Jacaranda to release Muhammad Ali illustrated memoir by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander

Cover of Becoming Muhammad AliJacaranda Books will be releasing the illustrated memoir of boxing legend Muhammad Ali for Black History Month UK. Aimed to inspire teens and young readers, Becoming Muhammad Ali explores the life of Muhammad Ali up to the age of 17, while he was still known as Cassius Clay, and has been written with the cooperation and support of Muhammad Ali's estate.


“A stellar collaboration that introduces an important and intriguing individual to today’s readers.” – Kirkus Reviews


Black-and-white art by Anyabwile visually anchors scenes both domestic and iconic in this powerful, accessible view of a fascinating figure.” – Publishers Weekly

Becoming Muhammad Ali, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Little Brown in the US, will be released in the UK on October 20th in paperback edition.  The book combines prose and poetry, brought to life by the beautiful black and white illustrations of Dawud Anyabwile.

Jazzmine Breary of Jacaranda Books said “Becoming Muhammad Ali is one of the most important new books for young readers this autumn and a particularly inspiring story for Black History Month.

“2020 has been a difficult year for the Black community and young people have been deeply affected. It is important to remind them of powerful, talented, and socially conscious Black heroes who not only excelled in their own areas of expertise, but who stood up for civil rights and equality. We are so proud to be able to bring this title to a UK audience.”

Independent, diverse bookshop Round Table Books will be releasing copies of the book signed by author Kwame Alexander on publication day, organized in collaboration with Midas PR and Books Are My Bag.


About the Book

Before he was a household name, Cassius Clay was a kid with struggles like any other. James Patterson and Kwame Alexander joined forces to vividly depict his life up to age of seventeen in both prose and verse, including his childhood friends, challenges in school, facing bullies and discrimination, and his discovery of boxing. Readers will learn about Cassius's family and neighbours in Louisville, Kentucky, and how, after a thief stole his bike, Cassius began training as an amateur boxer at age twelve. Before long he won his first Golden Gloves bout and began his transformation into the unrivalled Muhammad Ali.

Fully authorised by and written in cooperation with Muhammad Ali's estate, Becoming Muhammad Ali dynamically captures the budding charisma and youthful personality of one of the greatest sports heroes of all time.


About the Authors

James Patterson and Kwame Alexander

James Patterson is one of the world’s best-selling authors. The creator of Max Einstein and Alex Rider, he has captured the imagination of millions of young readers from around the world.

Kwame Alexander is the New York Times best-selling author of thirty-four books, including his Newbury Medal-winning middle grade novel The Crossover and The Undefeated, winner of the Caldecott Medal and Newbury Honour. He is the founding editor of Versify, which aims to change the world, one word at a time.


For more information please contact Jazzmine Breary: Jazzmine@jacarandabooksartmusic.co.uk  07958 693 633 or Tiffany Cook: tiffany@jacarandabooksartmusic.co.uk 

For trade orders please contact the Inpress Books team: Rebecca Robinson rebecca@inpressbooks.co.uk or Jane Pike jane@inpressbooks.co.uk quoting ISBN 9781913090715