Mid-February 2021 News, Deals, Reveals, & More


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Melanin in YA News

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Book Deals

Matthew Dawkins sold the contemporary novel, UNTIL WE BREAK coming winter 2022 from Wattpad.

Warona Jolomba sold world rights for her contemporary novel, REST EASY coming fall 2021 from Wattpad.

Frederick Joseph and Porsche Landon sold their nonfiction book, BETTER THAN WE FOUND IT in a six-figure deal, in a pre-empt to Candlewick, coming fall 2022.

Jessica Lewis sold her horror novel, MONSTER in an exclusive submission to Delacorte, coming fall 2022.

Rebekah Weatherspoon sold world English rights for her young adult romance, HER GOOD SIDE coming Fall 2022 from Razorbill and an untitled second novel. (Source)

Publisher Breakdown 2021 So Far

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Adaptation Deals

Namina Forna announced during the release week of THE GILDED ONES that the trilogy has been optioned for film by Makeready with Namina herself writing the script and Misha Green (Lovecraft Country, Underground) producing.

Cover Reveals

Flatiron Books unveiled the covered for WILD TONGUES CAN’T BE TAMED Edited Saraciea J. Fennell, out September 14, 2021.

George M. Johnson unveiled the cover for WE ARE NOT BROKEN which is out September 7, 2021 from Little Brown Young Readers.

Yours truly, Melanin in YA debuted the cover for THE BONES OF RUIN by Sarah Raughley, out September 7, 2021 from Margaret K. McElderry Books.

Cover ArtistKhadijah Khatib

Notable Mentions: The UK cover for EXCUSE ME WHILE I UGLY CRY by Joya Goffney

Foreign Rights and Releases

LEGENDBORN by Tracy Deonn is coming to Turkey from Epsilon.

Bestseller Lists

NYT: WINGS OF EBONY by J. Elle became an instant NYT Bestseller.

Indie Bestsellers: WINGS OF EBONY by J. Elle made its first appearance on the list. LOVE IS A REVOLUTION by Renée Watson made its first appearance on the list.


The ALA Rainbow Book List named its Top 10 selections including ALL BOYS AREN’T BLUE by George M. Johnson, YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN by Leah Johnson, and WAR GIRLS by Tochi Onyebuchi.

The Book and Film Globe Publishing Power 30 honored Dana Canedy, Saraciea J. Fennell, Ebony LaDelle, Lisa Lucas, L.L. McKinney, Quressa Robinson, Tracy Sherrod, and more.

CILIP Carnegie Medal Nominations 2021 were announced and include CLAP WHEN YOU LAND by Elizabeth Acevedo and CINDERELLA IS DEAD by Kalynn Bayron.

Kara Lee Corthron (DAUGHTERS OF JUBILATION) received the 2021 Writers Guild Award nomination for Best New Series for her writing on the HBO series, The Flight Attendant. The series (which is not a young adult series, to be clear) was also nominated for a Golden Globe in the category Best TV Series – Musical or Comedy.

The NAACP Image Award nominations were announced. 2021 Nominees for Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens include STAMPED: RACISM, ANTIRACISM AND YOU by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi as well as DEAR JUSTYCE by Nic Stone.

The 2021 Rise: A Feminist Book Project List was announced and includes CLAP WHEN YOU LAND by Elizabeth Acevedo, EVERY BODY LOOKING by Candice Iloh and many others.

The 2021 YALSA Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults honored THIS IS MY AMERICA by Kim Johnson, DEAR JUSTYCE by Nic Stone, FLYY GIRLS by Ashley Woodfolk (LUX: THE NEW GIRL #1 and MICAH: THE GOOD GIRL #2).

NUBIA: REAL ONE by L.L. McKinney received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly.

More Updates

Foyinsi Adegbonmire was promoted to Associate Editor at Macmillan.

The Good Morning America Black History in 2021: The GMA Inspiration List revealed Tomi Adeyemi as Robin Roberts‘s nominee, Dhonielle Clayton as Nic Stone‘s nominee, and Eve L. Ewing as Jacqueline Woodson‘s nominee among others.

Jennifer Baker has moved to HarperCollins as Senior Editor for Amistad.

The NYT featured BLACK GIRL UNLIMITED by Echo Brown.

HAPPILY EVER AFTERS by Elise Bryant was featured on Today with Hoda & Jenna.

J. Elle shared 25 Books By Black Authors To Add To Your Reading List This Month on Buzzfeed.

Namina Forna (THE GILDED ONES) was featured in Elle Magazine.

YESTERDAY IS HISTORY by Kosoko Jackson is getting the audiobook treatment. The audiobook will be narrated by Ronnie Butler.

Leah Johnson, the very first Reese’s YA Book Club Pick, featured HAPPILY EVER AFTERS by Elise Bryant, NOW THAT I FOUND YOU by Kristina Forest, and TRULY MADLY ROYALLY by Debbie Rigaud for the Book Club’s app launch. Leah also wrote an incredible piece for Harper’s Bazaar.

Ebony LaDelle joins Brand Publishing as the new Marketing Director.

Bernice King, Martin Luther King Jr.‘s daughter, gave Angie Thomas (CONCRETE ROSE) a shout out.

Renée Watson was interviewed by Pen America and Zora.

The WNDB Emergency Fund for Diverse Creatives is accepting new applicants! Submission guidelines are here.

Who showed up for Black History Month?

EpicReads shared 44 YA Books You Need to Read—Especially During Black History Month.

Fierce Reads is hosting a Sweepstakes for a set of 5 Books. Enter here.

GetUnderlined highlighted Young Adult Books to Read for Black History Month and A Collection of Books by Black Authors to Read and Share.

Inkyard Press is hosting a virtual “Black Voices in YA” panel on Monday, February 22, 2021 9am-10am PT / 12pm-1pm ET featuring Dana L. Davis, Alechia Dow, and Francina Simone, moderated by Maika & Maritza Moulite.

I Read YA shared 10 Amazing Books by Black Authors and Audiobooks Written and Read by Black Creators. Scholastic also shared Celebrate Black History Month With Share Black Stories and 13 Black Owned Bookstores You Should Absolutely Know About.

NOVL shared Black Voices to Celebrate.

Penguin Teen shared a reading recommendations list and also reminded readers about the Blackathon readathon that Bowties and Books hosts.

Riveted by Simon Teen shared Black Stories Matter: Books by Black Authors You Should Read ASAP.


February Joy

To see the latest virtual events coming up, be sure to visit the Events page!

Happy reading!


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