In an effort to challenge bias towards Native American and Black children, authors Nick Brooks and Angeline Boulley have taken the literary world by storm with their latest novels, "Promise Boys" and "Warrior Girl Unearthed."
Brooks, an award-winning filmmaker and former educator, draws on his experience working with at-risk youth in his new young adult thriller, "Promise Boys." The book centers around three teens of color who must investigate their principal's murder to clear their own names, tackling themes of racism, privilege, and inequality. The novel has been hailed as a "blockbuster, dark academia mystery" and is already in development for a TV adaptation.
Meanwhile, Boulley's debut novel, "Firekeeper's Daughter," has taken the literary world by storm, spending weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list and winning numerous awards, including the 2022 Michael L. Printz Award and the 2022 William C. Morris Award. Her latest novel, "Warrior Girl Unearthed," takes readers back to the world of "Firekeeper's Daughter," exploring the power of discovering one's stolen history. Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, draws heavily on her own experiences in the Ojibwe community to create a rich, authentic portrayal of indigenous life in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Both authors are committed to using their work to challenge stereotypes and promote greater understanding and empathy for marginalized communities. Speaking about her experience writing about missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, Boulley said, "It is difficult, yet it's vital to give voice to those who cannot tell their stories themselves. Through storytelling I can share the person instead of the statistic. Each missing person is someone who matters."
Similarly, Brooks hopes that "Promise Boys" will encourage readers to think critically about the education system and its treatment of Black and brown boys in low-income communities. "What does education look like in these communities?" he asks. "What are we doing with these kids? How can we lift them up?"
With their powerful storytelling and commitment to social justice, Nick Brooks and Angeline Boulley are quickly becoming two of the most important voices in contemporary literature. Their work is a reminder of the power of storytelling to challenge biases and promote greater empathy and understanding for all.
To further discuss their latest works, Brooks and Boulley will participate in a conversation moderated by Kit Ballenger, JD/MLIS, a Washington, D.C. area youth services librarian and literary consultant with Help Your Shelf, on May 18 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lamond-Riggs/Lillian J. Huff Library located at 5401 South Dakota Avenue. The event is open to the public, and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and have their books signed by the authors.
This event is held in partnership with Loyalty Bookstores. Copies of Brooks and Boulley's books will be available for purchase at the event. This event requires registration. To learn more about this event or to register, visit, https://dclibrary.libnet.info/event/8240533