cover image Wings of Ebony

Wings of Ebony

J. Elle. S&S/Millner, $19.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-5344-7067-5

Abruptly separated from her beloved 12-year-old half-sister Tasha after their mother’s murder a year ago, 17-year-old Rue was taken from Houston by her father, whom she’s never met, to a secret island, Ghizon, “thousands of nautical miles off the coast of Madagascar.” Wrestling with her mother’s death, Rue must navigate meeting her father, discovering her half-magical heritage, and investigating why she and her dad are the only Black people, or people of color at all, on Ghizon. With the help of Bri, an anxious Ghizoni tech wiz, Rue transports back to her Houston block, intending to slip Tasha a gift on the anniversary of Mom’s death. But after Rue uses magic to save Tasha from an accident and touches her, a Ghizoni cardinal sin, the Ghizoni officials want Tasha dead—and Rue soon discovers that a cartel wants the same, in addition to destroying East Row, her home neighborhood, whose residents she considers family. Elle relentlessly highlights the ancestral trauma of genocide, colonialism, and institutional racism that Black people endure to this day. Full of grief, love, and vengeance, this poignant debut encourages readers to embrace the whole of their identities to overcome pain. Ages 14–up. (Jan.)