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Black Lives Matter Book of the Week

Posted on: January 13, 2023

The Upper World

Upper World

by Femi Fadugba

This YA title is an exciting debut from Togolese British author Femi Fadugba. A physicist by profession, Fadugba wrote this time-travel thriller, set in south London, which adeptly mixes London slang and quantum physics. Told in a dual narrative separated by 15 years, we follow two Black London teens - 16 year old Esso, a high school student trying to avoid both a rival gang war and getting thrown out of school; and 15-year-old Rhia, a star soccer player stuck in the foster system who just wants to find out more about her biological mother. Because it's written in British English, you'll have to do a bit of mental translation work (football=soccer, maths=math, pitch=field) which is kind of a fun way to time travel to their world. Listening to the audiobook is an even more immersive experience with some real London accents to sort out.

If you like the story, stay tuned, as a sequel is anticipated this year. Also, Oscar winner Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Black Panther, Judas and the Black Messiah) is a big fan of the book and will produce and star in its movie adaption for Netflix.

"Fadugba’s debut dazzles, particularly when it comes to dialogue - the London slang flows with ease. A riveting thriller that creatively incorporates scientific elements." ~ Kirkus Reviews

See the Jones Library Antiracism Book List for recommended titles for all ages.

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