Femi Fadugba has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.
Fadugba is a Nigerian and also a British citizen. He was born in Togo and moved to England from the US in 1997. ‘The Upper Room,’ the first book of the physicist cum author was published by Penguin Random House in 2021.
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Fadugba’s ‘The Upper World’ was shortlisted in the Older Readers category alongside ‘Not my problem’ by Ciara Smyth; ‘The Crossing’ by Manjeet Mann; and ‘Firekeeper’s daughter’ by Angeline Boulley.
The organiser of the prize in a tweet announced the shortlisted authors as championing the finest new talent in children’s writing and illustration today, adding that the 18 books are to spark the imaginations of readers from toddlers to teens and beyond.
“Our booksellers have voted for their favourite new books for young readers, from toddlers to teens, and we have 18 books we can’t wait to share with you,” the organiser said.
In a response, Fadugba tweeted, “Honoured (and gassed Party popperParty popper) to be on the @waterstones Children’s Prize shortlist!!! Thank you, booksellers, Waterstones, plus all the YA readers who make this such a sick job Folded handsClinking glassesRocket #Theupperworld”
The book was also longlisted for the 2022 Branford Boase Award which is given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children.
Also, Netflix is working on the adaptation of the book into a movie starring Daniel Kaluuya.