The Pond Book News #94 – Queer Crushes, An Anticipated Chinese Historical Epic, and Middle Grade Stories about Belonging

Welcome to Issue #94!

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 [July 18th – July 24th]

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…

In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected.

When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses her brother’s identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, propelled by her burning desire to survive, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate.

After her sanctuary is destroyed for supporting the rebellion against Mongol rule, Zhu uses takes the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother’s abandoned greatness.

Releases on July 20. Add this book to Goodreads!


The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor by Shaenon K. Garrity and Christopher Baldwin

One dark and stormy night, Haley sees a stranger drowning in the river. Since her greatest passion is Gothic romance novels, she knows her moment has come. But when Haley leaps into the water to rescue the stranger, she awakens in Willowweep. It certainly looks like the setting of one of her favorite books: A stately manor. A sinister housekeeper. Three brooding brothers. There’s even a ghost.

Except Willowweep is not what it seems. Its romantic exterior hides the workings of a pocket universe—the only protection our world has against a great force of penultimate evil, and its defenses are crumbling. Could cruel fate make Haley the heroine that Willowweep needs?

Releases on July 20. Add this book to Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: Count Your Lucky Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

Illustration: Elizaveta Rusalskaya | Design: Ashley Caswell | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Maizy Chen’s Last Chance by Lisa Yee

Illustration: Rebecca Shieh | Design: Sylvia Bi | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: At the End of Everything by Marieke Nijkamp

Design: TBA | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Sofía Acosta Makes a Scene by Emma Otheguy

Illustration: Mirella Ortega | Design: Sylvia Bi | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Operation Sisterhood by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Illustration: Brittney Bond | Add this book to Goodreads!


Paperback Cover Reveal: Yesterday is History by Kosoko Jackson

Design: Philip Pascuzzo | Add this book to Goodreads!


Book Announcement: Hanna Alkaf’s Malaysian-inspired retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, in which wolves are tigers and hoods are hijabs


Book Announcement: More YA novels from Elise Bryant, featuring a romcom between a D&D DM and a punk star


Book Announcement: Middle grade graphic novels about Asian mythology, Buddhist monks, and grandmotherly forgotten stories by Minh Lê, Chan Chau, and Jade Feng Lee


Book Announcement: A middle grade novel about sisterhood, marriage hijinks, and queer crushes by Auriane Desombre


Book Announcement: A debut YA romance by Alisha Emrich about cosplay, online personas, and cute crushes

Britny Brooks at Running Press Kids has acquired Nerdcrush by Alisha Emrich, a coming-of-age teen romance about a Black girl who uses cosplay as a way to feel seen and escape the real world but who finds herself in a tricky situation when her crush starts to fall for her online persona, pitched as You Should See Me in a Crown meets You’ve Got Mail.


From Page to Screen: The bestselling Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Nic Stone, Nicola Yoon and Tiffany D. Jackson is being adapted into TV/film by the Obama family!

One thought on “The Pond Book News #94 – Queer Crushes, An Anticipated Chinese Historical Epic, and Middle Grade Stories about Belonging

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