Pick & Mix
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson, which our review called a “gem of a historical,” debuts at #6 in trade paper. It pubbed as a trade paper original in May 2019 and averaged about 1,500 print copies a week, racking up accolades from indie booksellers and other tastemakers. Sales picked up around the December holidays, and then longtime Costco book buyer Pennie Clark Ianniciello named the novel her February Pennie’s Pick. Immediately after, the title landed on our list for the first time, with its best weekly print unit sales to date.
New Kid on the List
Fresh off its 2020 Newbery Medal win, author-illustrator Jerry Craft’s New Kid debuts at #9 in children’s fiction. The story depicts the two worlds of Jordan Banks, an African-American seventh grader and aspiring artist: his home in Washington Heights and his new, mostly white private school in the Bronx. Our starred review called the book, which is the first graphic novel to receive a Newbery, an “engaging story [that] offers an authentic secondary cast and captures the high jinks of middle schoolers and the tensions that come with being a person of color in a traditionally white space.”
Books associated with Kobe Bryant drew renewed attention after the retired NBA star’s death on January 26. A trio of middle grade sports fantasy novels, all published in 2019 by Bryant’s Granity Studios entertainment company, landed at #3, #5, and #8 in children’s fiction. His memoir for adults, The Mamba Mentality, had by far its biggest week since December 2018.
NEW & NOTABLE
ME AND WHITE SUPREMACY
Layla F. Saad
#6 Hardcover Nonfiction
In 2018, Saad, a black feminist writer and speaker, started an Instagram hashtag challenging people to post how they were complicit in upholding white supremacy. This title grew out of that project and the accompanying self-published workbook, which was downloaded 90,000 times.
WHY WE'RE POLARIZED
#7 Hardcover Nonfiction
“This precise and persuasive guide helps to make sense of the current state of American politics,” our review said of the Vox Media cofounder’s first book, an exploration of “political polarization in the U.S., from its psychological underpinnings to its impact on congressional lawmaking.”