B&N Reads, Black History Month, Black Voices

What to Read Next: Black History Month Edition

This is the perfect time to take a beat and celebrate authors, old, new, and rediscovered, who exemplify the greatest of Black literature. From unrecognized voices such as Diane Oliver to our favorite modern wordsmiths like James McBride, we were inspired by Kwame Alexander’s quote below to put together a new collection of Black voices for readers to add to their TBRs.

“I feel like these poems tell stories in and of themselves. And perhaps as an entire collection, they tell a greater story. I think it’s the same story I’m trying to tell in all my books, reminding us, at the very least, and at the very most, we’re human beings. People laugh, love, hope, dream, dance, smile, live, die, just like everybody else. And black people need to be reminded of that. And everybody else needs to be reminded of that. Trying to enhance, increase our imagination, to really just help us all be better people.” — Kwame Alexander

Catch Kwame on our Poured Over podcast beginning on 2/3/24. In the meantime, check out previous episodes featuring National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward, Pulitzer winner Jericho Brown, former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, Pulitzer/National Book Award winner Colson Whitehead, and National Book Award finalists Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah and Aaliyah Billal among others on the show. follow us here or on your favorite podcast app for new episodes Tuesdays and Thursdays (with occasional Saturdays). You can also watch select episodes on B&N’s YouTube channel.

This Is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets

Hardcover $31.50 $35.00

This Is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets

This Is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets

By Kwame Alexander

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Hardcover $31.50 $35.00

This anthology of contemporary Black poets is a collection you can dip in and out of or read straight through, filled with names you’ll recognize and some you won’t; we’re pretty sure all of these poets will become favorites. Curated by the one and only Kwame Alexander, it’s a celebration of Black joy, and an endless pleasure to read.

This anthology of contemporary Black poets is a collection you can dip in and out of or read straight through, filled with names you’ll recognize and some you won’t; we’re pretty sure all of these poets will become favorites. Curated by the one and only Kwame Alexander, it’s a celebration of Black joy, and an endless pleasure to read.

Ours: A Novel

Hardcover $28.80 $32.00

Ours: A Novel

Ours: A Novel

By Phillip B. Williams

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Hardcover $28.80 $32.00

This luminous and epic debut novel from an acclaimed poet (Mutiny) — conjured from humankind’s quest for freedom, folklore and magic, indelible characters and gorgeous prose — is exceptional. There are few others like it.

This luminous and epic debut novel from an acclaimed poet (Mutiny) — conjured from humankind’s quest for freedom, folklore and magic, indelible characters and gorgeous prose — is exceptional. There are few others like it.

Imagination: A Manifesto

Hardcover $19.80 $22.00

Imagination: A Manifesto

Imagination: A Manifesto

By Ruha Benjamin

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Hardcover $19.80 $22.00

Imagination: A Manifesto reminds us that our imaginations already know what a better world looks like. From education to challenging our systems of oppression and more, this insightful work shows a new place from us all to start from.

Imagination: A Manifesto reminds us that our imaginations already know what a better world looks like. From education to challenging our systems of oppression and more, this insightful work shows a new place from us all to start from.

Night Wherever We Go: A Novel

Hardcover $22.95 $27.99

Night Wherever We Go: A Novel

Night Wherever We Go: A Novel

By Tracey Rose Peyton

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Hardcover $22.95 $27.99

A powerful debut about a group of enslaved women rebelling against the plantation owners, Night Wherever We Go is a story of ultimate defiance. Presenting the stories of each individual woman while painting a portrait of their collective stand against injustice, this story is a brilliant entry into the fiction landscape.

A powerful debut about a group of enslaved women rebelling against the plantation owners, Night Wherever We Go is a story of ultimate defiance. Presenting the stories of each individual woman while painting a portrait of their collective stand against injustice, this story is a brilliant entry into the fiction landscape.

Erasure

Paperback $17.00

Erasure

Erasure

By Percival Everett

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Paperback $17.00

The basis for Cord Jefferson’s hilarious, Oscar nominated film, American Fiction, starring Jeffrey Wright (and co-written by Jefferson and Percival Everett). A biting satire that’s equally intellectually stimulating, this is a story of race in America and what it means to be Black. With sympathy and sarcasm, Everett creates an entirely real narrative about identity, community, ambition and so much more.

The basis for Cord Jefferson’s hilarious, Oscar nominated film, American Fiction, starring Jeffrey Wright (and co-written by Jefferson and Percival Everett). A biting satire that’s equally intellectually stimulating, this is a story of race in America and what it means to be Black. With sympathy and sarcasm, Everett creates an entirely real narrative about identity, community, ambition and so much more.

