Day 21: Tracey Baptiste

Photo of Tracey Baptiste. Black woman with long curly hair wearing a white t-shirt and jeans, smiles at the camera.
Photo by Viscose Illusions

It’s been an absolute pleasure to be a member of The Brown Bookshelf and participate in all the amazing work the group has done over the years. As a baby writer, The Brown Bookshelf was the first publishing entity to notice me and highlight my debut ANGEL’S GRACE which came out in 2005! BBS has always been good at noticing the entire Black creative community and making sure everybody gets their shine.

Amplify is one of the crowning achievements of the group. I’ve loved catching up with the Amplify cohort in the last weeks and I’m looking forward to seeing what that group does in the future.

Publishing Journey

While it all began with ANGEL’S GRACE, I’m best known for my second novel THE JUMBIES, which became an unexpected trilogy. MINECRAFT: THE CRASH made me a New York Times bestselling author. Besides fiction middle grade, I also write nonfiction, picture books, young adult, and graphic novels. My publishing identity has never been on a single track.

Since 2005, I’ve published 21 books (#s 22 and 23 are out later this year), and 6 short stories (2 more are coming soon).

Cover of Moko Magic: Carnival Chaos by Tracey Baptiste, showing three Black kids in the foreground. The front girl wears shorts and a t-shirt, and holds a round fluffy object with a face. The girl on the right has French braids and is blowing something purple from her mouth. The boy on the left has box braids and a vine is snaking around his body. Behind them are a crowd of people holding flags and dressed in costumes dancing.
MOKO MAGIC: CARNIVAL CHAOS is illustrated by Frank Morrison

2024 is a busy year with the recent release of the paperback AFRICAN ICONS in January, and two series starters this summer and fall.

In August, MOKO MAGIC: CARNIVAL CHAOS drops. You can preorder it here. It’s the first in a series starring three cousins who discover they have the magical abilities of a moko jumbie. This mythical creature can heal, protect, and see into the past and future.

In October, BOY 2.0, my first science fiction novel debuts. It’s about a boy with skin as dark as coal (also his nickname) who discovers he has the power of invisibility. This makes Coal either a mutant or a science experiment…and a target. I can’t wait for everyone to meet cousins Misty, Brooke, and Aidan in Carnival Chaos, and root for Coal in Boy 2.0.

I continue to teach in the low residency creative writing MFA program at Lesley University. I’ve also added resources for writers, educators, and kids on my website. There are downloadable materials, video and audio interviews, reading lists, and writing classes. You can also book me to speak at your school or library. Yes, I’ll travel anywhere in the world.

Below is an exclusive look at the full wrap cover for BOY 2.0. There are hints about the novel in Taj Francis’ amazing illustration. I hope it entices you to preorder. Enjoy!

Wrap cover of BOY 2.0 by Tracey Baptiste. Blue background with graffiti image of a Black woman with shoulder-length hair. Puffy letters spell out COAL behind a full color illustration of a very dark-skinned Black boy wearing a hoodie. He's looking at his hands and seems to be disappearing into the background behind him.
Wrap cover illustration for BOY 2.0 by Taj Francis

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