January 2021 Part Two News, Deals, Reveals, & More


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Book Deals

Alechia Dow sold a deal for her contemporary fantasy novel, SWEET STAKES coming 2023 from Inkyard Press.

Lamar Giles sold his untitled speculative-fiction horror novel in an exclusive submission to Scholastic, coming Fall 2022.

Jas Hammonds sold a two-book deal in a preempt for her contemporary novel, WE DESERVE MONUMENTS coming Summer 2022 from Roaring Brook.

Publisher Breakdown 2021 This Year So Far

Adaptation Deals

Netflix is adapting Dr. Ibram X. Kendi‘s Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America into a documentary/scripted feature, Stamped from the Beginning. (Note though the young readers edition of Stamped is STAMPED: RACISM, ANTIRACISM, AND YOU: A REMIX which is co-written by Jason Reynolds.

Cover Reveals

  • Lauren Blackwood unveiled the cover for WITHIN THESE WICKED WALLS coming November 9, 2021 from Wednesday Books.

Artist: Palesa Monareng

Cover Designer: Kerri Resnick

  • Melanin in YA unveiled the paperback cover for THE SOUND OF STARS by Alechia Dow coming December 7, 2021 from Inkyard Press.

Cover Art: Michael A. Dale

Cover Design: Mary Luna

Art Direction: Gigi Lau

  • Shanna Miles unveiled the cover for FOR ALL TIME coming Fall 2021 from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Illustration: Stephanie Singleton

  • Entertainment Weekly unveiled the cover for INSTRUCTIONS FOR DANCING by Nicola Yoon coming Delacorte Press (June 1, 2021)

Illustration: Renike

Lettering: Jyotirmayee

Design Team: Neil Swaab & Martha Rago

Book Trailers

MUTED by Tami Charles

THE GILDED ONES by Namina Forna

LIKE HOME by Louisa Onomé


Foreign Rights And Releases

FOREVER ENDS ON FRIDAY by Justin A. Reynolds released in the UK from Macmillan Children’s Books UK. For reference, the U.S. edition is titled EARLY DEPARTURES.

WHEN THE STARS LEAD TO YOU by Ronni Davis is coming to Germany May 10, 2021 from CBJ Verlag Random House as YOUR HEART, SO CLOSE TO MINE.

SIMONE BREAKS ALL THE RULES by Debbie Rigaud is coming to the UK June 3, 2021 from Scholastic.


Ta-Nehisi Coates appeared on CBS News to promote THE BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE adapted for young readers. Watch the full interview here.

Bestsellers Lists

NYT: CONCRETE ROSE by Angie Thomas debuted at #1 on the NYT Bestsellers List for the January 31, 2021 week. She currently has two books on The List, CONCRETE ROSE and THE HATE U GIVE which has been on The List for 203 weeks.


CLAP WHEN YOU LAND by Elizabeth Acevedo and STAMPED: RACISM, ANTIRACISM, AND YOU: A REMIX by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi & Jason Reynolds received the Odyssey Audiobook Award Honor.

CINDERELLA IS DEAD by Kalynn Bayron as well as PUNCHING THE AIR by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam have been shortlisted for the Wordery Books Children’s Book of the Year. Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam also received the 2021 Walter Award for PUNCHING THE AIR.

Tracy Deonn received the Coretta Scott King -John Steptoe Award for LEGENDBORN.

THE SOUND OF STARS by Alechia Dow was selected as a Hal Clement Notable Young Adult Books List title.

Candice Iloh received The Michael L. Printz Award Honor for EVERY BODY LOOKING.

Leah Johnson received the Stonewall Honor Book Honor for YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN.

Kekla Magoon won the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lasting Contribution to Children’s Literature.

Christina Hammonds Reed is a Morris Award finalist for THE BLACK KIDS.

The 2021 Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selections include CLAP WHEN YOU LAND by Elizabeth Acevedo, FELIX EVER AFTER by Kacen Callender, LEGENDBORN by Tracy Deonn, EVERY BODY LOOKING by Candice Iloh, YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN by Leah Johnson, THE BLACK KIDS by Christina Hammonds Reed, WITCHES STEEPED IN GOLD by Ciannon Smart

We Need Diverse Books announced the Grant winners for the 2020 Walter Dean Myers Grants.

More Updates

Tami Charles received a starred review from SLJ for MUTED, out February 2, 2021 from Scholastic.

Lois Evans has been promoted to Assistant Editor at Random House Children’s.

Fiyah Con announced its 2021 dates: September 16, 2021 – September 19, 2021. Registration opens March 1, 2021.

On National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (February 8, 2021 5pm PT / 8pm ET), George M. Johnson‘s ALL BOYS AREN’T BLUE will get a 30 minute 3 chapters filmed reading performed by Dyllón Burnside (Pose), Bernard David Jones (The Mayor), Thomas Hobson (Sherman’s Showcase), and Jenifer Lewis (Black-ish). The reading is free and you can register at Eventbrite. Also, Zendaya (yes, that Zendaya) posed with ALL BOYS AREN’T BLUE by George M. Johnson! See here.

L.L. McKinney received her first starred review, from Kirkus for NUBIA: REAL ONE, out February 23, 2021.

THE COST OF KNOWING by Brittney M. Morris received its first trade review, a starred review from Kirkus.

Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards applications are open until March 2, 2021 to high school seniors in public school.

Bria Ragin joined Delacorte Press’s new imprint, Joy Revolution (Nicola Yoon and her husband’s imprint) as an Editor. Be sure to follow Joy Revolution’s new socials on Twitter and Instagram!

Retell Bookstore is a new Black owned bookstore where 25% of each dollar is spent on books for classrooms.

Apple Books named the audiobook for CONCRETE ROSE by Angie Thomas as a January 2021 Must Listen. Angie also received a shout out from First Lady Dr. Jill Biden at the ALA Media Awards.

Kiara Valdez was promote to Associate Editor at FirstSecond.


February 2021 Book Releases

February 2, 2021

Muted by Tami Charles

Yesterday Is History by Kosoko Jackson (Pre-Order Campaign)

This Book is Anti-Racist Journal by Tiffany M. Jewell

Love Is a Revolution by Renée Watson

February 9, 2021

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

February 16, 2021

Reaper of Souls by Rena Barron (Pre-Order Campaign)

February 23, 2021

Some Other Now by Sarah Everett

Nubia: Real One by L. L. McKinney (Graphic Novel)

Like Home by Louisa Onomé (Pre-Order Campaign)

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