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Faber announces Alexandra Sheppard's spellbinding middle-grade

By Faber Editor, 3 March 2023

Alexandra Sheppard, author of Oh My Gods and Friendship Never Ends, takes her debut middle grade to Faber in a major three-book deal, with Alyssa and the Spell Garden to publish first in April 2024.

A contemporary fantasy set in North London, Alyssa and the Spell Garden follows a small community facing eviction and gentrification whilst trying to protect the magical spell garden that has hidden within the neighbourhood for decades. Inspired by memories of her own childhood city garden and the importance of green spaces, Alexandra Sheppard drew on many personal experiences to create a story centred around the power of community.

Alexandra Sheppard said:

‘I imagined Alyssa and the Spell Garden during the first lockdown; writing a story of solidarity, community and the magic of green spaces was my escape. I couldn’t be happier that my MG debut has found a home with Faber.’

Natasha Brown, Editor said:

‘This is a major acquisition for Faber – Alexandra is an incredibly talented writer and we are proud to be publishing her gorgeous middle grade books. Alyssa and the Spell Garden is a fantastical escape from reality that is just close enough to real life that you can imagine that a magical spell garden could really be just around the corner . . . This is a book that will empower readers to fight for their communities and to cherish the green spaces around them.’

Lauren Gardner, Bell Lomax Moreton said:

‘I am so thrilled for Alexandra to be working with the brilliant team at Faber for her middle grade debut – I can’t wait for young readers to meet Alyssa and explore the spellbinding botanical world Alexandra has created.’

Alexandra Sheppard was born in North London to a Jamaican mother and English father. When Alex isn’t writing fiction, she is a freelance social media strategist with experience working on dozens of award-winning social media campaigns. Oh My Gods was her first YA novel, published by Scholastic in 2019. Her second YA novel, Friendship Never Ends, will be published by Knights Of in May 2023. Alex is also the co-author of Fly High Crew in collaboration with the Banjo Brothers, published by Scholastic and has also contributed to Happy Here, an anthology of 10 stories from Black British authors and illustrators published by Knights Of.

Natasha Brown acquired world rights from Lauren Gardner at Bell Lomax Moreton.

Alyssa and the Spell Garden will publish in paperback on 4th April 2024.