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Schoolboy publishes debut fictional story

AUTHOR: Elijah Frederick

THIS THURSDAY, thirteen-year-old Elijah Frederick will debut his first fictional novel, Shifted Code at New Beacon Books.

Elijah's book comes at a time when the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLiPE) have recently released the results of their 'Reflecting Realities' survey.

The study looked at children's books published in the UK in 2017 to establish how many featured BAME (Black, asian or minority ethnic) characters. The findings reported that there were 9115 children's books published in the UK in 2017 and of these only 391 featured BAME characters. Furthermore, only 1% of the children's books published in the UK in 2017 had a BAME main character.

"As one of the very few remaining African & Caribbean Specialist bookshops in the UK, it is vital that New Beacon Books supports young aspiring authors like Elijah to improve diversity the literally world," said Vanessa La Rose.

"Black boys do read and WRITE and we commend Elijah for his vision and look forward to more books from him.”

For the past three years, Elijah has spent his spare time writing his story and creating the main character, Tadeo. Bullied by Nathan and his friends, Tadeo was a tormented genius who was isolated and excluded by everyone in his class. Through an unlucky pairing in class, a brawny Nathan and a victimised Tadeo would have to deal with the misery of working together on a computing project.

Before writing his book Elijah was a junior blogger for the Obi & Titi series, which also features BAME characters, a competition winner and contributor across a variety of publications. His love for writing prompted him to ask the creator of Obi & Titi, Oyehmi Begho for guidance on how to publish his first book who then mentored Elijah through the whole process

Just before he announced the completion of his book, Elijah was awarded 'Mathematician of the Year' at Westside Young Leaders Academy and 'Most Improved Student' in his year group for English at his Secondary School during the same week.

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