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Pride

Pride
Ibi Zoboi

Powerhouse author Ibi Zoboi made an enormous splash with her first YA novel, AMERICAN STREET, which received 5 starred reviews and was a National Book Award finalist, among many other accolades. This was followed by her acclaimed PRIDE, and the all-star anthology, BLACK ENOUGH.—And just around the corner is her fantastic middle-grade debut, MY LIFE AS AN ICE-CREAM SANDWICH. 

But what is coming next on this stellar horizon? I’m so glad you asked, because 2021 is going to knock your socks off. This deal has been months in the making, but we are thrilled that the news is out at last!

With alternating chapters in verse and prose, NIGERIA JONES is about a sixteen year-old who falls for a boy her father, the radical leader of a separatist movement, would disapprove of until she inadvertently travels back in time and is shunted between her new private school and the west coast of Africa in the early 1800s to inhabit the body of her young ancestor on the brink of being sold into slavery.

Trust me, you don’t want to miss this book! I am delighted to say that it was enthusiastically acquired by Alessandra Balzer at Balzer + Bray, in a two-book deal. Mark your calendars for 2021 J

Huge congrats, Ibi!

--Joan

The Youngest Marcher

The Youngest Marcher
Cynthia Levinson

I am so happy to announce a new picture book deal for Cynthia Levinson—about a New Deal figure, no less, so it’s a double new deal!

THE PEOPLE’S PAINTER is about Ben Shahn, a Jewish man who was born in Lithuania but came to the U.S. when his family fled the Czar’s persecution. In America, Ben followed his passion for art and discovered a new one, for lithography, and continued his habit of fighting injustice—which turned into creating activist art, including series on Sacco and Venzetti. He was hired as part of the New Deal to produce photographs, paintings, and graphic art, where he exposed American living and working conditions during the Great Depression. His daring work changed the artistic and political landscape of the twentieth century and continues to inspire. 

Amazingly, editor Emma Ledbetter, who worked on Cynthia’s book THE YOUNGEST MARCHER at Atheneum, attended a school that had a Ben Shahn mural in it. When Emma moved to Abrams late last year, THE PEOPLE’S PAINTER was the first project she took to acquisitions. And she has matched it with the absolute perfect illustrator for it: Evan Turk (repped by Brenda Bowen). I cannot wait to see how he interprets Shahn’s life and art!

Congratulations, Cynthia!

—Erin


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