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


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Melanin in YA News

  • Melanin in YA is expanding as an LLC! There’s plenty in store for the future of Melanin in YA. To become self-sustaining and have as much time as needed to focus on Melanin in YA, I’m asking for your help, whether a financial show of support for start up funds or simply by sharing the GoFundMe with your family, friends, and colleagues via social media and in real life. No donation is too small. We’re fundraising for $25,000 and we’re already nearing $15,000. Please help Melanin in YA get to the finish line! Thank you so much. Donate Here.

Book Deals

Elizabeth Agyemang sold her debut (world English rights), a thriller titled HEART-SHAPED LIES to Delacorte coming 2023.

In a preempt, H.D. Hunter sold a two book deal, World English rights, for their contemporary novel, SOMETHING LIKE RIGHT coming 2023 and an untitled novel from FSG.

Greg Neri and John Rocco sold world rights for WE ARE ALL APOLLO: THE FIGHT FOR EQUALITY, THE QUEST FOR SPACE, AND THE UNSUNG HEROES WHO MADE THE DIFFERENCE to Roaring Brook. This was a five-house auction.

Michael Ralph and illustrators, Nia Palmer and Laura Molnar sold two contemporary graphic novels, FISHING and BASKETBALL IQ to Algonquin set for 2023 and 2024.

Debbie Rigaud sold world English rights for an untitled contemporary to Scholastic, coming 2023

Delacorte has bought world rights for THE GRIMOIRE OF GRAVE FATES, a fantasy novel written by 18 authors, including Cam Montgomery, Jessica Lewis, Julian Winters, Kwame Mbalia, L. L. McKinney, and Natasha Díaz coming 2022.

Publisher Breakdown 2021 So Far

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Foreign Rights and Releases

  • BLACKOUT by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon sold to Poland, Sweden, and Spain.
  • GROWN by Tiffany D. Jackson sold to France.

Cover Reveals

  • Lee & Low unveiled the cover for BLACK WAS THE INK by Michelle Coles (September 21, 2021)

Illustration: Justin Johnson


Publishers Weekly gave THIS POISON HEART by Kalynn Bayron a starred review. Read her interview with Publishers Weekly here.

BLACKOUT by by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

The Black-Eyed Susan Award Nominees were announced and include CLAP WHEN YOU LAND by Elizabeth Acevedo, YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN by Leah Johnson, A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN by Roseanne A. Brown.

Sharon G. Flake received her fourth starred review for THE LIFE I’M IN. This one is from SLJ.

OFF THE RECORD by Camryn Garrett now has 3 starred reviews, from SLJ, Publishers Weekly, & Kirkus.

SO MANY BEGINNINGS: A LITTLE WOMEN REMIX by Bethany C. Morrow is a Jr. Library Guild Gold Standard Selection!

Liselle Sambury received a starred review from Kirkus for BLOOD LIKE MAGIC. She also received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

The IGNYTE Award Finalists were announced and include LEGENDBORN by Tracy Deonn, RAYBEARER by Jordan Ifueko, and A SONG BELOW WATER by Bethany C. Morrow for Best Novel – Young Adult, Jesse (Bowties & Books) for the Critics Award, Dhonielle Clayton for The Ember Award, as well as A PHOENIX FIRST MUST BURN Edited by Patrice Caldwell and VAMPIRES NEVER GET OLD: TALES WITH A FRESH BITE Edited by Zoraida Cordova and Natalie C. Parker for Best Anthology/Collected Works.

Nicola Yoon received a third starred review for INSTRUCTIONS FOR DANCING, this one from Publishers Weekly.

The LA Times Book Prize in YA Literature was given to PUNCHING THE AIR by Ibi Zoboi and Dr. Yusef Salaam.

General Updates

  • Before we get into the general updates, thank you to everyone who donated to author, Echo Brown‘s GoFundMe. Her fundraiser was fully funded!!!!! Follow her GoFundMe for updates on her health. We also want to mention that author, Candice Montgomery lost her younger brother suddenly this week and is accepting donations for funeral costs. We are so sorry for your loss, Candice.

Buzzfeed shared 30 LGBTQ Young Adult Books We Think You Should Read This Spring which include ACE OF SPADES by by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, THE MARVELOUS by Claire Kann, and OFF THE RECORD by Camryn Garrett among a handful of other notables. See who else is on the list here.

Buzzfeed also shared 18 YA Verse Novels To Pick Up During National Poetry Month which include Elizabeth Acevedo, Mahogany L. Browne, Candice Iloh and more. Be sure to check out the full list!

DARLING by K. Ancrum now has a book trailer! Watch here.

If you missed the LA Times Festival of Books panel, “The Black Experience” featuring Dean Atta, Ibi Zoboi and Dr. Yusef Salaam among others, you can watch it here.

Ronni Davis (WHEN THE STARS LEAD TO YOU) was chosen as a cohort for the Amplify Black Voices program brought to you by The Brown Bookshelf and the Highlights Foundation.

Literary Agent, Samantha S. Fabien has updated her MSWL.

Namina Forna‘s THE GILDED ONES was chosen as the May 2021 Pick for Stephen Curry’s Book Club. Namina also has new representation: Jodi Reamer at Writers House. Congrats!

Harriett’s Bookshop is looking to buy a permanent location once their lease is up, You can help here.

Tiffany D. Jackson earned out on GROWN. Congratulations, Tiffany!

USA Today named the dramatic reading of ALL BOYS AREN’T BLUE by George M. Johnson as one of the four best LGBTQ films from Outfest Fusion 2021. USA Today also published Black YA authors you should read, from Angie Thomas to Walter Dean Myers including 50 authors we know and love!

The paperback of A RIVER OF ROYAL BLOOD by Amanda Joy has entered its second printing!

The Latinx in Publishing Inc. (LxP) Publishing Fellowship Program is accepting applications from aspiring Editors until May 15, 2021.

The Lit Bar Bookstore celebrated its 2nd anniversary! Congratulations!

The Angie Thomas Scholarship (a full scholarship) was awarded to an aspiring writer in Delaware. Details at the AP.

YALSA announced the 2021 Teens’ Top Ten Nominees which include CLAP WHEN YOU LAND by Elizabeth Acevedo, ALL BOYS AREN’T BLUE by George M. Johnson, AND THE BLACK FRIEND: ON BEING A BETTER WHITE PERSON by Frederick Joseph.


May 2021 Book Releases

May 4, 2021

Hurricane Summer: A Novel by Asha Bromfield

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney

Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee

May 11, 2021

Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass

May 18, 2021

Off the Record by Camryn Garrett

May 25, 2021

A Sitting in St. James by Rita Williams-Garcia

Every Body Shines: Sixteen Stories About Living Fabulously Fat Edited by Cassandra Newbould

Happy reading!


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