The Pond Book News #69 – Black YA Contemporaries, Diverse Retellings of Classics, & MG Adventures

Welcome to Issue #69!

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 [January 10th – January 16th]

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad’s in prison.

Life’s not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav’s got everything under control.

Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father.

Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. But it’s not so easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child. So when he’s offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. In a world where he’s expected to amount to nothing, maybe Mav can prove he’s different.

When King Lord blood runs through your veins, though, you can’t just walk away. Loyalty, revenge, and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart, especially after the brutal murder of a loved one. He’ll have to figure out for himself what it really means to be a man.

Releases on January 12. Add this book to Goodreads!


You Have a Match by Emma Lord

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents—especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.

The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.

But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.

blurb

Releases on January 12. Add this book to Goodreads!


Clues to the Universe by Christina Li

The only thing Rosalind Ling Geraghty loves more than watching NASA launches with her dad is building rockets with him. When he dies unexpectedly, all Ro has left of him is an unfinished model rocket they had been working on together.

Benjamin Burns doesn’t like science, but he can’t get enough of Spacebound, a popular comic book series. When he finds a sketch that suggests that his dad created the comics, he’s thrilled. Too bad his dad walked out years ago, and Benji has no way to contact him.

Though Ro and Benji were only supposed to be science class partners, the pair become unlikely friends: Benji helps Ro finish her rocket, and Ro figures out a way to reunite Benji and his dad. But Benji hesitates, which infuriates Ro. Doesn’t he realize how much Ro wishes she could be in his place?

As the two face bullying, grief, and their own differences, Benji and Ro must try to piece together clues to some of the biggest questions in the universe.

blurb

Releases on January 12. Add this book to Goodreads!


Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne

She looks me hard in my eyes
& my knees lock into tree trunks
My eyes don’t dance like my heartbeat racing
They stare straight back hot daggers.
I remember things will never be the same.
I remember things.

With gritty and heartbreaking honesty, Mahogany L. Browne delivers a novel-in-verse about broken promises, fast rumors, and when growing up means growing apart from your best friend.

Releases on January 12. Add this book to Goodreads!


The Meet-Cute Project by Rhiannon Richardson

Mia’s friends love rom-coms. Mia hates them. They’re silly, contrived, and not at all realistic. Besides, there are more important things to worry about—like how to handle living with her bridezilla sister, Sam, who’s never appreciated Mia, and surviving junior year juggling every school club offered and acing all of her classes.

So when Mia is tasked with finding a date to her sister’s wedding, her options are practically nonexistent.

Mia’s friends, however, have an idea. It’s a little crazy, a little out there, and a lot inspired by the movies they love that Mia begrudgingly watches too.

Mia just needs a meet-cute.

Releases on January 12. Add this book to Goodreads!


Angel of Greenwood by Randi Pink

Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Wilson is, on the surface, a town troublemaker, but is hiding that he is an avid reader and secret poet, never leaving home without his journal. A passionate follower of W.E.B. Du Bois, he believes that black people should rise up to claim their place as equals.

Sixteen-year-old Angel Hill is a loner, mostly disregarded by her peers as a goody-goody. Her father is dying, and her family’s financial situation is in turmoil. Also, as a loyal follower of Booker T. Washington, she believes, through education and tolerance, that black people should rise slowly and without forced conflict.

Though they’ve attended the same schools, Isaiah never noticed Angel as anything but a dorky, Bible toting church girl. Then their English teacher offers them a job on her mobile library, a three-wheel, two-seater bike. Angel can’t turn down the money and Isaiah is soon eager to be in such close quarters with Angel every afternoon.

But life changes on May 31, 1921 when a vicious white mob storms the community of Greenwood, leaving the town destroyed and thousands of residents displaced. Only then, Isaiah, Angel, and their peers realize who their real enemies are.

Releases on January 12. Add this book to Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: The Ivory Key for Akshaya Raman

Add this book on Goodreads. | Illustration: Doaly | Design: Dana Li


Cover Reveal: So Many Beginnings by Bethany C. Morrow

Add this book on Goodreads. | Photography: Jonathan Barkat | Design: Rich Deas


Cover Reveal: Last Gamer Standing by Katie Zhao

Add this book on Goodreads. | Illustration: Julia Shi | Design: Steph Yang


Cover Reveal: Things We Couldn’t Say by Jay Coles

Add this book to Goodreads! | Design: Baily Crawford


Cover Reveal: A Clash of Steel by C.B. Lee

Illustration: Feifei Ruan | Design: Rich Deas


Cover Reveal (Paperback): The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

Add this book to Goodreads! | Illustration: Shane Rebenschied | Design: Sasha Illingworth


Cover Reveal (picture book): Niki Nakayama: A Chef’s Tale in 13 Bites by Debbi Michiko Florence and Yuko Jones

Illustration: Yuko Jones


Book Announcement: YA rom-com with an Indian teen violinist, about music, wedding, and meddling families

Add this book on Goodreads.


Book Announcement: Graphic novel about a teen in a deteriorating Earth, Bloom meets Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Add this book to Goodreads!


Book Announcement: An exciting MG fantasy of moons, mystical lands, and civil wars forthcoming from Samira Ahmed

Add this book to Goodreads!


Book Announcement: A contemporary MG debut about queerness throughout history by Michael Leali

Add this book to Goodreads!

3 thoughts on “The Pond Book News #69 – Black YA Contemporaries, Diverse Retellings of Classics, & MG Adventures

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