The Pond Book News #63 – Desi Adventures, a Chinese SFF Anthology & Middle-Grade Graphic Novels

Welcome to Issue #63!

Sprout 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.

The trees are whispering…

Friends, welcome 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! Now, onwards to the brilliant books!

Book Releases This Week [November 1st – November 7th]

Serena Says by Tanita S. Davis

JC shines like a 4th of July sparkler. She has the best ideas, the biggest, funniest laugh, and the party starts when she arrives. Serena St. John is proud to be known as her best friend.

Everything changes when JC returns from the hospital with a new kidney—and a new best friend. Out of the spotlight of JC’s friendship, suddenly things aren’t quite so sparkly in Serena’s world.

Lonely Serena works on perfecting her vlogs, hoping to earn a shot at becoming a classroom reporter. If she can be smart and funny on video, why can’t she manage that in real life? If only she could always pause, edit, or delete conversations. It would be so much easier to say the right thing at the right time… instead of not saying what she should, or, even worse, blurting out a secret that wasn’t hers to share.

Life doesn’t have a pause button—but as Serena discovers her voice through vlogging, she learns that she’s not just there to reflect JC’s light—she’s fully capable of shining on her own.

This middle-grade contemporary looks like it’s full of so much heart and adventure, and explores the relatable experience of feeling left out by a friend! I definitely needed this book as a kid, and I’m so excited for it to get to the hands of young readers today.

Releases on November 3. Add this book to Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom by Sangu Mandanna

Friends, how cool is this cover? I absolutely love the illustration — the demon(?) monster on the bottom has such a scary design! I’m also always here for middle-grade covers that feature girls with sharp weapons and fierce poses. I’m so looking forward to Sangu Mandanna’s first MG fantasy!

Illustration: Nabi H. Ali


Cover Reveal: That Thing About Bollywood by Supriya Kelkar

This book cover is filled with so much glowing joy that it’s contagious. I adore this warm, golden illustration, especially the traditional Indian jewelry that positively sparkles on our protagonist here!

Illustration: Abigail L. Dela Cruz | Design: Laura Lyn DiSiena


Cover Reveal: The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

This book is making the rounds on lists of anticipated releases for 2021, and rightfully so — a sapphic Indian fantasy between a princess and her maidservant with secret magic? Absolutely sign me the hell up, 2021 couldn’t come sooner!

Illustration: Micah Epstein | Design: Lauren Panepinto


Cover Reveal: Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance by Nisha Sharma

This cover is so cute! This YA romcom features a blossoming relationship between two Indian dancers—one set on reinventing herself during senior year at a new school, one an overachiever without college plans—and its comps to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and When Dimple Met Rishi promises a whirlwind of a romance!

Illustration: Justin Poulter


Cover Reveal: The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (paperback)

I ADORE how intricate and delicate this cover is, with its floral and insect elements! We had Joce from yogiwithabook visit the Pond for Latinx Heritage Month recently to talk about Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s books, and she called this book a “Belle Epoque-inspired novel of manners complete with ye olde telekinesis”, which fascinates me to no end already!

Illustration: TBA | Design: TBA


Cover Reveal: Up All Night, edited by Laura Silverman

The sunset tones of this cover are so pretty! Sometimes all you need for a eye-catching book cover really is just a gradient and pretty textures, and this one sells it. The constellations and stars are such a whimsical touch too!

Design: Connie Gabbert


Cover Reveal: Wrapped Up in You by Talia Hibbert

Hooray for more Talia Hibbert romances, this one right in time for the season too! I love that this is a cozy childhood-to-lovers romance featuring a snarky/softie couple—perfect for a day in with a mug of hot chocolate!

Illustration: TBA | Design: TBA


Book Announcement: Zin E. Rocklyn’s debut gothic novella about Black women and ravenous sea beasts

Friends, what a premise. I always genuinely look forward to TOR’s lineup of novellas by BIPOC authors, and the stories it features continue to impress! I’m so thrilled to be able to add a gothic novella to my anticipated list for 2021, and I hope you’ll join me in checking out this book too!


Book Announcement: An anthology in translation of Chinese SFF, edited by Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu!

