Tuesday, November 19, 2019

new publishing imprints - spotlight on Make Me a World Imprint

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The Make Me a World imprint comes from the brilliant author and illustrator, Christopher Myers.  He's creating a list of books that break down the barriers that are in front of children and giving them a space where they are free to ask questions and to dream.  I'm excited to see how this list continues to grow!
Here are the first books from this imprint.

Mama Mable's All-Gal Big Band Jazz Extravaganza! by Annie Sieg
Mama Mable's All-Gal Big Band Jazz Extravaganza!
by Annie Sieg
The picture book that is published by this imprint is a beautiful one that celebrates women and music and expression.  Taking place during the 1940s when many men were off at war, women came together to get done what needed to get done and also find ways to support each other.  One of the ways was through music.  While the group of women featured in this jazz extravaganza are real historical figures, author Annie Sieg details in her author's note that the character of Mama Mable is meant as a representative of the amazing singers that took the vocal lead of the bands at the time.  With bright colors and designs, this is a beautiful story to share with readers this fall!

written by Akwaeke Emezi
Wow.  This book blew me away.  I will be honest here - the first half of the book really sets up the characters and setting and it was hard for me to fall into the story.  However, once you truly understand the metaphor of this story, you'll see how brilliantly the author has pieced this story together.
This is the story of Jam and her good friend, Redemption.  They live in a world that has similarities and differences from our own.  The "monsters" of the town have been eradicated by the "angels".  Right from the start, Jam - who is a trans girl and selective mute - wants to know more about the history of monsters and angels.  We can tell that while the information about them is available, it's not spoken about widely.  Jam lives in a supportive home environment with her artistic mother and father.  We are given a brief background about when Jam's parents realized she was trans and we see the love and acceptance from her parents.  Jam's mother is busy working on a large piece of artwork and after countless hours finishes.  It's when Jam accidentally cuts herself on the art that the figure within the piece ends up coming to life.  This large creature, who Jam names Pet, is here to hunt and needs Jam's help.  
I love how this story fits the creative theme of the Make Me a World imprint.  This is a world that doesn't conform to what is considered "normal".  And the way it is constructed and comes to life in front of us is unique and creative.  I love that Jam is a trans girl and is accepted as that and it's not at all what the story is about, it's just who she is as our main character.  Listed as YA I think it will reach readers in upper middle school through high school.

by Sarah Deming
I'm looking forward to reading this one next.  Here's the Goodreads summary:

When Gravity Delgado walks into Cops 'n Kids, a no-frills Brooklyn boxing gym, and starts working with the legendary Coach Thomas, she joins a true melting pot of fighters. There's the flirtatious Lefty (a southpaw), hard-to-beat D-Minus ("They call me D-Minus 'cause I'm all you need"), artistic Kimani "Monster" Browne, and a host of others. At the gym, Gravity finds the unexpected: the father she's never had in her coach, not one but two romantic prospects, and, most importantly, a love and skill for boxing. If she can stay focused, despite her troubled home life, she might just have a shot at the Olympics.

With each blow, each jab, and each punch, Sarah Deming draws her readers into the gritty and inspiring world of Gravity Delgado, a Jewish Dominican teenager growing up in Brooklyn and aspiring for greatness.

Pet has already seen some major recognition as a National Book Award Finalist.  I am looking forward to this imprint and the stories it will be providing to young readers!

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