The Color Purple (B&N Exclusive Edition)

Hardcover $30.00

The Color Purple (B&N Exclusive Edition)

The Color Purple (B&N Exclusive Edition)

By Alice Walker
Foreword by Kiese Laymon

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Hardcover $30.00

he buzz on this Christmas Day release has been building and building and shows no signs of slowing down. No novel is more iconic than The Color Purple, and this exclusive edition in celebration of its 40th anniversary is stunning. Revisit the often tragic, always uplifting story of Celie and Nettie, separated sisters who carry on through letters. It delivers on so many emotional levels and is required reading for anyone.

he buzz on this Christmas Day release has been building and building and shows no signs of slowing down. No novel is more iconic than The Color Purple, and this exclusive edition in celebration of its 40th anniversary is stunning. Revisit the often tragic, always uplifting story of Celie and Nettie, separated sisters who carry on through letters. It delivers on so many emotional levels and is required reading for anyone.

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store (2023 B&N Book of the Year)

Hardcover $25.20 $28.00

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store (2023 B&N Book of the Year)

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store (2023 B&N Book of the Year)

By James McBride

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Hardcover $25.20 $28.00

Winner of our Book of the Year

From the author of Deacon King Kong and National Book Award winner The Good Lord Bird comes a gorgeous novel about a small town and the bonds of community that are formed between marginalized groups in order to survive.

Winner of our Book of the Year

From the author of Deacon King Kong and National Book Award winner The Good Lord Bird comes a gorgeous novel about a small town and the bonds of community that are formed between marginalized groups in order to survive.

Let Us Descend (Oprah's Book Club)

Hardcover $25.20 $28.00

Let Us Descend (Oprah's Book Club)

Let Us Descend (Oprah's Book Club)

By Jesmyn Ward

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Hardcover $25.20 $28.00

Two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward is always brilliant, and this is no exception. Equally devastating and uplifting, this is the story of slavery and Black Americans’ reclamation of the South. Inspired by Dante’s Inferno, this story is told in gorgeous, lyrical prose.

Two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward is always brilliant, and this is no exception. Equally devastating and uplifting, this is the story of slavery and Black Americans’ reclamation of the South. Inspired by Dante’s Inferno, this story is told in gorgeous, lyrical prose.

Chain Gang All Stars

Paperback $18.00

Chain Gang All Stars

Chain Gang All Stars

By Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

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Paperback $18.00

This debut novel from the acclaimed, bestselling author of the short story collection Friday Black is an indelible satire of the American penal system, and our consumption of violence as entertainment. Sharp and smart, this National Book Award finalist is a must-read.

This debut novel from the acclaimed, bestselling author of the short story collection Friday Black is an indelible satire of the American penal system, and our consumption of violence as entertainment. Sharp and smart, this National Book Award finalist is a must-read.

King: A Life (Pulitzer Prize Winner)

Hardcover $31.50 $35.00

King: A Life (Pulitzer Prize Winner)

King: A Life (Pulitzer Prize Winner)

By Jonathan Eig

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King: A Life is the comprehensive new biography of Martin Luther King Jr. compiling new information with in-depth research to create a definitive portrait of this brilliant and complicated man.

King: A Life is the comprehensive new biography of Martin Luther King Jr. compiling new information with in-depth research to create a definitive portrait of this brilliant and complicated man.

The Two Lives of Sara: A Novel

Hardcover $22.99 $27.99

The Two Lives of Sara: A Novel

The Two Lives of Sara: A Novel

By Catherine Adel West

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Taking place in 1960s Memphis, The Two Lives of Sara is about a woman with nothing but secrets and a baby in her belly who leaves Chicago to outrun her past. Finding a warm welcome from Mama Sugar, the owner of the popular boardinghouse, she finds a segregated city with change on the horizon. As she finds her footing, she also starts to find romance with Jonas, a local school teacher, but Sara isn’t the only one with secrets. When Mama Sugar’s past has repercussions that affect both Sara and Jonah, Sara must make hard decisions that will impact the rest of their lives.

Taking place in 1960s Memphis, The Two Lives of Sara is about a woman with nothing but secrets and a baby in her belly who leaves Chicago to outrun her past. Finding a warm welcome from Mama Sugar, the owner of the popular boardinghouse, she finds a segregated city with change on the horizon. As she finds her footing, she also starts to find romance with Jonas, a local school teacher, but Sara isn’t the only one with secrets. When Mama Sugar’s past has repercussions that affect both Sara and Jonah, Sara must make hard decisions that will impact the rest of their lives.

