Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray Penguin Random House / G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers Publication Date: September 28, 2021 ISBN: 978-0593405680
Koffi and her mother live with and work for the Night Zoo, caring for the magical, monstrous creatures within. When her mother’s life is threatened one night, Koffi accidentally unleashes a power she didn’t know she possessed and must run for her life. Meanwhile, Ekon, second son of a famed military hero, is desperate to prove to his brother that he belongs in the ranks of the Sons of the Six after a disastrous interruption to his final rite of passage. Koffi and Ekon meet by chance and each recognizes a potential path forward if they can locate the Shetani – a magical, murderous beast that has been plaguing the area for almost 100 years. Koffi wants to find the Shetani to sell it in exchange for freedom; Ekon wants to find the Shetani to kill it to prove his mettle as a warrior. Neither is honest with the other about their true motivations, but they will have to find a way to work together if either of them is to survive.
As we continue in our celebration of Black History Month, we equally celebrate the voices creating rich and brilliant Black Futures. Like this short film from The Movement for Black Lives, countless YA authors are sending visions of a future world into the present and into the hearts of young adult readers everywhere. Here are a few recent or forthcoming examples:
Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko; Narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt Blackstone Publishing Publication Date: August 18, 2020 ISBN: 978-1094149189
Tarisai has grown up living a privileged life surrounded by tutors, luxury, and protection in her realm, but she has never received love and closeness from anyone around her. She especially longs for attention from her mother, called The Lady. At 11 years old, Tarisai is sent to Oluwan City to compete for inclusion on Crown Prince Ekundayo’s governing Council of Eleven. If chosen, she will bond eternally with Prince Dayo and her Council siblings via a mystical Ray, and gain the human closeness she so craves. But Tarisai learns that before she was born, The Lady commanded a djinn to impregnate her with a child who must someday grant her third wish. Tarisai is that child. And The Lady’s third wish is to kill the prince Tarisai is now sworn to protect.
Click here to see all of the current Best Fiction for Young Adults nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
Turtle Under Ice by Juleah del Rosario Simon Pulse / Simon & Schuster Publication Date: February 11, 2020 ISBN: 978-1534442955
In this dual perspective novel-in-verse, Row’s older sister, Ariana, disappears at night during a snowstorm when a second family loss triggers both girls to reflect on the death of their mother six years prior. On the edge of tearing apart, both Row and Ariana need to learn how to thaw their hearts if there is any hope for their family to knit themselves back together.