The Pond Book News #43 – A Flurry of Diverse Book Announcements: Academia Scandals, Dragons, & Refugees

issue 43

Welcome to Issue #43!

The trees are whispering…

Friends, welcomeSprout the sparrow, doing a curtsy with their eyes closed and a smile on their face. Their cape swooshes in the wind with their arm extended in their curtsy. to another exciting week of The Pond Book News! Every Sunday, The Quiet Pond brings you a fresh issue of book news to catch you up on the week’s lineup of diverse book releases, cover reveals, book news, and sometimes more! We’re still working on our Book Community Spotlight feature too, and we really appreciate everyone’s patience as we work on getting it where we want to be. Now onward to the news!

Book Releases This Week [June 14th – June 20th]

I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee

Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.

She’ll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she’ll do it better than anyone else.

When Skye nails her audition, she’s immediately swept into a whirlwind of countless practices, shocking performances, and the drama that comes with reality TV. What she doesn’t count on are the highly fat-phobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry, her sudden media fame and scrutiny, or the sparks that soon fly with her fellow competitor, Henry Cho.

But Skye has her sights on becoming the world’s first plus-sized K-pop star, and that means winning the competition—without losing herself.

Happy publishing day to this beautiful, beautiful YA celebrating Asian plus-sized bodies! If you’d like to glean some valuable behind-the-scenes insight for the author’s process with the book, check out Joce’s interview with Lyla Lee for Asian Heritage Month here at the Pond, too. I love how vibrant this looks already!

Releases on June 16th. Add this book on Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur

This books so much like a coloring book page to me, and that’s such an interesting design choice! This looks absolutely stunning, and I genuinely cannot wait for June Hur’s next book after the gorgeous tapestry that was The Silence of BonesHighly anticipating this!


Cover Reveal: Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant

I have so many things I love about this cover: a teen Black girl (with the beautiful curly hair!) front and center, how the “ever” in Happily Ever Afters looks adorably hand-lettered, all the stickers on the protagonist’s laptop that show off so much personality without being heavy-handed… Heck yes. This is getting added to the “anticipated” pile for me!


Cover Reveal: Fire with Fire by Destiny Soria

I love how absolutely fierce this cover looks! The illustration is so evocative while still remaining coherent, and I love the symmetry of the two girls facing away from each other in the midst of the flames. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Soria’s writing, and I’m curious to see how this premise will play out!


Cover Reveal: Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez

Friends, be sure to actually click into the announcement to see the cover, it definitely isn’t just some text on a black background!! I adore how defiant the girl on the cover looks, and that this is a sports YA about girls playing soccer! The author has already made such a name for herself in the kidlit community, and I cannot wait to see where she takes us next.


Book Announcement: Rajani LaRocca’s MG novel-in-verse about 1980’s pop culture and Indian immigrants

A middle-grade novel in VERSE about a teenage daughter of Indian immigrants? About family, pop culture and immigrant communities?? We are TRULY winning with these up and coming book deals. I’m definitely keeping an eye on this one!


Book Announcement: MG novel-in-verse about Pakistani teenager about prejudice, friendship, and making home, forthcoming from Reem Faruqi

Our second middle-grade novel-in-verse about immigrant stories! This is so very exciting! Both for publishing and for me, personally, dedicated hoarder of poetry and pretty words. I’m so excited to see this out in the world!


Book Announcement: Ivy league scandals and white privilege collide in Kristen R. Lee’s upcoming YA contemporary!

I don’t think I have to tell you how absolutely INCREDIBLE this book announcement already sounds, right?!? I cannot believe we have to wait until 2022 for this when I want it in my hands STAT! This entire premise is everything I ever wanted but never knew I did, and by the stars am I going to lose my mind when it finally drops, I can already tell.


Book Announcement: Adi Alsaid’s forthcoming YA contemporary about airports, romance, and mysterious green buttons

This blurb already sounds wild, and I’m expecting SO many shenanigans from this premise. Airports are such interesting places to set stories like this in, and I’m extremely intrigued to see where this goes!


Book Announcement: A half-Japanese teen orphan gets swept up in a movie star Cinderella whirlwind in Sarah Kuhn’s upcoming YA contemporary!

Oh this looks positively delightful! I’m always here for these contemporary fairytale stories where teens go on experiences of a lifetime, and I’m genuinely excited to see this trope being written by an Asian author!


Book Announcement: New Star Wars anthology from beloved authors!

I’ll be the first to confess that I know absolutely nothing about Star Wars beyond what I’ve absorbed via osmosis online, but the fact that so many cool diverse authors have already announced their involvement in this book makes my heart glad! The full author lineup for this is dropping on June 16 (tomorrow!) and this post will be updated to the announcement link when it’s out.

EDIT: The list is out! Check out all the featured authors here.


Book Announcement: Juliana Goodman’s forthcoming YA about police brutality, mysteries, and racially-charged murder

OOF. This pitch really went for the jugular and it’s not pulling any punches. I can already tell that this book’s release is going to be SUCH a critically important moment in kidlit, friends, so make sure you keep an eye on this one!


Book Announcement: Romance blooms in a donut shop in Julie Tieu’s upcoming romance!

Oh this sounds really good! I don’t usually reach for straight-up romance novels, but I honestly think all these new books coming out that all revolve around pastries, bakeries, and just food in general are going to make me rethink that stance. Excited to see where this goes!


Book Announcement: Mayonn Paasewe-Valchev’s forthcoming MG debut about magic, friendship, and acceptance

This premise already sounds equal parts magical and enthralling, and I am hooked. I love love love books that call back to traditional ways of storytelling, way before paper was even invented, and this book truly does sound like everything I look for in a heartfelt story. I’m adding this to my TBR as soon as I can, and I hope you’ll join me friend!


From Page to Screen: All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson is going to TV!

What an announcement to make during Pride! The amount of rave reviews I’ve heard about this book has been absolutely incredible, and it warms my heart to NO END to see it get all the attention it deserves. We have so very very little representation of queer people of color in books and in television, so this acquisition is a step in so many right directions. Hopefully the production will be as showstopping as it already promises to be!

Book Community Spotlight

…is still in the middle of transforming into something new! See our last post for more details.

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