Live Stream Reader Meet Writer: #BlackVoices, a Celebration of #BlackJoy, focusing on middle-grade books by Black authors

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We're pleased to be part of the Reader Meet Writer series of online events hosted by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. This event is presented by Ingram and sponsored by HarperCollins.

This event is free but registration is required. Register here to receive the Zoom link.

When you attend our events and decide to purchase the books featured, please purchase them from Malaprop's. When you do this, you make it possible for us to conitnue bringing authors and readers together and keep more dollars in our community. If you would like to support us without purchasing a book, you may purchase a gift card or make a donation of any amount. Thank you!


Turning Point by Paula Chase
Distance threatens to tear apart a friendship. That is, of course, if a secret doesn’t ruin it first.

Told in dual perspectives, this provocative and timely stand-alone companion to Paula Chase’s So Done and Dough Boys will resonate with fans of Jason Reynolds, Rebecca Stead, and Renée Watson.

Best friends Rasheeda and Monique are both good girls. For Sheeda, that means keeping her friends close and following her deeply religious, Bible-quoting aunt’s every rule. For Mo, that means not making waves in the prestigious and mostly White ballet intensive she’s been accepted to. But what happens when Sheeda catches the eye of Mo’s older brother, and the invisible racial barriers to success as a ballerina turn out to be not so invisible?

Paula Chase continues to explore the lives of African American middle school characters from the Cove, a low-income housing project, in this stand-alone companion to So Done and Dough Boys. Both universal and specific, Turning Point is rich with thematic threads such as racism, body image, poverty, creativity, religion, Me Too, friendship, and family running through it. A rewarding and thought-provoking read for the older middle grade audience.
Paula Chase is the author of several books for teens and middle school readers. She has worked as a cheerleading coach and in public relations for a tech company. She is the cofounder of The Brown Bookshelf, a site designed to increase awareness of African American voices writing for young readers. She is the author of So Done and Dough Boys. Paula Chase lives in Maryland.

Serena Says by Tanita S. Davis

Award-winning author Tanita S. Davis delivers a heartwarming and humorous middle grade tale about a young girl who finds her own voice through vlogging and learns to speak out; perfect for fans for Wendy Maas and Lisa Greenwald.

JC shines like a Fourth of July sparkler. She has the best ideas and the biggest, funniest laugh, and the party starts when she arrives. Serena St. John is proud to be known as her best friend.

Everything changes when JC returns from the hospital with a new kidney—and a new best friend. Out of the spotlight of JC’s friendship, suddenly things aren’t quite so sparkly in Serena’s world.

Lonely, Serena works on perfecting her vlogs, hoping to earn a shot at becoming a classroom reporter. If she can be smart and funny on video, why can’t she manage that in real life? If only she could always pause, edit, or delete conversations. It would be so much easier to say the right thing at the right time . . . instead of not saying what she should or, even worse, blurting out a secret that wasn’t hers to share.

Life doesn’t have a pause button—but as Serena discovers her voice through vlogging, she learns that she’s not just there to reflect JC’s light—she’s fully capable of shining on her own.
Tanita S. Davis is the award-winning author of six novels for middle grade and young adult readers, including Peas and Carrots, Happy Families, and Mare’s War, which won a Coretta Scott King Award Honor and earned her a nomination for the NAACP Image Award. She lives in San Francisco, CA.

Something to Say by Lisa Moore Ramée

From the acclaimed author of A Good Kind of Trouble comes another unforgettable story about finding your voice—and finding your people.

Eleven-year-old Jenae doesn’t have any friends—and she’s just fine with that. She’s so good at being invisible in school, it’s almost like she has a superpower, like her TV idol, Astrid Dane. At home, Jenae has plenty of company, like her no-nonsense mama; her older brother, Malcolm, who is home from college after a basketball injury; and her beloved grandpa Gee.

Then a new student shows up at school—a boy named Aubrey with fiery red hair and a smile that won’t quit. Jenae can’t figure out why he keeps popping up everywhere she goes. The more she tries to push him away, the more he seems determined to be her friend. Despite herself, Jenae starts getting used to having him around.

But when the two are paired up for a class debate about the proposed name change for their school, Jenae knows this new friendship has an expiration date. Aubrey is desperate to win and earn a coveted spot on the debate team. There’s just one problem: Jenae would do almost anything to avoid speaking up in front of an audience—including risk the first real friendship she’s ever had.
Lisa Moore Ramée was born and raised in Los Angeles, and she now lives in the Bay Area of California with her husband, two kids, and two obnoxious cats. She is the author of A Good Kind of Trouble.

You can visit her online at www.lisamooreramee.com.

From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks

With equal parts mystery and heart, this middle-grade debut by Janae Marks follows Zoe Washington after she receives an unexpected letter on her twelfth birthday from the incarcerated father she’s never met and her courageous journey to uncover the truth about his crime. Perfect for fans of Front Desk and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook!
Dear Marcus…

Zoe Washington isn’t sure what to write next. What does a girl say to the father she’s never met, she hadn’t heard from until his letter arrived on her twelfth birthday, and who’s been in prison for a terrible crime? A crime he says he never committed.

Could Marcus really be innocent? Zoe’s determined to uncover the truth. Even if it means hiding his letters from her mom and stepdad. Everyone thinks Zoe’s worrying about doing a good job at her bakery internship and proving to her parents that she’s worthy of auditioning for Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge! It’s Zoe’s dream to become a star baker, and she can’t afford to mess anything up.

But with bakery confections on one part of her mind and Marcus’s conviction weighing heavily on the other, this is one recipe Zoe doesn’t know how to balance. The only thing she knows to be true: everyone lies.

Debut author Janae Marks follows one courageous girl as she searches for the truth and does what she believes is right, even in the face of great opposition.
Janae Marks graduated from the New School with an MFA in writing for children. When she isn’t writing fiction, she’s spending time with her husband and daughter at home in Connecticut. From the Desk of Zoe Washington is her debut novel. Visit Janae online at janaemarks.com.

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Turning Point Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062965660
Availability: Not Currently On Our Shelves. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Greenwillow Books - September 15th, 2020

Serena Says Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062936974
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - November 3rd, 2020

From the Desk of Zoe Washington Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062875853
Availability: Not Currently On Our Shelves. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - January 14th, 2020

Something to Say Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062836717
Availability: Not Currently On Our Shelves. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - July 14th, 2020