This is a wonderful time in children’s book publishing, where the faces of black girls and boys on covers is not an anomaly. When I was a kid, I almost never saw myself on the cover of a book, and certainly not ones as spectacular as those upcoming in the next few months. There was a time in this industry when publishers believed having a black person on a cover meant the book wouldn’t sell. (If you haven’t heard Justine Larbalestier’s battle to get a black girl on her cover for LIAR, you can read all about it here.) But that seems to be a thing of the past. Below are upcoming novels with black girls and boys on the cover that we’re all excited about.
Tomi Adeyemi’s CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, a young adult fantasy based in African mythology. (March 2018)
Dhonielle Clayton’s THE BELLES, a young adult fantasy about a group of young women who control how people look. (February 2018)
David Barclay Moore’s THE STARS BENEATH OUR FEET, a middle grade novel about 12-year-old Lolly, dealing with the gang-related death of his brother. (September 2017)
Justina Ireland’s DREAD NATION, a young adult novel which reimagines the civil war with children trained to kill zombies. (April 2018)
Ilyasah Shabazz with Renée Watson’s BETTY BEFORE X, a middle grade novelized nonfiction book about activist Betty Shabazz as a young girl. (January 2018)
Jason Reynolds’ MILES MORALES SPIDER-MAN is a novelized version of Marvel’s newest super hero, who is half African-American and half Puerto Rican. (August 2017)
Kheryn Callendar’s HURRICANE CHILD, an MG magical realism about a girl who can see things others can’t. (March 2018)
And my own RISE OF THE JUMBIES, the second in a middle grade fantasy series about a girl who must fight mythological Caribbean creatures. (September 2017)
Feel free to add more upcoming titles you’re excited about in the comments.
The Brown Bookshelf is designed to push awareness of the myriad Black voices writing for young readers. Our flagship initiative is 28 Days Later, a month-long showcase of the best in Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult novels written and illustrated by Black creators.
You can read more about the members of The Brown Bookshelf here.