Announcement: Debut middle grade book by Welsh author Cathy Jenkins tackles racism in football and families

GRAFFEG NEWS 29 November 2023

A debut Middle Grade book by Welsh author Cathy Jenkins tackles racism in football and families.

Debut author Cathy Jenkins has written a powerful new Middle Grade story tackling racism in sport and the community as well as what it takes to challenge the opinions of those you love. Zac ’n’ Jac will be published by Cadno, the new Middle Grade and YA imprint from Graffeg Publishing, with the financial support from the Books Council of Wales, and will be illustrated by Jamaican-born illustrator Monique Steele. 

Cathy Jenkins says, ‘I am absolutely thrilled to be working alongside the Graffeg team on Zac ’n’ Jac. It's especially exciting to be one of the first authors to be published by their new imprint, Cadno. Growing up in Wales, there were limited opportunities for my own two children of dual heritage to identify with role models who weren’t white or to celebrate the histories and achievements of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. This really needs to change.’ 

Matthew Howard, Publishing Director of Graffeg, adds, ‘Cathy’s story is one which pulls no punches. It recognises the ugly stain that racism represents, but it also deals sensitively with its ramifications among children whose world is turned upside down when those they love exhibit hate. We’re delighted to have the chance to publish this text, one which explores the complexities of family life and opens the door for conversations aplenty.’ 

Zac ’n’ Jac 

Nine-year-old Jack sees his father as a hero, but when Jack joins a local football team with his best friend Zac, things start to get a bit weird at home. It’s not until a group of professional footballers come into school to talk about racism that Jack realises what his father’s problem could be, as Zac and his father, David, are Black. After a traumatic turn of events, Jack learns of the difficulties faced by Zac’s grandparents and the Windrush Generation and becomes determined to help to make a change in society, starting with his own family.

Zac ’n’ Jac publishes October 2024. 

Notes to Editors: 

Please find attached a photo of Cathy Jenkins. Contact to request interviews or images for editorial use or to request more information on this title.


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