The Pond Book News #49 – Steampunk Fantasy, and Announcements For Black & Asian-Authored Titles

issue 49

Welcome to Issue #49!

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 [July 26th – August 1st]

This is My America by Kim Johnson

Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time—her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy’s older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star to a “thug” on the run, accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her brother, Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike. But will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of the skeletons of their Texas town’s racist history that still haunt the present?

This book sounds urgent and absolutely timeless. The marketing copy calls it an “unflinching and uplifting” look at racist inequalities against Black people in the American justice system, and it has so many brilliant early reviews already! This book is unquestionably going to leave an impact, and I eagerly hope that it will empower readers to make a difference in their communities.

Releases on July 28th. Add this book to Goodreads!


I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch

Rhodes and Iliana couldn’t be more different, but that’s not why they hate each other.

Hyper-gifted artist Rhodes has always excelled at Alabama’s Conservatory of the Arts despite a secret bout of creator’s block, while transfer student Iliana tries to outshine everyone with her intense, competitive work ethic. Since only one of them can get the coveted Capstone scholarship, the competition between them is fierce.

They both escape the pressure on a fanfic site where they are unknowingly collaborating on a graphic novel. And despite being worst enemies in real life, their anonymous online identities I-Kissed-Alice and Curious-in-Cheshire are starting to like each other…a lot. When the truth comes out, will they destroy each other’s future?

This sapphic romcom looks like everything I want in a cute contemporary romance, especially as a comic writer myself! I really really adore this premise, and the little details in the cover too—the way it’s framed by comic panels, and kissed seems to be drawn over with lipstick! I am definitely going to try to hunt down a copy of this to devour myself.

Releases on July 28th. Add this book to Goodreads!


City of Secrets by Victoria Ying

Ever Barnes is a shy orphan guarding a secret in an amazing puzzle box of a building.

Most of the young women who work at the building’s Switchboard Operating Facility, which connects the whole city of Oskar, look the other way as Ever roams around in the shadows. But one of them, Lisa, keeps an eye on the boy. So does the head of the Switchboard, Madame Alexander… a rather sharp eye.

Enter Hannah, the spunky daughter of the building’s owner. She thinks Ever needs a friend, even if he doesn’t know it yet. Good thing she does!

Lisa and Madame Alexander are each clearly up to something. Ever is beset by a menacing band of rogues looking to unlock the secret he holds—at any cost. And whatever is hidden deep in the Switchboard building will determine all of their futures.

On a journey that twists and turns as much as the mechanical building Ever Barnes calls home, he and his new friend Hannah have to—and out what’s really going on in this mysterious city of secrets… or else!

A middle-grade steampunk fantasy graphic novel with puzzle box buildings really isn’t something you see everyday! I’m so endlessly fascinated by this title, and very grateful for Wendy at the Asian SFF discord for bringing this book into my radar. Victoria Ying’s art also looks stunning too! Excited to start looking for a copy of this soon!

Releases on July 28th. Add this book to Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: A Universe of Wishes, edited by Dhionelle Clayton

We have a new anthology forthcoming from WNDB! The cover for this looks so dark and luscious, and the title is definitely intriguing 👀  I still have yet to check out Flying Lessons from WNDB, but this is joining my TBR for sure!


Cover Reveal: The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris

Heck yeah, look at this incredible story! The premise sounds so dang interesting: a Black boy with powers of prescience, who foresees his own brother’s death? This is a hell of a setup, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the story! Also that cover is so striking too.


Cover Reveal: The Dating Plan by Sara Desai

Ohhh the composition for this cover is so interesting! I love the floral elements framing the title, and the bridge at the top of the art! We don’t get a ton of purple covers too as far as I know, especially not this delightful shade of violet. Desi romcoms are here to stay!


Cover Reveal: Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi

I love this cover!!! And this title! Mary H.K. Choi’s covers have always been so minimalist and evocative, and this one definitely lives up to the legacy. The premise of the novel sounds so interesting too!


Cover Reveal: Beyond the Ruby Veil by Mara Fitzgerald

I AM so excited for this book! A tiny, gay, and vicious protagonist in a dark YA fantasy set to both terrify and thrill? Absolutely sign me up. This cover is a really interesting artistic choice for the book too, I love the ominous black spider in the corner.


Book Announcement: Feminism, school papers, and romance in Mabel Hsu’s forthcoming YA rom-com

Ohhh this is such a smart pitch! As someone who has edited school papers myself, this rep both intrigues me and makes me very happy 😎 And a cute rival romance to boot! Definitely keeping this one on my radar!


Book Announcement: Korean-American romcom about music and boybands forthcoming from Axie Oh

This sounds so cool! I think this romance premise works wonderfully, with the elite music academy (HELLO!) and K-Pop boy bands, and I can’t wait to see more news about it in 2021!


Book Announcement: Laura Gao’s forthcoming YA graphic memoirs about Wuhan and immigration, and a second work about queerness!

A graphic memoir from the perspective of an ownvoices Chinese author who has lived in both Wuhan and Texas sounds beyond timely at this point in history, and I’m so glad this is getting published! People deserve to know so much more about the place outside of its association with the current pandemic.


Book Announcement: MG contemporary about grief, friendship and music through an Asian-American lens by Karen Chow

I have a soft spot in my heart for children’s books that deal with grief and moving on, so this premise is equal parts moving and compelling to me already! So interested to see this from an Asian-American writer too, and will definitely keep this in the periphery as we await more news!


Book Announcement: A demon queen origin story set in the Kiranmala universe by Sayantani DasGupta!

AHHH heck yeah! I still really need to pick up the Kiranmala books, but the world it’s set in looks so vibrant and wonderful, and a demon queen origin story sounds ABSOLUTELY perfect! So exciting that the author is getting to explore more of this Indian myth-inspired world!


Book Announcement: George M. Johnson’s two-book YA memoir about Black families, tenderness & creativity

In this house we stan Black authors getting their due. 🙌 I still have yet to pick up All Boys Aren’t Blue, but I know for a FACT that it’s already resonated with many, many readers, and so many people have already said that the book is definitely making their “Best of 2020” lists! The fact that the author is getting a TWO-BOOK deal for two more lovely memoirs is definitely an occasion to be celebrated!


Book Announcement: Jason Reynolds’ forthcoming adult novel about both the power and harm of storytelling

Jason Reynolds is an absolute force of an author in the kidlit scene, and I’m so very excited to see his adult debut! The book is set in a carnival about a boy with no mouth, which is already such an interesting premise? I’m looking forward to hear more news about this closer to release date!

3 thoughts on “The Pond Book News #49 – Steampunk Fantasy, and Announcements For Black & Asian-Authored Titles

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