Megan Duff has made her first acquisition as the YA commissioning editor of Black & White Publishing’s new YA imprint, which will be launched in 2017. The first novel to be published on the new list will be The Jungle: a hard-hitting and poignant debut novel focusing on life as a teenage refugee in Calais. Duff says, 'We're so thrilled to be bringing such an engaging and beautiful book to the YA market. Pooja has found a unique and accessible way to deal with what is often treated as very 'adult' matter, but it's an important topic for young people to be thinking, talking, and reading about. We've always been champions of debut authors at Black & White, so it's great to be able to launch the YA imprint in the same vein and to give a voice like Pooja's a platform. ’
The Jungle is the debut novel from creative-writing student Pooja Puri, and will be one of the first books in the YA market to examine life for children as a refugee in the camps in Calais. The novel follows fifteen-year-old Mico as he finds himself alone and navigating one of the world’s most inhospitable environments – the Jungle.
Duff has acquired World Rights for Puri’s novel from Lauren Gardner at Bell Lomax Moreton Agency. Gardner says of the deal, ‘I’m delighted to have found Pooja a home with Black and White’s new YA Imprint – The Jungle is an important, brave and beautiful narrative written by an exciting and diverse young author, and I am very proud to be representing Pooja and her words as they set sail on this journey.’
Pooja Puri, who is studying for a Masters in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University, decided to write The Jungle after watching a special news report on life in the Calais migrant camp. Puri says, ‘I was particularly struck by the sheer number of young people living alone in such terrible conditions. Nobody should have to experience the hardships these children face. I truly hope The Jungle will, in some way, act as a small step in fostering understanding and compassion to those who need it most.’
The Jungle will be published in March 2017.