This summer, immerse yourself in new worlds with these recommendations.
Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola
From the Sunday Times bestselling author, Bolu Babalola, comes the romantic comedy we’ve all be waiting for.The sharp-tongued (and secretly soft-hearted) Kiki Banjo is an expert in relationship-evasion, and likes to keep her feelings close to her chest. As the host of the popular student radio show, Brown Sugar, it is her mission to make sure the women who make up the Afro-Caribbean Society at Whitewell University also do not fall into the mess of ‘situationships’, players and heartbreak.
But when Kiki meets the distressingly handsome and charming newcomer Malakai Korede – who she has publicly denounced as ‘The Wasteman of Whitewell’ – her defences are weakened and her heart is compromised. A clash embroils them in a fake relationship to salvage both their reputations and save their futures, and soon she finds herself in danger of falling for the very man she warned her girls about.
Praise for Honey & Spice:
“A blissful celebration of first loves, second chances and sisterhood. Bolu is an expert at her craft.” — Jendella Benson, author of Hope & Glory
“Honey & Spice is the book many have been waiting for. Black love, Black joy and Black magic are all stirred into this succulent, addictive romance. Simply wonderful.” — Lizzie Damilola Blackburn, author of Yinka, Where is Your Huzband?
Have You Read George’s Podcast by George the Poet
Have You Heard George’s Podcast? If you have, you may know that it is a mix of autobiographical, fiction and social commentary read aloud by rapper and poet George the Poet. His verse podcast delves into political histories and contemporary realities. George articulates his keen observations and visions for the future for his community and those like it across the country.
This book contains the scripts from ‘Have You Heard George’s Podcast?’ plus bonus material from George the Poet. George the Poet grew up in Neasden, north-west London and is of Ugandan heritage. His podcast has won numerous awards, including Best Podcast at both the 2020 NME and Peabody Awards, and it picked up five wins at the British Podcast Awards in 2019.
Praise for Have You Heard George’s Podcast:
“A genre-defying piece of audio that pushes the limits of what a podcast can be.” — The New York Times
“There can’t be many people out there who don’t think George the Poet is a bit of a genius.” — Charlie Phillips, The Guardian
Oxygen Mask: A Graphic Novel by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Jason Griffin
From author Jason Reynolds, and illustrator and street artist Jason Griffin, comes Oxygen Mask.
Jason Reynolds is a New York Times bestselling author, a Kirkus Award winner, and he won a Carnegie Medal for his 2019 book Look Both Ways.
Intimately set within the walls of a family home, this book is an incredible artefact of the historic year we have all lived through. We travel from the depths of despair but not without hope; the mundane details contained within four walls becomes our sanctuary. This is a gift in commemoration of a time and place, of a world wide pandemic, of loss and of the murder of George Floyd. It is a reminder of how, in uncertain times, we can cling to the simple things for respite, for hope. A reminder of how comforting books and artworks are in times of extreme stress.
Praise for Jason Reynolds:
“Jason Reynold’s crackling, witty prose is a joy to read” — Nalini Jones
Big Girl by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan
Growing up in a rapidly changing Harlem, eight-year-old Malaya hates when her mother drags her to Weight Watchers meetings; she’d rather paint alone in her bedroom or enjoy forbidden street foods with her father. For Malaya, the pressures of her predominantly white Upper East Side prep school are relentless, as are the expectations passed down from her painfully proper mother and sharp-tongued grandmother. As she comes of age in the 1990s, she finds solace in the music of Biggie Smalls and Aaliyah, but her weight continues to climb―until a family tragedy forces her to face the source of her hunger, ultimately shattering her inherited stigmas surrounding women’s bodies, and embracing her own desire.
In her highly anticipated debut novel, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan explores the perils―and undeniable beauty―of insatiable longing.
Praise for Big Girl:
“Sullivan charms in her stunning debut novel about a Black girl’s coming-of-age… This is a treasure.” — Starred Review, Publisher’s Weekly
“A lyrical and important coming of age novel.” — Kirkus Reviews