Genesis Begins Again
2021 Audie Award Finalist For Best Middle Grade Audio Book
2020 ALA Newbery Honor Book
2020 ALA Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe Award for New Talent
2020 ALA/William C. Morris Prize Finalist
2019 Kirkus Prize Finalist
Thirteen year-old Genesis Anderson hates her dark skin shade and kinky, coily hair. She prays every night for one thing—to be beautiful. If she's beautiful like her lighter Mama, then Grandma will love her more, the ruthless taunts at school will end, and most importantly, Dad will stop drinking.
Singing becomes her only solace, so when a school talent show is announced, she wonders if this might be her one true chance to win Dad’s approval and make her family whole again. But will she be able to get up on stage, as black as she is, and sing? Drawing strength from Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Etta James—their music and who they were—Genesis harnesses their power into finding her own voice.
Available on audio--Listen to the excerpt.
With smooth and engrossing prose, debut novelist Williams takes readers through an emotional, painful, yet still hopeful adolescent journey. -Kirkus Starred Review
With its relatable and sympathetic protagonist, complex setting, and exceptional emotional range, this title is easy to recommend. -Publishers Weekly Starred Review
. . . Stunning debut novel . . .the standout voice in this tinder and empowering novel--reminiscent of Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye," but more appropriate for a much younger audience. - New York Times
NPR Favorite book of 2019A School Libary Journal Best Middle Grade Book of 2019
A Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Book of 2019 ILA Teachers' Choices
CBC/NCSS Notable Children's Book in Social Studies Louisiana Young Readers' Choice Award Nominee
Maine Student Book Award Reading List Georgia Children's Book Award Finalist
Amazing Audiobooks for YA YouPer Award (MI)
Intermediate Sequoyah Book Award Master List (OK) Just One More Page Recommendation List
Kansas NEA Reading Circle List Top Pick NYPL Best Books for Kids (Top Ten)
YouPer Award Top Ten Title South Carolina Junior Book Award Nominee
Rhode Island Middle School Book Award Nominee Rebecca Caudill Nominee
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This story shines the light on Zora Neale Hurston, the extraordinary folklorist and novelist extraordinaire who changed the face of American literature.
Zora was a girl who hankered for tales like bees for honey. Now, her mama always told her that if she wanted something, “to jump at de sun”, because even though she might not land quite that high, at least she’d get off the ground. So Zora jumped . . . the porch of the general store where she listened to folktales . . . to Howard University where she dug into books . . . to Harlem at the height of the Harlem Renaissance. Everywhere she landed, she shone sunlight on the tales most folks hadn’t even bothered to listen to . . . until Zora. Tales no one had written down, until Zora. Tales on an entire culture unrecognized, until Zora. Until Zora jumped.
Newbery Honeree Williams crafts distinctive prose evoking Black folktales of the American South. - Publishers Weekly Starred Review
This introduction to an American icon feels just right. -Kirkus Starred Review
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More than thirty award-winning Black authors and artists come together to create a moving anthology collection celebrating Black love, Black creativity, Black resistance, and Black life. These creators lend their voice, insight, and talent to this inspiring anthology full of essays, poems, short stories, and historical excerpts. In these pages, find stories of the past, journeys of the present, and the light guiding the future.