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*Large run of bound proofs to get everyone reading *Major launch for Atom in 2014 *Competitions, extracts and more *Nationwide publicity & social media marketing campaign *Working closely with schools to promote
Born in 1963 to Jamaican parents living in Brixton, ALEX WHEATLE spent most of his childhood in a Surrey children's home. He returned to Brixton in 1977 where he founded the Crucial Rocker sound system and performed his own songs and lyrics under the name of Yardman Irie. He spent a short stint in prison following the Brixton uprising of 1981. Following his release from prison he continued to write poems and lyrics and became known as the Brixton Bard. Alex's first novel, BRIXTON ROCK, was published to critical acclaim in 1999. Five more novels, EAST OF ACRE LANE, THE SEVEN SISTERS, ISLAND SONGS, CHECKERS and THE DIRTY SOUTH followed, all highly praised. His books are on school reading lists, Alex takes part in Black History Month every year, works with Booktrust and the Children's Discovery Centre to promote reading. He is representing English PEN, and tours the country with his one-man show, UPRISING. He teaches in various places including Lambeth College, holds workshops in prisons and is frequently invited to schools to speak to students, inspiring in them with his own story a passion for literature. Alex also appears regularly on BBC1's The One Show and on radio. In the autumn of 2010 he wrote and performed his own one-man autobiographical show for Tara Arts, UPRISING, and took the performance on tour in October 2012. He was at Harrogate Crime Writing Festival in July 2011. He was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for services to literature in 2008. A favourite of reading groups and libraries, he is UK's most read Black British author. He is working on a non-fiction book about Black Britain and on more Young Adult novels. He lives with his family in South London.
Ultimately, my favourite book of this season has to be Liccle Bit, the first novel for young adults by Alex Wheatle, author of Brixton Rock. It's not for nothing that he was named the Brixton Bard. This is a book that sings with warmth, in spite of its tough setting - in the midst of a gang war - and contains lines that dance. Liccle Bit is the second shortest guy in his year and has the hots for Venetia King, though he knows that "fit girls don't usually go for short brothers". But his sister's ex, Manjoro, wants him to do a "liccle errand" for him, and then another, and when there's a killing on the estate, he worries that he is embroiled. A gritty delight - a liccle smile on every page. * Scotland Herald * Breathing new life into a genre currently obsessed with vampires, dystopian visions or mawkishly sentimental stories, this tale set in a contemporary high-rise estate is topical and also a triumph of language . . . Wise as well as witty, understanding rather than blinkered, this novel is a joy to read * Independent * This is a tender and totally believable YA novel by a writer who knows unseen places, unheard people and untold stories. He knows because he has lived a life that might have remained hidden if he hadn't found within him the urge and talent to write. His previous books spoke to many who were not regular readers. This one will excite the urban young because their world is brought alive on the pages and those who raised in green and pleasant lands. Funny, painful, gritty and soft, this is a lovely book. -- Yasmin Alibhai-Brown What a gripping tale of family and friends, love and loyalty . . . Lemar's voice is so strong and I loved the humour in it too. -- Malorie Blackman, Children's Laureate