Knights Of has landed the first young fiction title by Nikesh Shukla.
Eishar Brar, editorial director, acquired world rights to The Council of Good Friends from Julia Kingsford at Julia Kingsford Ltd. The book will be illustrated by Rochelle Falconer. Illustration rights were acquired by senior designer Sophie McDonnell from Justine Smith at Bell Lomax Moreton. The Council of Good Friends will be published in September 2023.
The publisher said: “Vinay, Musa, Inua and Nish are best friends. Nothing can separate them… until one day when Vinay’s cousin comes to invade his bunk bed haven (i.e. share his room). Filled with caring moments of friendship, funny pranks, and a sensitive depiction of friendship between young boys, The Council of Good Friends is a new take on funny younger middle-grade with illustrations by an up-and-coming artist.”
Shukla said: “I’ve been thinking a lot about male friendships these past few years and wanted to reflect that in some work that showed young men that it’s okay to be vulnerable in front of each other and supportive of each other. I wanted to reflect a friendship group of mine that solidified over the pandemic and was the funniest, most supportive, most vulnerable and tender friendship group I’ve ever experienced. Part of me thought, ‘How can I show past-me that friendship groups like this are possible?’. Often when I write for kids or teenagers, I’m writing back towards a gap on my bookshelf when I was that age.”
Brar said: “We at Knights Of have been inspired by the talent and dedication of Nikesh Shukla since our very inception. It’s an honour to publish his first book for younger readers, and we can’t wait to introduce everyone to his cast of funny, warm, sensitive boys in The Council of Good Friends.”
Article posted on The Bookseller, June 16, 2023