The Pond Book News #68 – Hello 2021! Starting the Year with 8 Exciting New Releases, 15 Cover Reveals, and 11 Book Announcements

Welcome to Issue #68!

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!

This year, we’re changing up the book news a little to make space for all the wonderful projects we have coming your way in 2021—the little personal notes from Xiaolong and Sprout will now just be bonus blurbs instead of core fixtures in the articles! This means that you might not see us commenting on every single book release or announcement in the column anymore, but rest assured: if a book really really gets us excited, we’ll still let you know! The hope is that this will free up our time to work on new creative features that really excite us here at the Pond.

With the help of Xiaolong, we’ve brought to you the very first issue of 2021, covering all the book announcements we could find from December until today. Now, onwards to the brilliant books!

Book Releases this Week [January 3rd – January 9th]

A Universe of Wishes by Dhionelle Clayton

43716169._sy475_From We Need Diverse Books, the organization behind Flying Lessons & Other Stories, comes a young adult fantasy short story collection featuring some of the best own-voices children’s authors, including New York Times bestselling authors Libba Bray (The Diviners), Victoria Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic), Natalie C. Parker (Seafire), and many more. Edited by Dhonielle Clayton (The Belles).

In the fourth collaboration with We Need Diverse Books, fifteen award-winning and celebrated diverse authors deliver stories about a princess without need of a prince, a monster long misunderstood, memories that vanish with a spell, and voices that refuse to stay silent in the face of injustice. This powerful and inclusive collection contains a universe of wishes for a braver and more beautiful world.

Releases on January 5. Add this book to Goodreads!

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant

53086795._sy475_Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson has never felt like the protagonist in her own life. She’s rarely seen herself reflected in the pages of the romance novels she loves. The only place she’s a true leading lady is in her own writing—in the swoony love stories she shares only with Caroline, her best friend and #1 devoted reader.

When Tessa is accepted into the creative writing program of a prestigious art school, she’s excited to finally let her stories shine. But when she goes to her first workshop, the words are just…gone. Fortunately, Caroline has a solution: Tessa just needs to find some inspiration in a real-life love story of her own. And she’s ready with a list of romance novel-inspired steps to a happily ever after. Nico, the brooding artist who looks like he walked out of one of Tessa’s stories, is cast as the perfect Prince Charming.

But as Tessa checks each item off Caroline’s list, she gets further and further away from herself. She risks losing everything she cares about—including the surprising bond she develops with sweet Sam, who lives across the street. She’s well on her way to having her own real-life love story, but is it the one she wants, after all? 

Releases on January 5. Add this book to Goodreads!

The Awakening of Malcolm X by Tiffany D. Jackson

52751363In Charlestown Prison, Malcolm Little struggles with the weight of his past. Plagued by nightmares, Malcolm drifts through days unsure of his future. Slowly, he befriends other prisoners and writes to his family. He reads all the books in the prison library, joins the debate team and the Nation of Islam. Malcolm grapples with race, politics, religion, and justice in the 1940s. And as his time in jail comes to an end, he begins to awaken — emerging from prison more than just Malcolm Little: Now, he is Malcolm X.

Here is an intimate look at Malcolm X’s young adult years. While this book chronologically follows X: A Novel, it can be read as a stand-alone historical novel that invites larger discussions on black power, prison reform, and civil rights.

Releases on January 5. Add this book to Goodreads!

One of the Good Ones by by Maika Moulite & Maritza Moulite


When teen social activist and history buff Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally, her devastated sister Happi and their family are left reeling in the aftermath. As Kezi becomes another immortalized victim in the fight against police brutality, Happi begins to question the idealized way her sister is remembered. Perfect. Angelic.

One of the good ones.

Even as the phrase rings wrong in her mind—why are only certain people deemed worthy to be missed?—Happi and her sister Genny embark on a journey to honor Kezi in their own way, using an heirloom copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book as their guide. But there’s a twist to Kezi’s story that no one could’ve ever expected—one that will change everything all over again.

Releases on January 5. Add this book to Goodreads!

City of the Plague God by Sarwat Chadda

Thirteen-year-old Sik wants a simple life going to school and helping at his parents’ deli in the evenings. But all that is blown to smithereens when Nergal comes looking for him, thinking that Sik holds the secret to eternal life.Turns out Sik is immortal but doesn’t know it, and that’s about to get him and the entire city into deep, deep trouble.

Sik’s not in this alone. He’s got Belet, the adopted daughter of Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, on his side, and a former hero named Gilgamesh, who has taken up gardening in Central Park. Now all they have to do is retrieve the Flower of Immortality to save Manhattan from being wiped out by disease. To succeed, they’ll have to conquer sly demons, treacherous gods, and their own darkest nightmares.

Releases on January 5. Add this book to Goodreads!

After the Rain by by Nnedi Okorafor, John Jennings & David Brame

During a furious storm a young woman’s destiny is revealed . . . and her life is changed forever

After the Rain is a graphic novel adaptation of Nnedi Okorafor’s short story “On the Road.” The drama takes place in a small Nigerian town during a violent and unexpected storm. A Nigerian-American woman named Chioma answers a knock at her door and is horrified to see a boy with a severe head wound standing at her doorstep. He reaches for her, and his touch burns like fire. Something is very wrong. Haunted and hunted, Chioma must embrace her heritage in order to survive. John Jennings and David Brame’s graphic novel collaboration uses bold art and colors to powerfully tell this tale of identity and destiny.

Releases on January 5. Add this book to Goodreads!

Root Magic by Eden Royce

It’s 1963, and things are changing for Jezebel Turner. Her beloved grandmother has just passed away. The local police deputy won’t stop harassing her family. With school integration arriving in South Carolina, Jez and her twin brother, Jay, are about to begin the school year with a bunch of new kids. But the biggest change comes when Jez and Jay turn eleven—and their uncle, Doc, tells them he’s going train them in rootwork.

