The Pond Book News #104 – Of Magic and Mischief: More Middle-Grade Fantasies and Graphic Novels to Anticipate

Welcome to Issue #104!

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 [October 3rd – October 9th]

Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by Brandy Colbert

In the early morning of June 1, 1921, a white mob marched across the train tracks in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and into its predominantly Black Greenwood District—a thriving, affluent neighborhood known as America’s Black Wall Street. They brought with them firearms, gasoline, and explosives. In a few short hours, they’d razed thirty-five square blocks to the ground, leaving hundreds dead. The Tulsa Race Massacre is one of the most devastating acts of racial violence in US history. But how did it come to pass? What exactly happened? And why are the events unknown to so many of us today?

These are the questions that award-winning author Brandy Colbert seeks to answer in this unflinching nonfiction account of the Tulsa Race Massacre. In examining the tension that was brought to a boil by many factors—white resentment of Black economic and political advancement, the resurgence of white supremacist groups, the tone and perspective of the media, and more—a portrait is drawn of an event singular in its devastation, but not in its kind. It is part of a legacy of white violence that can be traced from our country’s earliest days through Reconstruction, the Civil Rights movement in the mid–twentieth century, and the fight for justice and accountability Black Americans still face today.

The Tulsa Race Massacre has long failed to fit into the story Americans like to tell themselves about the history of their country. This book, ambitious and intimate in turn, explores the ways in which the story of the Tulsa Race Massacre is the story of America—and by showing us who we are, points to a way forward.

Releases on Oct 5. Add this book to Goodreads!


Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Lisa Sterle

When Becca transfers to a high school in an elite San Francisco suburb, she’s worried she’s not going to fit in. To her surprise, she’s immediately adopted by the most popular girls in school. At first glance, Marley, Arianna, and Mandy are perfect. But at a party under a full moon, Becca learns that they also have a big secret.

Becca’s new friends are werewolves. Their prey? Slimy boys who take advantage of unsuspecting girls. Eager to be accepted, Becca allows her friends to turn her into a werewolf, and finally, for the first time in her life, she feels like she truly belongs.

But things get complicated when Arianna’s predatory boyfriend is killed, and the cops begin searching for a serial killer. As their pack begins to buckle under the pressure—and their moral high ground gets muddier and muddier—Becca realizes that she might have feelings for one of her new best friends.

Releases on Oct 5. Add this book to Goodreads!


The City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros

Chicago, 1893. For Alter Rosen, this is the land of opportunity, and he dreams of the day he’ll have enough money to bring his mother and sisters to America, freeing them from the oppression they face in his native Romania.

But when Alter’s best friend, Yakov, becomes the latest victim in a long line of murdered Jewish boys, his dream begins to slip away. While the rest of the city is busy celebrating the World’s Fair, Alter is now living a nightmare: possessed by Yakov’s dybbuk, he is plunged into a world of corruption and deceit, and thrown back into the arms of a dangerous boy from his past. A boy who means more to Alter than anyone knows.

Now, with only days to spare until the dybbuk takes over Alter’s body completely, the two boys must race to track down the killer—before the killer claims them next.

Releases on Oct 5. Add this book to Goodreads!


Shattered Midnight: A Mirror Novel by Dhonielle Clayton

The Mirror: Shattered Midnight is the second novel in the innovative four-book fairy-tale series written by Julie C. Dao, Dhonielle Clayton, J.C. Cervantes, and L. L. McKinney, following one family over several generations, and the curse that plagues it.

Zora Broussard has arrived in New Orleans with not much more than a bag of clothes, a beautiful voice, and a pair of enchanted red shoes. Running from a tragic accident caused by her magic, Zora wants nothing more than to blend in, as well as to avoid her overbearing aunt and mean-spirited cousins. Music becomes Zora’s only means of escape, yet she wonders if she should give it all up to remove the powers that make her a target, especially as a Black woman in the South.

But when Zora gets the chance to perform in a prominent jazz club, she meets a sweet white pianist named Phillip with magic of his own, including a strange mirror that foretells their future together. Falling into a forbidden love, Zora and Phillip must keep their relationship a secret. And soon the two discover the complicated connection between their respective families, a connection that could lead to catastrophe for them both. In the era of segregation and speakeasies, Zora must change her destiny and fight for the one she loves . . . or risk losing everything.