I am in love with this title already, and… honestly, words cannot describe how delighted I am that we’re getting more Chinese SFF in translation. I’ve always felt a little sad that I stopped reading Chinese literature post-high school, and getting to read stories translated by people who fundamentally understand the body of work is going to be such a treat. Not to mention the book will also include critical essays on the art of translation! Be still, my beating heart.


Book Announcement: Ari Tison’s debut novel-in-verse about two Bribri-American brothers, saints, and new love!

Heck yeah to more novels-in-verse and poetry by authors of color!!! This story already feels so gut-wrenching and heartfelt, and I’m so ready to be wrecked. We also really don’t get any Bribri representation in kidlit at all, and I’m so glad this story will find its way to readers who need it!


Book Announcement: Kat Cho’s childhood-to-lovers romance surrounding K-Pop stars, prom, and Korean-American teens!

Okay, first off, this premise is so freaking precious. It sets up so many wonderful dynamics already—how would it feel to have a childhood best friend become a K-Pop star and then unexpectedly return to take you, normal teen extraordinaire, to prom??? I am blown away by this ingenious set-up, and cannot wait to see how it plays out!


Book Announcement: Monster hunting, high society, and biracial teens collide in Lily Anderson’s upcoming YA novel!

A monster-hunting club masquerading as a ‘prim and proper ladies’ social club’? Hello? Say no more, my heart is already stolen. I’ve heard so many good things about Undead Girl Gang, too, and this premise intrigues me in all the best ways. Absolutely cannot wait to hear more about this!


Book Announcement: Kalynn Bayron’s MG debut about vampires, and two other books!

This announcement made my heart so dang warm! I’ve heard so many good things about Cinderella is Dead, and the fact that the author will get to write so many more books about Black kids is truly something to be celebrated! Also truly loving that we’re getting more vampire stories from BIPOC authors now as well!


Book Announcement: Claire Ahn’s forthcoming YA about immigration, Korean American identity, and family secrets!

I can already feel in my heart of hearts that this is going to be such a hard-hitting book. Books about culture shock and immigration, especially from the perspective of BIPOC teens, are so absolutely essential, and this entry about a Korean-American teen being thrust into the world of Seoul holds so much promise. Very highly anticipating this one!


Book Announcement: Two forthcoming whirlwind YA sapphic romcoms by Sophie Gonzales!

We love to see it, friends. I’m always down for a good sapphic romance, and these two premises sound like so much fun! Getting vengeance on an ex, manifesting a favorite TV character and reluctantly having to ask an arch-enemy for assistance? Delicious.


Book Announcement: A YA horror featuring eldritch entities and sapphic teens by Kayla Cottingham!

This book is everything I ever wanted. Sapphic romance? Check. A fun character dynamic between a popular girl and the outcast? Check. Absolutely terrifying eldritch entities from a time before our own? Check. My heart is aching for more YA horror, and I need this book immediately.


Book Announcement: La Llorona meets family and border conflicts in Diana Lopez’s upcoming MG novel!

This Latinx MG fantasy is such a unique blend of genres, and I’m so intrigued by the lore of kids born from monstruos that are conventionally depicted as villains in their stories! This is going on my TBR immediately, and I’m so excited to hear more about the book closer to its release!


Book Announcement: An MG graphic novel by Nilah Magruder about ace identity and a fishing trip!

I am so delighted by this premise, and the prospect of getting more asexual representation in books, especially from a Black author as well! Nilah’s portfolio is absolutely stunning as well, and I’m absolutely certain this graphic novel will be one for the history books when it releases.


Book Announcement: Violet Chan Karim’s forthcoming MG graphic novel about summer camps, vampires, and fitting in

An announcement coming to us all the way from 2024! This MG graphic novel about a girl who accidentally ends up in a summer camp for vampires sounds like such good fun, and I’m so excited to see that it’s from an Asian-American author!


Book Announcement: An MG graphic novel about Filipino-American identity, witches, and belonging by Zachary Sterling

How cool does this premise sound?! I’m so excited for more comics about Southeast Asian identity and belonging, especially framed through such a FANTASTIC lens of Filipino witches! Gosh, 2022 is such a long wait, but I’m certain it’ll be worth it.

4 thoughts on “The Pond Book News #63 – Desi Adventures, a Chinese SFF Anthology & Middle-Grade Graphic Novels

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