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Pub Day Shout-Outs! for November 16, 2021 featuring Namey, Okorafor, Hinds and Cashore

by Ashley Dickson-Ellison (@teachingtheapocalypse)

Here are three books coming out today that I'm excited to read!

Book Cover of When We Were Them by Laura Taylor Namey

Laura Taylor Namey's When We Were Them ( |

Description from Publisher:

"When they were fifteen, Willa, Luz, and Britton’s friendship was everything.

"When they were sixteen, they stood by each other no matter what.

"When they were seventeen, they went through the worst.

"And when they were eighteen, Willa ruined it all.

"Now, it’s the week of graduation, and Willa is left with only a memory box filled with symbols of the friendship she destroyed: A book of pranks. Corsages from a nightmarish homecoming. A greasy pizza menu. Greeting cards with words that mean the world It’s enough to make Willa wonder how anything could tear her, Luz, and Britton apart. But as Willa revisits the moments when she and her friends leaned on each other, she can’t avoid the moments they leaned so hard their friendship began to crack.

"As Willa tries to find a way back to Luz and Britton, she must confront the why of her betrayal, and answer a question she never saw coming: Who is she without them?"

Why I want to read it: I absolutely loved A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow (check out our book club episode here!), and I'm eager to read more by Laura Taylor Namey. I loved the way she explored the complexities of people and of relationships, and the friendships in the book were genuine and interesting. I look forward to this one!


Book Cover of Noor by Nnedi Okorafor

Nnedi Okorafor's Noor ( |

Description from Publisher:

"From Africanfuturist luminary Okorafor comes a new science fiction novel of intense action and thoughtful rumination on biotechnology, destiny, and humanity in a near-future Nigeria.

"Anwuli Okwudili prefers to be called AO. To her, these initials have always stood for Artificial Organism. AO has never really felt...natural, and that's putting it lightly. Her parents spent most of the days before she was born praying for her peaceful passing because even in-utero she was 'wrong'. But she lived. Then came the car accident years later that disabled her even further. Yet instead of viewing her strange body the way the world views it, as freakish, unnatural, even the work of the devil, AO embraces all that she is: A woman with a ton of major and necessary body augmentations. And then one day she goes to her local market and everything goes wrong.

"Once on the run, she meets a Fulani herdsman named DNA and the race against time across the deserts of Northern Nigeria begins. In a world where all things are streamed, everyone is watching the 'reckoning of the murderess and the terrorist' and the 'saga of the wicked woman and mad man' unfold. This fast-paced, relentless journey of tribe, destiny, body, and the wonderland of technology revels in the fact that the future sometimes isn't so predictable. Expect the unaccepted."

Why I want to read it: I love everything I've read by Okorafor, and I can't wait to read this one! The premise sounds so compelling. I enjoyed both the Binti series and the Akata Witch series, and I find her work so engaging and thought-provoking! (I was thrilled to see that Noor was an ALC pick with, so I plan to listen very soon!)


Book Cover of Graceling the Graphic Novel by Kristin Cashore and Gareth Hinds

Kristin Cashore's Graceling, illustrated by Gareth Hinds (Graphic Novel) (Amazon |

Description from Publisher:

"The beloved New York Times best-selling YA fantasy by Kristin Cashore is now available as a graphic novel, with stunning illustrations by award-winning artist Gareth Hinds.

"Katsa is a Graceling, one of the rare people born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she lived a life of privilege until the day her ability to kill a man with her bare hands revealed itself during a royal banquet. Now she acts as her uncle’s enforcer, traveling the kingdom and threatening those who dare oppose him.

"But everything changes when she meets Po, a foreign prince Graced with combat skills who is searching for the truth about his grandfather’s disappearance. When Katsa agrees to help him, she never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that could destroy them all.

"With 'gorgeous storytelling' (School Library Journal, starred review) and characters 'crafted with meticulous devotion' (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), Graceling is a beloved classic that has continued to resonate with readers for over a decade."

Why I want to read it: I absolutely loved this brilliant series by Kristin Cashore, and I'm thrilled to see a graphic novel version of the first novel in the series! I will definitely check that one out. I love revisiting a series, and seeing the story in a new form is such a joy.


(A note to our readers: click on the hashtags above to see our other blog posts with the same hashtag.)

Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.

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