cover image Blackout


Dhonielle Clayton et al. Quill Tree, $19.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-308809-2

Young Black love glows throughout this collaboration by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon, which follows six couples through a summer blackout in New York City. In a primary story arc, Tammi Wright is about to start her first day as the summer office assistant at the Apollo Theater’s Harlem headquarters when she runs into ex-boyfriend Kareem Murphy, who, due to an admin- istrative error, is there for the same job. Just as they are about to find out who will receive the single opening, a blackout sweeps the city, causing chaos aboveground and under. As the two reluctantly walk together back to Bed-Stuy, where Kareem is set to DJ a party after dark, they navigate their history and their love for each other. Featured between each stage of their journey are connections—some gentle, some combative, all thrilling—that involve characters falling in or professing their love across the city’s landmarks. As each teen makes their way home, this joyful collaboration brings a necessary elation to stories of Black love, queer love, and alternative forms of affection, all of which are all tenderly highlighted in these narratives. Ages 13–up. [em]Agents: (for Clayton) Molly Ker Hawn, the Bent Agency; (for Jackson) Natalie Lakosil, Bradford Literary; (for Stone) Mollie Glick, CAA; (for Thomas) the Bent Agency; (for Woodfolk) Beth Phelan, Gallt & Zacker; (for Yoon) Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (June) [/em]