The House of Eve

Hardcover $23.99 $27.99

The House of Eve

The House of Eve

By Sadeqa Johnson

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This luminous novel is an exploration of what womanhood, sacrifice, and longing looked like in pre-Roe America for young black women. Ruby and Eleanor live completely separate lives, but both are navigating the trials and tribulations of race, class, education, and motherhood. This is story about the price women pay for love, and the choices no one should have to make.

This luminous novel is an exploration of what womanhood, sacrifice, and longing looked like in pre-Roe America for young black women. Ruby and Eleanor live completely separate lives, but both are navigating the trials and tribulations of race, class, education, and motherhood. This is story about the price women pay for love, and the choices no one should have to make.

Harlem Shuffle

Paperback $14.99 $17.00

Harlem Shuffle

Harlem Shuffle

By Colson Whitehead

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Following up his back-to-back Pulitzer Prize winning novels, Colson Whitehead returns with a vivid, wildly entertaining heist novel that makes you feel as if you’re walking down a bustling 125th Street in 1960s Harlem. A veritable page-turner from start to finish.

Following up his back-to-back Pulitzer Prize winning novels, Colson Whitehead returns with a vivid, wildly entertaining heist novel that makes you feel as if you’re walking down a bustling 125th Street in 1960s Harlem. A veritable page-turner from start to finish.

Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm: A Novel

Paperback $15.30 $17.00

Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm: A Novel

Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm: A Novel

By Laura Warrell

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This is a family drama with fathers, mothers and daughters all scored with a soundtrack of jazz music. When one man must navigate the relationships between the women he loves and has loved in the past along with his own teenage daughter, Laura Warrell’s lyrical prose and sweeping story bring us on a ride. This novel has a lot of heart and power told through the kind of voices readers will return to again and again.

This is a family drama with fathers, mothers and daughters all scored with a soundtrack of jazz music. When one man must navigate the relationships between the women he loves and has loved in the past along with his own teenage daughter, Laura Warrell’s lyrical prose and sweeping story bring us on a ride. This novel has a lot of heart and power told through the kind of voices readers will return to again and again.

Neighbors and Other Stories

Hardcover $24.30 $27.00

Neighbors and Other Stories

Neighbors and Other Stories

By Diane Oliver
Introduction Tayari Jones

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Collecting a mighty host of Diane Oliver’s best literary highlights, this profoundly moving short story collection takes on the Jim Crow era, centering on themes of family and community, especially in the face of adversity. With a clear and perpetual sense of danger, this is a narrative voice deserving of its revival.

Collecting a mighty host of Diane Oliver’s best literary highlights, this profoundly moving short story collection takes on the Jim Crow era, centering on themes of family and community, especially in the face of adversity. With a clear and perpetual sense of danger, this is a narrative voice deserving of its revival.

On the Rooftop: A Novel

Paperback $18.99

On the Rooftop: A Novel

On the Rooftop: A Novel

By Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

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Paperback $18.99

With echoes of Fiddler on the Roof running throughout this novel, On the Rooftop is a moving depiction of a family of performers and their neighborhood. The story of three sisters, their mother’s dream of their stardom, and their own personal desires, this book is perfect for readers who love historical fiction and want a new take on such a classic musical. Immerse yourself in a gentrifying 1950s San Francisco and a family full of ambitions and dreams.  

With echoes of Fiddler on the Roof running throughout this novel, On the Rooftop is a moving depiction of a family of performers and their neighborhood. The story of three sisters, their mother’s dream of their stardom, and their own personal desires, this book is perfect for readers who love historical fiction and want a new take on such a classic musical. Immerse yourself in a gentrifying 1950s San Francisco and a family full of ambitions and dreams.  

The Violin Conspiracy: A Novel (Good Morning America Book Club)

Paperback $14.99 $17.00

The Violin Conspiracy: A Novel (Good Morning America Book Club)

The Violin Conspiracy: A Novel (Good Morning America Book Club)

By Brendan Slocumb

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Ray McMillan has a dream, one that goes hand in hand with his gift. He’s going to be a world-class professional violinist if it’s the last thing he does, even if that means going against the life that’s been mapped up for him having grown up Black in rural North Carolina. Nothing will stop him, a fact only proven by the discovery that the beat-up family fiddle is actually a priceless Stradivarius. When Ray and his violin take the world by storm, only for it to be stolen the night before a cutthroat Tchaikovsky competition, Ray must find a way to reclaim his precious violin and to prove that within himself lies a brilliant musician both to himself and the world.  

