Read Jessica's Interview with debut author Brittney Morris

Jessica Palacios of Once Upon a Time in Montrose, California, who served as a member of the panel that selected Morris’ book for the Indies Introduce program, called it “a great, action-packed book that can be given to so many people.”

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SLAY (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


Gamers get ready! Kiera is your normal student dealing with friends, boyfriend, and school, except she is also the game developer behind a secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. But when the game is exposed to the media, people want to tear down the safe space she has created. I loved the game play, energy, family dynamics and the few chapters told from different players perspectives. A great action packed book that can be given to so many people. For ages 13 and up. I want to SLAY! - Jessica

— From Staff Picks by Jessica

For young adults

Gamers get ready! Kiera is your normal student dealing with friends, boyfriend, and school, except she is also the game developer behind a secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. But when the game is exposed to the media, people want to tear down the safe space she has created. I loved the game play, energy, family dynamics and the few chapters told from different players perspectives. A great action packed book that can be given to so many people. For ages 13 and up. I want to SLAY! 

— From Staff Picks by Jessica

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— From Holiday Staff Picks 2019

Fall 2019 Kids Indie Next List


SLAY is so much more than just another book about video games: it’s about a girl who carves a space in the world for herself and completely owns it, and it’s about the microaggressions and the can-I-touch-your-hairs and all the things that come with being one of a handful of black kids in a school. It isn’t afraid to pull punches where it counts; sometimes you see them coming, sometimes you don’t.”
— Avery Peregrine, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

Description


A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019!
“Gripping and timely.” —People
“The YA debut we’re most excited for this year.” —Entertainment Weekly
“A book that knocks you off your feet while dropping the kind of knowledge that’ll keep you down for the count. Prepare to BE slain.” —Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin and Odd One Out

Ready Player One meets The Hate U Give in this dynamite debut novel that follows a fierce teen game developer as she battles a real-life troll intent on ruining the Black Panther–inspired video game she created and the safe community it represents for Black gamers.

By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the Black man.”

But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.”

Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?

About the Author


Brittney Morris is the author of SLAY and The Cost of Knowing. She is also the founder and former president of the Boston University Creative Writing Club. She holds a BA in economics. You can find her online at AuthorBrittneyMorris.com and on Twitter or Instagram @BrittneyMMorris.

Praise For…


Washington Post’s 18 Books to Read this Fall
Refinery29’s 12 Books Everyone Will be Talking about This Season
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A New York Public Library Top Ten Best Books of 2019
Book Riot’s Fall Books to Add to Your TBR Pile
ABA Top Ten Indie Next Pick
ABA Indies Introduce selection
Junior Library Guild Selection
B&N Teen Blog’s 20 Biggest YA Debuts of the Fall
Bookish’s Fall 2019 Can’t-Miss Young Adult Books
Bustle’s 20 Captivating New Books From 2019 To Snap You Out Of a Reading Slump

“Gripping and timely.” —People

“The novel Black girl nerds have been waiting for.” —Refinery29

“Morris immerses readers in the world of gaming with her charged, timely, and witty debut.” —Entertainment Weekly

“[A] snappy YA debut.” —Washington Post

“Unlike anything out there . . . Easily the best debut novel of the year.” —Paste Magazine

“A book that knocks you off your feet while dropping the kind of knowledge that'll keep you down for the count. Prepare to BE slain.” —Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin and Odd One Out

“More than a novel, SLAY is a conversation about safe spaces, why they’re necessary for minorities, and why we should champion their right to exist without being branded exclusionary or racist.” Booklist, starred review

“[A] not-to-be-missed YA debut.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Morris does a fantastic job of showing diversity within the black community. . . . Gamers and black activists alike will be ready to SLAY all day.” Kirkus Reviews

“Readers are invited to learn about the black experience in game culture through a compelling new lens. Exploring different versions of the African American experience, this is an important title for public and school libraries.”School Library Journal

“Kiera is so many of us Blerds; and Morris has truly captured the holistic experiences of many Black digital users.” The Horn Book

“Readers will cheer for Kiera as she slays her own demons, and they’ll come away from the novel desperately wishing SLAY were more than the product of Morris’ imagination.” BookPage

“Offers a richly global perspective on the Black diaspora.” BCCB

“Wildly entertaining and impressively insightful. Morris is absolutely an author to watch.” —Sara Grochowski, McLean and Eakin Booksellers (Petoskey, MI)

“I was captivated from the very first page and found myself quickly falling in love with Kiera but even more for what Kiera stood for. I cannot wait for more from Brittany Morris!” —Teresa Steele, Old Firehouse Books (Fort Collins, CO)


Product Details
ISBN: 9781534445420
ISBN-10: 1534445420
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: September 24th, 2019
Pages: 336

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Staff Picks

Welcome to Doodleville, everyone!!! This beloved author, Chad Sell, brings us to his next fabulous graphic novel, Doodleville, which grabs the reader, heart and soul!! Doodleville brings us into a normal school, to a normal group of kids, in a normal art club.....except that these kids' doodles come alive!!! Drew loves her doodles dearly, but when one of her doodles goes rogue and hurts the other student's characters, she is wisked away on an adventure that teaches her so much: the complexities of friendship, the strength that lies in trusting yourself, and the power of working together with friends that can save the day!! Chad Sell's trademark combo of fun, vibrant artwork and deeply emotional and human storytelling makes you smile throughout, and reminds you that "being different can make you powerful." Sell's work is also a perfect example of representation as it should be: people of all types existing together, just like in real life. And while having a blast visiting Doodleville, you may even learn a bit of art history! No matter what, you'll surely be smiling till the very last page.
 
 
(Graphic Novel, Ages 8+) - reviewed by Isabel