Welcome to our tour for Cool. Awkward. Black.! We are very excited to be sharing this anthology book featuring various short stories of Black nerdiness with you all! Read along below for an excerpt from one of the stories fun info!
Cool. Awkward. Black.
Edited by Karen Strong
Release Date: January 10, 2023
Genre: Anthology, Fantasy, Contemporary
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A multi-genre YA anthology of bestselling, critically acclaimed Black authors challenging the concept of “the geek,” featuring contributions from Amerie, Kalynn Bayron, Terry J. Benton-Walker, Roseanne A. Brown, Elise Bryant, Tracy Deonn, Desiree S. Evans, Isaac Fitzsimons, Lamar Giles, Jordan Ifueko, Leah Johnson, Amanda Joy, Kwame Mbalia, Tochi Onyebuchi, Shari B. Pennant, K. Arsenault Rivera, Julian Winters, and Ibi Zoboi.
A girl who believes in UFOs; a boy who might have finally found his Prince Charming; a hopeful performer who dreams of being cast in her school’s production of The Sound of Music; a misunderstood magician of sorts with a power she doesn’t quite understand.
These plotlines and many more compose the eclectic stories found within the pages of this dynamic, exciting, and expansive collection featuring exclusively Black characters. From contemporary to historical, fantasy to sci-fi, magical to realistic, and with contributions from a powerhouse list of self-proclaimed geeks and bestselling, award-winning authors, this life-affirming anthology celebrates and redefines the many facets of Blackness and geekiness—both in the real world and those imagined.
Here is a list of ten things that I hate:Betty’s Best Craft, Elise Bryant (begins on pg 107)
1. Hot glue gun strings hanging from a finished project
2. When Lois is working the cash register at Craft Cabin and won’t let me stack coupons — feeding me some mess about company policy even though Darryl lets me do it all the time
3. The way my mom always says she’ll be home for dinner even though we both know she’s never home for dinner
4. How Craft Cabin changed the formula on their store-brand acrylic paint and just expected no one to notice
5. Jhamir Watson
About the Editor
Karen Strong is the author of critically acclaimed middle grade novels Just South of Home, which was chosen for several Best of Year lists including Kirkus Reviews Best Books and Eden’s Everdark, a Junior Library Guild and BCCB Blue Ribbon selection. She is the editor of the young adult anthology Cool. Awkward. Black. and has also written short fiction for Star Wars including From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back and Stories of Jedi and Sith. Her speculative short fiction appears in the award-winning anthology A Phoenix First Must Burn.
Born and raised in the rural South, she is a graduate of the University of Georgia, and an avid lover of strong coffee, yellow flowers, and night skies. You can find her online at karen-strong.com.