Ray McMillan has a dream, one that goes hand in hand with his gift. He’s going to be a world-class professional violinist if it’s the last thing he does, even if that means going against the life that’s been mapped up for him having grown up Black in rural North Carolina. Nothing will stop him, a fact only proven by the discovery that the beat-up family fiddle is actually a priceless Stradivarius. When Ray and his violin take the world by storm, only for it to be stolen the night before a cutthroat Tchaikovsky competition, Ray must find a way to reclaim his precious violin and to prove that within himself lies a brilliant musician both to himself and the world.  

Better than Fiction

Paperback $14.99 $17.00

Better than Fiction

Better than Fiction

By Alexa Martin

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Alexa Martin is the author of The Playbooks Series of sports romance novels. Here, she takes a turn to the book lover in all of us. For shock that a character would think the movie is better than the book, fear not. Drew Young’s heartthrob follows a method of courting we are familiar with—a nice, long list of books to read! Turn the pages and watch things sizzle.

Alexa Martin is the author of The Playbooks Series of sports romance novels. Here, she takes a turn to the book lover in all of us. For shock that a character would think the movie is better than the book, fear not. Drew Young’s heartthrob follows a method of courting we are familiar with—a nice, long list of books to read! Turn the pages and watch things sizzle.

Fake It Till You Bake It: A Novel

Paperback $16.99

Fake It Till You Bake It: A Novel

Fake It Till You Bake It: A Novel

By Jamie Wesley

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Paperback $16.99

This delightful novel is perfect for anyone who adored Zeke in High School Musical, except instead of Crème Brulé and basketball, it’s cupcakes and football. When Jada Townsend-Matthews finds herself scorned by the country for turning down a proposal on a reality dating show, she returns home to recover and starts working at San Diego’s newest cupcake bakery where she meets Donovan Dell. A reporter thinks they are an item, and the two decide to fake a relationship to help Jada and the struggling bakery, and, to their surprise, they find that love is the cherry on top of it all.  

This delightful novel is perfect for anyone who adored Zeke in High School Musical, except instead of Crème Brulé and basketball, it’s cupcakes and football. When Jada Townsend-Matthews finds herself scorned by the country for turning down a proposal on a reality dating show, she returns home to recover and starts working at San Diego’s newest cupcake bakery where she meets Donovan Dell. A reporter thinks they are an item, and the two decide to fake a relationship to help Jada and the struggling bakery, and, to their surprise, they find that love is the cherry on top of it all.  

Get a Life, Chloe Brown (Brown Sisters Series #1)

Paperback $15.49 $16.99

Get a Life, Chloe Brown (Brown Sisters Series #1)

Get a Life, Chloe Brown (Brown Sisters Series #1)

By Talia Hibbert

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Get a Life, Chloe Brown has been a popular romance and for good reason! Heartfelt and humorous, Chloe’s story begins after she almost dies, sparking her to create seven goals to help her “get a life.” Accomplishing her objective is more challenging than she anticipated, so she enlists the help of Redford (Red) Morgan. His rough exterior leads her to think he’s the perfect man to help her. Perfect for fans of Sally Thorne, Jasmine Guillory, and Helen Hoang, Get a Life, Chloe Brown is a kinetic and toe-crinkling love story full of high stakes and imperfect characters that you won’t be able to get enough of! 

Get a Life, Chloe Brown has been a popular romance and for good reason! Heartfelt and humorous, Chloe’s story begins after she almost dies, sparking her to create seven goals to help her “get a life.” Accomplishing her objective is more challenging than she anticipated, so she enlists the help of Redford (Red) Morgan. His rough exterior leads her to think he’s the perfect man to help her. Perfect for fans of Sally Thorne, Jasmine Guillory, and Helen Hoang, Get a Life, Chloe Brown is a kinetic and toe-crinkling love story full of high stakes and imperfect characters that you won’t be able to get enough of! 

Razorblade Tears

Paperback $17.99

Razorblade Tears

Razorblade Tears

By S. A. Cosby

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Paperback $17.99

We were so moved by S.A. Cosby’s Blacktop Wasteland. No one tackles the depths of friends and family amid crises better than S.A. Cosby. Razorblade Tears continues his work of smart thrillers that explore race, poverty and crime.

We were so moved by S.A. Cosby’s Blacktop Wasteland. No one tackles the depths of friends and family amid crises better than S.A. Cosby. Razorblade Tears continues his work of smart thrillers that explore race, poverty and crime.

