Monarch Headlines Fall16

Children of blood and boneChildren of Blood and Bone

Tomi Adeyemi


Twenty-four-year-old Tomi Adeyemi’s YA debut is looking like a phenomenon. Kicking off a Black Lives Matter-inspired fantasy trilogy, Children of Blood and Bone has already reportedly sold film rights around the seven figures and is generating buzz for its sharp racial commentary. The author calls the book an “allegory for the modern black experience,” and finds fantasy the perfect mode for conveying complex ideas without getting preachy.

The house of impossible besutiesThe House of Impossible Beauties

Joseph Cassara’s


Joseph Cassara’s passionate debut delves into the queer Harlem ball scene of eighties and nineties New York. It’s 1980 in New York City, and nowhere is the city’s glamour and energy better reflected than in the burgeoning Harlem ball scene, where seventeen-year-old Angel first comes into her own. Burned by her traumatic past, Angel is new to the drag world, new to ball culture, and has a yearning inside her to help create family for those without. When she falls in love with Hector, a beautiful young man who dreams of becoming a professional dancer, the two decide to form the House of Xtravaganza, the first-ever all-Latino house in the Harlem ball circuit. But when Hector dies of AIDS-related complications, Angel must bear the responsibility of tending to their house alone.

Tyler JohnsonTyler Johnson was Here

Jay Coles

When Marvin Johnson’s twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. What starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid. The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it’s up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead and the cops blame the shooting, a video is leaked online that tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean. Exploring the current climate of police brutality and viral culture, this harrowing YA effort is based on the author’s own experiences with tragedy and loss, a personal touch felt across every page.

on the come upOn the Come Up

Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip-hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill. But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral…for all the wrong reasons. Insightful, unflinching, and full of heart, On the Come Up is an ode to hip-hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free.

James BaldwinLittle Man Little Man

James Baldwin


James Baldwin’s powerful, essential children’s book—the only one he ever wrote—is getting a reissue this August courtesy of Duke University Press. Described by the brilliant late author as “a celebration of the self-esteem of black children,” the book’s new edition features contributions from his nephew and niece.

The story unfolds from the perspective of a curious, irrepressible four-year-old boy named TJ, who loves music and playing ball, and navigates a neighborhood where gun violence, police brutality, alcoholism and drug addiction are looming threats—an outside world that even his warm home life with loving parents can’t shield him from.

Due to the timelessness of the content Baldwin’s relatives have resurrected the work. arriving at a moment when children’s book authors and publishers are more frequently placing black and brown children at the center of narratives about everyday life, often taking on charged social issues like mass shootings, addiction and police violence against African-American youth.