Releases on Oct 5. Add this book to Goodreads!


Payback’s A Witch by Lana Harper

Emmy Harlow is a witch but not a very powerful one—in part because she hasn’t been home to the magical town of Thistle Grove in years. Her self-imposed exile has a lot to do with a complicated family history and a desire to forge her own way in the world, and only the very tiniest bit to do with Gareth Blackmoore, heir to the most powerful magical family in town and casual breaker of hearts and destroyer of dreams.

But when a spellcasting tournament that her family serves as arbiters for approaches, it turns out the pull of tradition (or the truly impressive parental guilt trip that comes with it) is strong enough to bring Emmy back. She’s determined to do her familial duty; spend some quality time with her best friend, Linden Thorn; and get back to her real life in Chicago.

On her first night home, Emmy runs into Talia Avramov—an all-around badass adept in the darker magical arts—who is fresh off a bad breakup . . . with Gareth Blackmoore. Talia had let herself be charmed, only to discover that Gareth was also seeing Linden—unbeknownst to either of them. And now she and Linden want revenge. Only one question stands: Is Emmy in?

But most concerning of all: Why can’t she stop thinking about the terrifyingly competent, devastatingly gorgeous, wickedly charming Talia Avramov?.

Releases on Oct 5. Add this book to Goodreads!


Why We Fly by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal

Two high school cheerleaders face the ultimate test when an act of solidarity spurs chaos. With a rocky start to senior year, lifelong friends Eleanor and Chanel have a lot on their mind. Eleanor is still in physical therapy months after a serious concussion from a failed cheer attempt. Chanel’s putting tremendous pressure on herself to get into the best colleges and starts making questionable decisions. But they have each other’s backs just as always.

Eleanor’s new relationship with star quarterback Three may be causing a rift between the best friends. When the cheer squad decides to take a knee at the season’s first football game, what seemed like a positive show of solidarity suddenly becomes the reason for a larger fallout between the girls.

Grappling with the weight of the school’s actions as well as their own problems, can the girls rely on the friendship they’ve always shared?

A bittersweet, sometime humorous, but always compelling look at issues of friendship, privilege, sports, and race.

Releases on Oct 5. Add this book to Goodreads!


Vial of Tears by Cristin Bishara

Two sisters become trapped in the underworld–and in the machinations of deities, shapeshifters, and ghouls–in this lush and dangerous Phoenician mythology-inspired fantasy.

Sixteen-year-old sisters Samira and Rima aren’t exactly living the dream. Instead, they live with their maddeningly unreliable mother in a rundown trailer in Michigan. Dad’s dead, money’s tight, and Mom disappears for days at a time. So when Sam’s grandfather wills her the family valuables–a cache of Lebanese antiquities–she’s desperate enough to try pawning them before Mom can.

But she shouldn’t. Because one is cursed, forbidden, the burial coin of a forgotten god. Disturbing it condemns her and Rima to the Phoenician underworld, a place of wicked cities, burning cedar forests, poisoned feasts of milk and lemons, and an endless, windless ocean.

Nothing is what it seems. No one is who they say. And down here, the night never ends.

To get home–and keep her sister safe–Sam will have to outwit beautiful shapeshifters, pose as a royal bride, sail the darkest sea… and maybe kill the god of death himself.

Releases on Sept 28. Add this book to Goodreads!


Tristan Strong Keeps Punching by Kwame Mbalia

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents the finale of Kwame Mbalia’s trilogy, in which Tristan Strong faces off with his archenemy, King Cotton, once and for all.

After reuniting with Ayanna, who is now in his world, Tristan travels up the Mississippi in pursuit of his archenemy, King Cotton. Along the way they encounter new haints who are dead set on preventing their progress north to Tristan’s hometown of Chicago. It’s going to take many Alkean friends, including the gods themselves, the black flames of the afokena gloves, and all of Tristan’s inner strength to deliver justice once and for all.

Shocking twists, glorious triumphs, and a cast of unforgettable characters make this series conclusion as satisfying as it is entertaining.

Releases on Oct 5. Add this book to Goodreads!


Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan

Ana Dakkar is a freshman at Harding-Pencroft Academy, a five-year high school that graduates the best marine scientists, naval warriors, navigators, and underwater explorers in the world. Ana’s parents died while on a scientific expedition two years ago, and the only family’s she’s got left is her older brother, Dev, also a student at HP. Ana’s freshman year culminates with the class’s weekend trial at sea, the details of which have been kept secret. She only hopes she has what it’ll take to succeed. All her worries are blown out of the water when, on the bus ride to the ship, Ana and her schoolmates witness a terrible tragedy that will change the trajectory of their lives.

But wait, there’s more. The professor accompanying them informs Ana that their rival school, Land Institute, and Harding-Pencroft have been fighting a cold war for a hundred and fifty years. Now that cold war has been turned up to a full broil, and the freshman are in danger of becoming fish food. In a race against deadly enemies, Ana will make amazing friends and astounding discoveries about her heritage as she puts her leadership skills to the test for the first time.

Releases on Oct 5. Add this book to Goodreads!


A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow

It’s Zinnia Gray’s twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it’s the last birthday she’ll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no one has lived past twenty-one.

Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia’s last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate.

Releases on Oct 5. Add this book to Goodreads!


Once More Upon a Time by Roshani Chokshi

Once upon a dream, there was a prince named Ambrose

and a princess named Imelda who loved each other…

But alas, no more.

“What a witch takes, a witch does not give back!”

their friends and family warn.

They resign themselves to this loveless fate…

A year and a day pass.

And then their story truly begins…

Embark on a perilous journey with Imelda and Ambrose as they brave magical landscapes and enchanted creatures on their quest to reclaim their heart’s desire… But first they must remember what that is.

Releases on Oct 5. Add this book to Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: For the Throne by Hannah Whitten

Design: Lisa Marie Pompilio | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: The Loophole by Naz Kutub

Illustration: Shazleen Khan | Design: John Candell | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Deep in Providence by Riss M. Neilson

Illustration: Cienna Smith | Design: TBA | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Moonflower by Kacen Callender

Illustration: Daniel Minter | Design: Elizabeth Parisi | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Crown of Flames by Sayantani DasGupta

Illustration: Vivienne To | Design: Elizabeth Parisi | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: The Last Fallen Moon by Graci Kim

Illustration: Vivienne To | Design: Joann Hill | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Paola Santiago and the Sanctuary of Shadows by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Illustration: Vanessa Morales | Design: TBA | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, the Graphic Novel by Kwame Mbalia and Olivia Stephens

Illustration: Olivia Stephens | Add this book to Goodreads!


Cover Reveal: What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher

Illustration: Christina Mrozik | Design: Peter Lutjen | Add this book to Goodreads!


Book Announcement: A YA rom-com anthology edited by justin a. reynolds featuring an all-star lineup of authors


Book Announcement: A Southern gothic YA by Jumata Emill about secrets, queer girls, and homecoming


Book Announcement: A YA novel about high school romance and the perils of obsession by Lygia Day Peñaflor


Book Announcement: Tracy Badua’s YA debut about a teenager who sneaks into her dream college


Book Announcement: A YA romance by Lyla Lee set in the world of K-dramas, contract romance, and rivals


Book Announcement: A YA contemporary by Rocky Callen about grief, autism, and street racing


Book Announcement: Sarwat Chadda’s middle-grade fantasy City of the Plague God gets a sequel!


Book Announcement: A middle-grade graphic novel by Betty Tang about Taiwanese immigrant kids


Book Announcement: A middle-grade graphic novel about a sapphic Lizzie McGuire by Dresden Douglas


Book Announcement: A middle-grade graphic novel series by Maple Lam about the trickster god Monkey King


Book Announcement: An interactive middle-grade graphic novel series by Jason Shiga about a giant sea-monster


Book Announcement: A middle-grade memoir about the Cuban revolution by Daniel Miyares


Book Announcement: Kristina Forest’s forthcoming bookish romance between a fantasy author and a shy Black editor


Book Announcement: A new romance by N. G. Peltier featuring a grumpy x sunshine bakeoff!


Book Announcement: An enemies-to-lovers romance by Elena Armas, featuring coworker shenanigans and fake dating


From Page to Screen: Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko is headed to Netflix!

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