When No One Is Watching

Paperback $14.99 $16.99

When No One Is Watching

When No One Is Watching

By Alyssa Cole

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With When No One is Watching, Alyssa Cole has now added suspense to her bag of historical, contemporary and sci-fi romances! This gripping thriller is perfect for fans of Rear Window and Get Out. A sinister story of a gentrifying neighborhood and the more deadly-than-advertised push to get neighbors to move out, When No One is Watching is an intense narrative with compelling characters that won’t let you go from beginning to end.   

With When No One is Watching, Alyssa Cole has now added suspense to her bag of historical, contemporary and sci-fi romances! This gripping thriller is perfect for fans of Rear Window and Get Out. A sinister story of a gentrifying neighborhood and the more deadly-than-advertised push to get neighbors to move out, When No One is Watching is an intense narrative with compelling characters that won’t let you go from beginning to end.   

The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer

Paperback $18.99

The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer

The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer

By Janelle Monáe

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Janelle Monae does it all: Singer-songwriter, actress, producer, fashion icon and now author, with the publication of The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer, based on the album of the same name. Building off of speculative writers like Octavia Butler, Ted Chiang, Becky Chambers, and Nnedi Okorafor, The Memory Librarian explores themes of queerness, race, gender plurality, and love as well as space, time and the power of memory. Speaking of doing it all, Janelle Monáe also narrates the audiobook alongside Bahni Turpin!

Janelle Monae does it all: Singer-songwriter, actress, producer, fashion icon and now author, with the publication of The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer, based on the album of the same name. Building off of speculative writers like Octavia Butler, Ted Chiang, Becky Chambers, and Nnedi Okorafor, The Memory Librarian explores themes of queerness, race, gender plurality, and love as well as space, time and the power of memory. Speaking of doing it all, Janelle Monáe also narrates the audiobook alongside Bahni Turpin!

Kindred

Hardcover $27.95

Kindred

Kindred

By Octavia E. Butler

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A powerful and profound meditation on the horrors of American slavery, Butler’s time-travel classic is haunting, thought-provoking and one of the greatest works of speculative fiction ever written. This gorgeous new gift edition includes a stunning new cover design as well as a foil-embossed spine and colored endpapers.

A powerful and profound meditation on the horrors of American slavery, Butler’s time-travel classic is haunting, thought-provoking and one of the greatest works of speculative fiction ever written. This gorgeous new gift edition includes a stunning new cover design as well as a foil-embossed spine and colored endpapers.

The World We Make (B&N Exclusive Edition)

Hardcover $24.99 $30.00

The World We Make (B&N Exclusive Edition)

The World We Make (B&N Exclusive Edition)

By N. K. Jemisin

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The avatars of NYC are back in this stunning conclusion to the Great Cities Duology. This time, even the magic in the city that never sleeps will need to join forces with the other Great Cities of the world to bring down the mysterious Woman in White. Real-world themes of cultural identity, privilege and gentrification mix with magic and myth in this epic adventure from one of the greatest fantasy writers of all time.

The avatars of NYC are back in this stunning conclusion to the Great Cities Duology. This time, even the magic in the city that never sleeps will need to join forces with the other Great Cities of the world to bring down the mysterious Woman in White. Real-world themes of cultural identity, privilege and gentrification mix with magic and myth in this epic adventure from one of the greatest fantasy writers of all time.

The Library of the Dead

Paperback $16.99 $18.99

The Library of the Dead

The Library of the Dead

By T. L. Huchu

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Part mystery, part dystopic thriller, and part magical academia with a lot of heart. This read is a delight! It’s the perfect type of contemporary fantasy mash-up with just the right amount of supernatural and horror elements to keep you up at night. But it’s Ropa, our precocious narrator and resident ghostalker, who instantly becomes indelible by the end of the first page. Wise and seasoned beyond her years, as formed by modern Scotland as she is by her ancestral home of Zimbabwe, Ropa is tossed into a world of danger, magic, and dark discovery. We can’t wait for the next installment

Part mystery, part dystopic thriller, and part magical academia with a lot of heart. This read is a delight! It’s the perfect type of contemporary fantasy mash-up with just the right amount of supernatural and horror elements to keep you up at night. But it’s Ropa, our precocious narrator and resident ghostalker, who instantly becomes indelible by the end of the first page. Wise and seasoned beyond her years, as formed by modern Scotland as she is by her ancestral home of Zimbabwe, Ropa is tossed into a world of danger, magic, and dark discovery. We can’t wait for the next installment