Authors of color are publishing year round despite the odds. Did you know that even though 37% of people in the United States are people of color, but in 2016 only 6% of children’s books published in the United States were written by Black, Latinx, and Native authors combined?
In celebration of Black History Month, we want to elevate these Black authors and their books that will be published in 2018. Keep reading diverse books, and keep showing the publishing industry that #ownvoices narratives are powerful and have value. Comment below with the releases you’re most excited about in 2018!
|Release Date: February 6, 2018
Dhonielle Clayton, The Belles
The Author: Dhonielle Clayton is the co-author of the Tiny Pretty Things series. A former teacher and middle school librarian, Dhonielle is co-founder of CAKE Literary—a creative development company whipping up decidedly diverse books for a wide array of readers—and COO of We Need Diverse Books.
The Book: Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful. But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land.
|Release Date: March 6, 2018
Ashley Woodfolk, The Beauty that Remains
The Author: Ashley Woodfolk graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in English and her life-long love of books led her straight to the publishing industry. She’s a member of the CBC Diversity Committee and markets books for children and teens. In her abundance of “spare” time, she writes contemporary YA.
The Book: Autumn always knew exactly who she was—a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan always turned to writing love songs when his love life was a little less than perfect. But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan can’t stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger struggling to keep it together. And Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered.
|Release Date: March 6, 2018Tomi Adeyemi, Children of Blood and Bone
The Author: Tomi Adeyemi is a Nigerian-American writer and creative writing coach based in San Diego, California. Her debut novel, CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, comes out March 6th, 2018 and the movie is currently in development at Fox with the producers of Twilight and The Maze Runner attached. After graduating Harvard University with an honors degree in English literature, she received a fellowship that allowed her to study West African mythology and culture in Salvador, Brazil.
The Book: Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.
|Release Date: March 13, 2018
Tami Charles, Like Vanessa
The Author: Former teacher. Wannabe chef. Debut author. Tami Charles writes picture books, middle grade, young adult, and nonfiction. She loves anything written by Kwame Alexander, Rita Williams-Garcia, Edwidge Danticat, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and Meg Medina.
The Book: In this semi-autobiographical debut novel set in 1983, Vanessa Martin’s real-life reality of living with family in public housing in Newark, New Jersey is a far cry from the glamorous Miss America stage. She struggles with an incarcerated mother she barely remembers, a grandfather dealing with addiction and her own battle with self-confidence. But when a new teacher at school coordinates a beauty pageant and convinces Vanessa to enter, Vanessa’s view of her own world begins to change. Vanessa discovers that her own self-worth is more than the scores of her talent performance and her interview answers, and that she doesn’t need a crown to be comfortable in her own skin and see her own true beauty.
|Release Date: March 20, 2018
Jay Coles, Tyler Johnson Was Here
The Author: Jay Coles is a middle grade and YA author. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with two dogs nicknamed Bonnie and Clyde. Also, Jay is a teacher, blogger, composer/musician and a proud member of ASCAP!
The Book:When Marvin Johnson’s twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid. The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it’s up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels and mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean.
|Release Date: April 3, 2018
Justina Ireland, Dread Nation
The Author: Justina Ireland enjoys dark chocolate, dark humor, and is not too proud to admit that she’s still afraid of the dark. She lives with her husband, kid, and dog in Pennsylvania. She is the author of Vengeance Bound and Promise of Shadows.
The Book: Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education, Jane is set on returning home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy.
|Release Date: May 1, 2018
Angie Thomas, On the Come Up
The Author: Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Meyers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books.
The Book: The highly anticipated second novel from Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give, returns to the world of Garden Heights in a story about an aspiring teen rapper and what happens when you get everything you thought you wanted.