Genesis Begins Again

2020 Newbery Honor Book

2020 Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe Award for New Talent

2020 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.

Here's what the reviewers are saying:

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

Jump At The Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston

From the Newbery Honor–winning author of Genesis Begins Again comes a shimmering picture book that 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.

Antheneum/Caitlyn Dhlouhy Books

January 12, 2021 

Available for Pre-order Now

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