July 25, 2017
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.