Penguin acquires debut series ‘The Upper World’ by Femi Fadugba in a hotly-contested auction

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PENGUIN RANDOM House Children’s will be publishing The Upper World by Femi Fadugba under the Penguin imprint–a genre-defying, time-travelling YA thriller that is, at its heart, a breathtakingly ambitious exploration of free will and the capacity of two young teenagers to see a future worth fighting for.

With The Upper World, I wanted to combine ideas that aren’t meant to go together. Like time-travel physics and life on an estate

Femi Fadugba

UK and Commonwealth rights plus translation rights in the two-book series were acquired in an unprecedented fifteen-publisher auction by Editor Emma Jones at Penguin Random House Children’s from Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge and White.

Translation rights were snapped up in Germany andItaly just days after the book was acquired.

The first book in The Upper World series is set to publishin August 2021 as an unmissable debut launch and will be supported by a high-profile PR and Marketing campaign, positioning Femi Fadugba as an exciting new talent in the literary sphere and The Upper World as a ground-breaking cotemporary sci-fi series for YA readers.

The sequel will follow in 2022.

Fadugba said: “With The Upper World, I wanted to combine ideas that aren’t meant to go together. Like time-travel physics and life on an estate.

“Like the philosophical question of whether man has free will, and the everyday question of whether man should wear trainers or polished shoes to that first date.

“And as someone who avoided fiction as a kid, more than anything, I wanted to write the kind of book that younger-me wouldn’t have been able to put down.

“To now have Penguin behind the project, and to have seen all the interest it generated during auction – it’s taken the dream to a new level.”


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