Jez and Jay have always been fascinated by the African American folk magic that has been the legacy of her family for generations—especially the curious potions and powders Doc and Gran would make for the people on their island. But Jez soon finds out that her family’s true power goes far beyond small charms and elixirs…and not a moment too soon. Because when evil both natural and supernatural comes to show itself in town, it’s going to take every bit of the magic she has inside her to see her through.

Releases on January 5. Add this book to Goodreads!

Shaking Up The House by Yamile Saied Mendez

A friendly prank war at the White House spirals out of control in this hilarious and heartfelt middle grade novel written by acclaimed author Yamile Saied Méndez and perfect for fans of President of the Whole Fifth Grade and Merci Suárez Changes Gears.

Ingrid and Winnie López have lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for eight years, but their friends Skylar and Zora Williams—the new first daughters—are about to move into the White House with their mom, the president-elect. What the Williamses don’t know is that incoming presidents’ families are often pranked by the folks they’re replacing, and Ingrid and Winnie take that tradition very seriously.

But when the four girls get wrapped up in an ever-escalating exchange of practical jokes and things spiral out of control, can they avoid an international incident? Or will their battle go down in American history and ruin their friendship forever?

Releases on January 5. Add this book to Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: I’m Not Starfire by Mariko Tamaki

Add this book on Gooreads. | Illustration: Yoshi Yoshitani

Cover Reveal: Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (UK Cover)

See the US cover here. Add this book on Goodreads. Illustration and Design: Kingsley Nebechi

Cover Reveal: Misfits in Love by S.K. Ali

Add this book on Goodreads. | Illustration: Mary Kate McDevitt | Design: Lucy Ruth Cummins

Cover Reveal: Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

Add this book on Goodreads. | Illustration: Melissa Four

Cover Reveal: Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

Add this book on Goodreads. | Illustration and Design: Na Kim

Cover Reveal: This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron

Add this book on Goodreads. | Illustration: Raymond Sebastien

UK Cover Reveal: She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

Add this book on Goodreads. | Illustration and Design: Melissa Four

Cover Reveal: The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad

Add this book on Goodreads. | Illustration: Alex Cabal | Design: Sonia Chaghatzbanian

Cover Reveal: A Dark and Starless Forest by Sarah Hollowell

Add this book on Goodreads. | Illustration: Kim Ekdahl | Design: Mary Claire Cruz

Cover Reveal: Eva Evergreen and the Cursed Witch

Add this on Goodreads. | Illustration: Shan Jiang | Design: Karina Granda

Cover Reveal: Like a Love Song by Gabriela Martins

Add this book on Goodreads. | Illustration: Erick Dávila | Design: Casey Moses

Cover Reveal: The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass

Add this book on Goodreads. | Illustration: Corey Brickley | Design: Jessica Jenkins

Cover Reveal: A Glass House of Stars by Shirley Marr

Add this book on Goodreads. Illustration: Cornelia Li

Paperback Cover Reveal: When the Stars Lead to You by Ronni Davis

Add this book on Goodreads. | Illustration: Adriana Bellet

Cover Reveal: Girl Giant and the Jade War by Van Hoang

Add this book on Goodreads. | Illustration: KAA Illustration | Design: Aurora Parlagreco

Book Announcement: New YA F/F, Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster by Andrea Mosqueda

“The YA novel follows self-described romantic disaster Maggie Gonzalez, a bisexual Chicana living in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, as she tries to figure out whom to ask to be her escort at her little sister’s upcoming quinceañera: her charming ex-boyfriend twice over; her first crush and gorgeous best friend; or the mysterious new girl with the romantic baggage?”

Add this book on Goodreads.

Book Announcement: MG historical fantasy; a girl teams up with a sheyd to save her brother

“In 9th Century Khazaria, people with leprosy are confined to colonies and left there to die. When her brother’s leprosy dooms him to this terrible fate, 12-year-old Ziva teams up with a demon to find the legendary lost city of Luz, a place with no disease—and guarded by the Angel of Death.”

Add this book on Goodreads.

Book Announcement: The OUT anthology series is coming to a close on the queer horizon in “Out There”!

First Out anthology, All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens throughout the Ages; the second Out anthology, Out Now: Queer We Go Again!. Add the third Out anthology on Goodreads.

Book Announcement: New YA by Kayla Ancrum based on True-Crime Podcast, Lethal Lit

Book Announcement: New YA contemporary and untitled YA novel, coming from Louisa Onome

Add this book on Goodreads.

Book Announcement: YA fantasy duology from Hafsah Faizal, “King Arthur meets Peaky Blinders”

Add this book on Goodreads.

Book Announcement: A new YA Latine Horror anthology!

Add this book on Goodreads.

Book Announcement: New authored-illustrated MG graphic novel with an autistic MC!

From Page to Screen: The Poppy War to Get a TV Series Adaptation

From Page to Screen: Clap When You Land Gets a TV Series Adaptation

From Page to Screen: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is Getting a Film Adaptation!

3 thoughts on “The Pond Book News #68 – Hello 2021! Starting the Year with 8 Exciting New Releases, 15 Cover Reveals, and 11 Book Announcements

  1. Well, you covered a LOT of things in this post!
    Ha ha I keep having thoughts and then forgetting them because this post was so long but let’s see….
    Root Magic sounds really interesting. I just read Legendborn and there was a little bit about Root magic so I may have to check that book out when it’s published!
    I can’t help thinking of the book ‘Like a Love Story’ when I hear that title ‘Like a Love Song’
    Anyways, awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s