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


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Melanin in YA News

  • Have you heard?! Melanin in YA is expanding as an LLC! We’re currently crowdfunding for start up costs and I’m asking for your help, whether a financial show of support or simply by sharing the GoFundMe. No donation is too small. We’re fundraising for $25,000 and we’re already nearing $18,000. Please help Melanin in YA get to the finish line! Thank you. Donate Here.

Book Deals

  • Stephanie Kuehn sold her contemporary novel, WE WEREN’T LOOKING TO BE FOUND coming 2022 from Hyperion.
  • S. Isabelle sold a YA witch debut (2022) and a second novel coming from Scholastic.

Publisher Breakdown 2021 So Far

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Foreign Rights

  • REAPER OF SOULS by Rena Barron has sold to Poland.
  • LEGENDBORN by Tracy Deonn has sold to Taiwan and Czech Republic.
  • HOME IS NOT A COUNTRY by Safia Elhillo has sold to France.

Cover Reveals

  • Penguin Teen unveiled the cover for AND WE RISE by Erica Martin (February 1, 2022).

Jacket Designer: Theresa Evangelista

Illustrator: Adriana Bellet


The Assembly on Literature to Adolescents (ALAN) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) announced the 2021 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award for Young Adult Fiction Finalists which include CLAP WHEN YOU LAND by Elizabeth Acevedo, SLAY by Brittney Morris, and THE BLACK KIDS by Christina Hammonds Reed.

The 2021 Locus Awards Top Ten Finalists were announced and include LEGENDBORN by Tracy Deonn, DEATHLESS DIVIDE by Justina Ireland, A SONG BELOW WATER by Bethany C. Morrow, as well as the MG title, RACE TO THE SUN by Rebecca Roanhoarse all in the Young Adult category.

A SONG BELOW WATER by Bethany C. Morrow is a Gold winner for the 2020 Nautilus Awards in Young Adult Fiction.

American Booksellers Association chose SKIN OF THE SEA by Natasha Bowen, THE PASSING PLAYBOOK by Isaac Fitzsimmons, ME (MOTH) by Amber McBride, and DON’T HATE THE PLAYER by Alexis Nedd as Indies Introduce titles for Summer/Fall 2021.

Nicola Yoon received a fourth starred review for INSTRUCTIONS FOR DANCING, this time from BookPage.

General Updates

Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé completed her Undergraduate Dissertation on Depicting Monstrosity in Children’s Literature. Congratulations, Faridah!

WME has signed Tomi Adeyemi (CHILDREN OF BLOOD & BONE).

Asha Bromfield (HURRICANE SUMMER) was featured in Teen Vogue. Bromfield was also featured alongside Emery Lee (MEET CUTE DIARY) in School Library Journal. Lee’s debut was also chosen as the second IMHO Book Club Pick and a pick for Lambda Literary’s May Most Anticipated LGBTQ Literature.

A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN by Roseanne A. Brown is the Barnes & Noble Monthly YA Pick for May 2021!

DiverseVoices, Inc’s very first mentorship program announced its mentors which include Ronni Davis (WHEN THE STARS LEAD TO YOU) as a YA Mentor!

OFF THE RECORD by Camryn Garrett is an Amazon Editors’ Pick for Best YA of the Month (May 2021). Garrett’s sophomore novel, along with EXCUSE ME WHILE I UGLY CRY by Joya Goffney and MEET CUTE DIARY by Emery Lee were featured in Pop Sugar’s 13 Best YA Books of May Include Dreamy Romances and Epic Adventures.

Leah Johnson (RISE TO THE SUN) was featured in Kirkus. Her latest novel along with Liselle Sambury‘s debut , BLOOD LIKE MAGIC were both featured on Shondaland’s Summer Reading 2021 List. Sambury’s debut was also listed as one of Indigo’s Most Anticipated Books of 2021.

Ibram X. Kendi is starting a podcast (subscribe here), “Be Antiracist,” which is a weekly interviews series that is a companion to his book, HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST. The podcast launches June 9th so stay tuned!

The Latinx in Publishing Inc. (LxP) Work-in-Progress (WiP) Fellowship Program is accepting applications until June 1, 2021.

MONSTER, based on the novel by Walter Dean Myers released on Netflix. Watch the movie here.

The Transatlantic Agency has started a BIPOC Agent Mentorship Program. Applications open June 1, 2021 for the fall mentorship.


May 2021 Joy

Happy reading!


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