? I have always wanted to write a book for a younger audience, to give them the tools they need to be the best that they can be. I hope this book can make a real difference to the mindsets of young people."
Foy added: "We are thrilled to be publishing Matthew Syed’s first book for children. The move towards encouraging children to adopt a growth mindset is gaining ground all the time, and this witty, inspiring and anxiety-tackling title offers a toolkit for achieving it, giving young readers the confidence to feel that anything is achievable."