Dec 21, 2021 - News

D.C. native lands 7-figure book deal for "Promise Boys"

A ground view of students walking into a school building.
Photo: Astrid Riecken/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Writer and D.C. native Nick Brooks signed a seven-figure book deal for his young adult thriller novel "Promise Boys."

The book is about a group of D.C. charter school students who investigate their principal's murder.

Brooks, who's also a filmmaker and now lives in L.A., says he drew from his experience as a teacher in Southeast while writing the book. The D.C. native says he loved mystery books as a kid, from The Hardy Boys to Agatha Christie.

In addition to being an entertaining mystery novel, he wants to use "Promise Boys" to show some of the shortcomings of the education system and their long-term impacts on kids of color.

  • “Institutions that claim to put students first were constantly putting them last,” he tells Axios of his experience as a teacher.

The novel is for anyone who likes to read, Brooks says, but he specifically wants young Black kids in D.C. to see themselves and their culture reflected in the novel.

  • "I am intentional about making sure that I'm trying to reach an audience that doesn't typically get to make those text-to-self connections," he says.

"Promise Boys" will be published in 2023.

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