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Pub Day Shout-Outs! for January 5, 2021, featuring Bruchac, Harris, and Bryant

by Ashley Dickson-Ellison (@teachingtheapocalypse)


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

Joseph Bruchac's Peacemaker


Description from Publisher:

"A twelve-year-old Iroquois boy rethinks his calling after witnessing the arrival of a mystical figure with a message of peace in this historical novel based on the creation of the Iroquois Confederacy.


"Twelve-year-old Okwaho's life has suddenly changed. While out hunting with his best friend, his friend is kidnapped by marauders from a neighboring tribe. Okwaho barely escapes back to his village where everyone lives in fear of raids and killings: The five tribes of the Iroquois have been at war with each other for far too long, and no one can even remember what it was like to live in peace.


"Okwaho seeks only revenge, which will just perpetuate the violence. But before he can retaliate, a visitor with a message of peace, as told in the lore of the of the Iroquois nation, comes to him in the woods. The Peacemaker--a vision in white buckskin with a calm demeanor and soothing words--tells the boy that he can convince even the most warlike leaders of the wisdom of peace. Okwaho joins the legions of others who believe, and is present when the great treaty creating the Iroquois Confederacy is enacted."


Why I want to read it: I love seeing more middle-grade, own voices, historical fiction books emerging, and this one looks like such a rich, compelling story grounded in history. I'm intrigued by the setting and am interested in learning more about the Iroquois Confederacy.

Pamela N. Harris's When You Look Like Us


Description from Publisher:

"From debut author Pamela Harris comes a timely, gripping teen novel about a boy who must take up the search for his sister when she goes missing from a neighborhood where black girls’ disappearances are too often overlooked. Perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Tiffany D. Jackson.

"When you look like us—brown skin, brown eyes, black braids or fades—everyone else thinks you’re trouble. No one even blinks twice over a missing black girl from public housing because she must’ve brought whatever happened to her upon herself. I, Jay Murphy, can admit that, for a minute, I thought my sister Nicole just got caught up with her boyfriend—a drug dealer—and his friends. But she’s been gone too long. Nic, where are you?

"If I hadn’t hung up on her that night, she would be at our house, spending time with Grandma.

"If I was a better brother, she’d be finishing senior year instead of being another name on a missing persons list.

"It’s time to step up, to do what the Newport News police department won’t.

"Bring her home."


Why I want to read it: This YA lit book sounds like a compelling story taking on an important issue in American society—the treatment of missing Black children in our communities. The comparisons to Reynolds and Jackson also caught my attention!

Elise Bryant's Happily Ever Afters


Description from Publisher:

"Jane the Virgin meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this charming debut romantic comedy filled with Black Girl Magic. Perfect for fans of Mary H. K. Choi and Nicola Yoon, with crossover appeal for readers of Jasmine Guillory and Talia Hibbert romances.

"Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson has never felt like the protagonist in her own life. She’s rarely seen herself reflected in the pages of the romance novels she loves. The only place she’s a true leading lady is in her own writing—in the swoony love stories she shares only with Caroline, her best friend and #1 devoted reader.

"When Tessa is accepted into the creative writing program of a prestigious art school, she’s excited to finally let her stories shine. But when she goes to her first workshop, the words are just...gone. Fortunately, Caroline has a solution: Tessa just needs to find some inspiration in a real-life love story of her own. And she’s ready with a list of romance novel-inspired steps to a happily ever after. Nico, the brooding artist who looks like he walked out of one of Tessa’s stories, is cast as the perfect Prince Charming.

"But as Tessa checks off each item off Caroline’s list, she gets further and further away from herself. She risks losing everything she cares about—including the surprising bond she develops with sweet Sam, who lives across the street. She’s well on her way to having her own real-life love story, but is it the one she wants, after all?"


Why I want to read it: I loved the premise and cover of this one, and you all know I'm such a fan of both Talia Hibbert and Nicola Yoon, so I'm definitely here for this book! Sounds like such a lovely read and a great way to start 2021!

#pubdayshoutouts #yalit #middlegrade #romance #ownvoices #historicalfiction

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Please note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We also partner with Bookshop.org and receive a small percentage of sales made from our Bookshop shelves.

© 2021 by Ashley, Jen, and Sara of Unabridged Podcast, LLC. All rights reserved.