High Rise Mystery by Sharna Jackson is the first black UK detective duo for readers ages 9–12 in the UK. It takes place during a record-breaking heatwave in London.
There’s been a murder in the TRI, the high-rise building where two sisters Nik (age 11) and Norva (age 13) live. One of the building’s most favourite residents, Hugh Knightley-Webb, a dealer of antiques, has been found dead, and Nik and Norva are on the case.
They are smart, they are stubborn and they know how to follow the evidence. In the wake of a lackluster police effort, Nik & Norva will get to the bottom of the case no matter what it takes.
Author Sharna Jackson is also Artistic Director of The Site Gallery, an international contemporary art space in Sheffield, UK. High Rise Mystery is a new series and I’m delighted to see it hitting the shelves in the past few weeks.
High Rise Mystery is published by Knights Of, a new, inclusive publisher based in London. I’ve written before about Knights Of. I took a group of students to meet co-founder David Stevens, who, along with business partner Aimée Felone, started Knights Of because of a study which revealed that in the UK only 1% of children’s books published contained a BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) main character.
As a School Librarian, I know the importance of ensuring students see themselves reflected back at them in the books that they read. The damage done by seeing only white, straight characters as the protagonists in novels is undeniable. It tells students from diverse backgrounds in a very direct way that they are not good enough to be the hero or to come out the winner in the stories that help develop their teenage brains.
Knights Of have also successfully remained permanent in their Brixton location, opening Round Table Books in May of 2019—check it out!