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


  • Want the full newsletter? Subscribe on Substack for $5 a month!

Melanin in YA News

  • Do you listen to First Draft Podcast with Sarah Enni? When you listen to Episode #305: Camryn Garrett and Episode #306: Nicola Yoon, you’ll discover that these episodes are sponsored by Melanin in YA! Exciting! Melanin in YA now has a marketing budget to sponsor podcast episodes and the like all thanks to the current crowdfunding campaign for Melanin in YA’s start up costs. The end goal is $25k and we’re at $19k, so be sure to share the crowdfunding campaign with your loved ones, colleagues, and allies who support literature and diversity so that we can hit our fundraising goal. Donate here. Thank you!

Book Deals

  • Charlene Allen sold world English rights to her debut, a thriller, PLAY THE GAME coming 2023 and a second novel, to HarperCollins/Tegen.
  • Asha Bromfield sold North American rights to her sophomore contemporary novel, SONGS OF IRIE coming 2023 from Wednesday Books.
  • RaeChell Garrett sold her debut YA novel, a rom-com, PROMPOSAL for world English rights and a second novel, coming 2023 and 2024 from Little, Brown/Poppy.
  • In an exclusive deal, a six figure deal for world rights, Kim Johnson sold her contemporary, INVISIBLE SON coming 2022 from Random House Children’s.
  • Angelica Monai sold world rights to her thriller, HUNT A KILLER: PERFECT SCORE coming 2022 from Scholastic.
  • James Ramos sold his contemporary novel (world rights),THE WRONG KIND OF WEIRD and a second novel coming 2023 from Inkyard.
  • Ibi Zoboi sold an untitled Black Panther novel to Marvel Press for world rights, coming 2022.

Publisher Breakdown 2021 So Far

  • Available to Patreon and Newsletter Subscribers Only

Foreign Rights

  • MONDAY’S NOT COMING by Tiffany D. Jackson sold to Russia.

Cover Reveals

  • NOVL unveiled the cover to THE CHOSEN ONE by Echo Brown (January 18, 2022).
  • Disney Books unveiled the cover for SHATTERED MIDNIGHT by Dhonielle Clayton (October 5th, 2021).
  • Entertainment Weekly unveiled the cover for THE RUMOR GAME by Dhonielle Clayton & Sona Charaipotra (March 1, 2022)

  • ICYMI, The Nerd Daily unveiled the cover for THE PROBLEM WITH THE OTHER SIDE by Kwame Ivery (September 7, 2021)
    • Illustration: Amanda Howell Whitehurst

Zoraida Cordova unveiled the cover for the upcoming anthology that she is editing, RECLAIM THE STARS: 17 TALES ACROSS REALMS & SPACE (February 15, 2022) which includes a short story from Maya Motayne.

Marissa Meyer announced an upcoming anthology that she is editing, SERENDIPITY: TEN ROMANTIC TROPES TRANSFORMED (January 4, 2022) including short love stories written by Elise Bryant and Leah Johnson to name a few.


THIS POISON HEART by Kalynn Bayron received a starred review from Booklist.

MUTED by Tami Charles was chosen as a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers Nominee. YOUR DARK CORNER by Desmond Hall has been announced as a YALSA Amazing Audiobook 2022 Nominee.

The American Booksellers Association chose the Indies Introduce Debut Titles picks which include THE PASSING PLAYBOOK by Isaac Fitzsimons, DON’T HATE THE PLAYER by Alexis Nedd, ME (MOTH) by Amber McBride, and SKIN OF THE SEA by Natasha Bowen.

REDEMPTOR by Jordan Ifueko received a starred review from Kirkus.

The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2021 Shortlist includes RAYBEARER by Jordan Ifueko and THE BLACK FLAMINGO by Dean Atta.

RISE TO THE SUN by Leah Johnson received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

Nicola Yoon received a fifth starred review for INSTRUCTIONS FOR DANCING, this one from School Library Journal.

General Updates

Bustle shared the 44 New Must-Read Books Out This June which includes ACE OF SPADES by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, THIS POISON HEART by Kalynn Bayron, A CHORUS RISES by Bethany C. Morrow, BLOOD LIKE MAGIC by Liselle Sambury, and INSTRUCTIONS FOR DANCING by Nicola Yoon.

Indigo Teen listed ACE OF SPADES by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, WITCHES STEEPED IN GOLD by Ciannon Smart, and CONCRETE ROSE by Angie Thomas among a handful of notable others on their 50 Best Books of 2021 So Far List.

The New York Times featured ACE OF SPADES by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, INSTRUCTIONS FOR DANCING by Nicola Yoon, and BLACKOUT by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk and Nicola Yoon in 10 Y.A. Books to Add to Your Reading List This Summer.

Entertainment Weekly featured The best YA novels to read this summer which include HURRICANE SUMMER by Asha Bromfield and INSTRUCTIONS FOR DANCING by Nicola Yoon.

Madcap Retreats is holding its first ever Essentials Virtual Workshop which includes teachings from Dhonielle Clayton and Julian Winters. For more information, click here.

Camryn Garrett (OFF THE RECORD) was featured in Kirkus. She also wrote an essay for Shondaland. Her sophomore novel was also listed as a Publishers Weekly New and Noteworthy Kids’ and YA Books: May 2021 pick which also includes A SITTING IN ST. JAMES by Rita Williams-Garcia and WHERE THE RHYTHM TAKES YOU by Sarah Dass.

Ayana Gray (BEASTS OF PREY) was featured on Good Morning America.

EXCUSE ME WHILE I UGLY CRY by Joya Goffney and WITCHES STEEPED IN GOLD by Ciannon Smart were featured on The Today Show.

Business Insider featured 26 of the best new books published in 2021 so far which includes ONE OF THE GOOD ONES by Maika Moulite & Maritza Moulite and CONCRETE ROSE by Angie Thomas.

Time Magazine featured Nicola Yoon in anticipation for the release of INSTRUCTIONS FOR DANCING. She also gave an interview to NPR.

Tor featured 7 Must Read YA Black Girl Magic Books.


June 2021 Book Releases

June 1, 2021

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons

A Chorus Rises: A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

Simone Breaks All the Rules by Debbie Rigaud

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

June 8, 2021

The Marvelous by Claire Kann

June 15, 2021

Don’t Hate the Player by Alexis Nedd

Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury

June 22, 2021

Darling by K. Ancrum

Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Nicola Yoon

June 29, 2021

This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron

Happy reading!


If you would like a super-size version of this newsletter in your inbox each month, be sure to subscribe to the Melanin in YA Monthly Newsletter ($5 per month) over at Substack! You’ll also get certain data before it hits Melanin in YA as well as links to secret pages before they officially go live!

Got a News Tip?

Email Melanin in YA at with your news tip!


Twitter I Instagram I Facebook Page I Facebook Group I Clubhouse I

Donate Once I Become a Patron

Leave a Reply