Scottish publisher Cranachan has signed author Roy Peachey to its middle-grade imprint, Pokey Hat, for his debut children’s title, The Race.
The dual narrative, which will be published by Cranachan in early 2021, introduces Lili, a young athlete with her own point to prove, and features Eric ‘Chariots of Fire’ Liddell, the hero of the 1924 Olympics, as they both prepare for the race of their lives.
In 1944 Liddell is getting ready to run his final race in a Japanese prison camp in China, while in present day Lili DeLisle is preparing to race in front of the Queen when she visits the school as part of their anniversary celebrations at her school Sports Day.
United by the country of their birth, and their love of athletics, Eric and Lili face very different challenges. Having returned to China, the country where he was born, Eric finds himself in a war zone. Separated from his family and locked up in a prison camp, his lifelong principles are challenged by the imprisoned children he is trying to help.
Having been adopted from China as a baby, Lili also has issues to work through. When her athletic preparations are thrown into chaos by events outside her control, she too has to decide between family and the race of her life.
Anne Glennie, publisher at Cranachan, acquired The Race in a world rights deal directly from the author. Glennie said: The Race is a fantastic and refreshing addition to our Pokey Hat list, with sport as the central subject, it combines contemporary drama with illuminating historical flashbacks, and explores crucial themes including, adoption, racism, family and friendships. An inspiring tale of perseverance and personal achievement, The Race would make a perfect read for young people in the run up to the 2021 Olympics.”
Peachey added: “I am really delighted to be joining Clan Cranachan and am excited at the prospect of introducing readers to Lili, a dynamic young athlete with a love of running. As the Olympics approach, it’s also a great time to look again at the life of Eric Liddell, an inspiring athlete whose life became even more remarkable after he retired from the sport.”
About Roy Peachey
Roy lives with his wife, two daughters, two dogs, two cats, one rabbit, one tortoise, and a few fish. When he isn’t spending time with his family, writing books, or looking after the menagerie, Roy is a teacher and charity worker.
Peachey’s first novel for adults, Between Darkness and Light, the story of a translator with the Chinese Labour Corps during World War I, was published in 2019 by Eyrie Press. He is also the author of three non-fiction books: Out of the Classroom and Into the World; 50 Books for Life; and Did Jesus Go To School?