Pooja Puri

  • Ink Road Raise Awareness of The Bike Project

    Ink Road, Black & White’s YA imprint, is set to launch its first title this month – The Jungle by Pooja Puri. The book follows Mico, an unaccompanied child trying to make sense of his new life in the migrant encampment in Calais commonly known as ‘the Jungle’.

    With the launch of the book, author Pooja and the publisher are also keen to promote a London-based charity called The Bike Project.

    Megan Duff (Assistant Commissioning Editor), Lina Langlee (Press Officer), Pooja Puri (author of The Jungle), Janne Moller (Rights Manager), Daiden O'Regan (Sales Account Manager) Megan Duff (Assistant Commissioning Editor), Lina Langlee (Press Officer), Pooja Puri (author of The Jungle), Janne Moller (Rights Manager), Daiden O'Regan (Sales Account Manager)

    “Mico desperately wants to be part of the bike crew that fix up and sell bikes to fund their escape from the Jungle. The bikes aren’t just a form of transport; they offer a rare opportunity to take control in a life shrouded by uncertainty. The bike is in many ways a symbol of hope” Pooja says. “This is why I am so proud to be supporting The Bike Project. Based in London, this charity takes second-hand bikes, fix them up and donate to refugees and asylum seekers. In doing so, they offer refugees a vital helping hand in getting their lives back on track” she continues.

    “The Bike Project is a small charity that has a big impact on the people they work with” says Campbell Brown, managing director at Black & White. “In publishing the incredibly topical The Jungle, which ties in so perfectly with their important work, we have an opportunity to promote them in whatever way we can. We’re donating a bike or two, as is Pooja and her family, and we’re actively encouraging others to do so too. We’re including The Bike Project’s flyers in our mailouts and promotions, including a Books on the Underground drop. We’re also hoping to raise funds at the launch at Waterstones Tottenham Court Road on March 18th, where The Bike Project will be present”.

    Pooja Puri, author of The Jungle Pooja Puri, author of The Jungle

    The Bike Project – Getting Refugees Cycling

    The Bike Project is a registered charity based in south London. Since launching in March 2013 they have donated over 2,000 bikes.

    At least 20,000 asylum seekers seek sanctuary in London each year whilst over 27,000 bikes are abandoned in the same period. Just one of these bikes can help an asylum seeker access crucial services and appointments and save them £21.20 a week on a bus pass. When you’re living off of £36.95 asylum support, that makes a big difference.

    In 2015 they also began to provide female asylum seekers and refugees cycle training as many of the women that we see are from societies where females were not encouraged to ride a bike, or where doing so was not considered appropriate.

    Some of the bikes they receive are sold through The Bike Shop to generate funds, the proceeds of which ensure longer term financial sustainability. You can also donate money directly to them or become a monthly sponsor.

  • Black & White acquires teenage refugee title: The Jungle by Pooja Puri

    Megan Duff

    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.

    Pooja PuriDuff 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.

    The Jungle, Pooja Puri

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