Kwame Mbalia | Black Boy Joy


Kwame Mbalia will appear in conversation with his collaborators Jerry Craft, DaVaun Sanders, Varian Johnson, and Julian Winters to celebrate their new book Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood. Cathy calls this book "a marvelous collection that is a testament to family, to friends, to much deserved joy."

  • This event is free to attend, but registration is required. You can register for the event here. Once you register, you will receive an invitation to join the event.
  • NOTE: Because this is a virtual event that will be hosted on Zoom, you will need access a computer or other device that is capable of accessing the internet at a sufficient bandwidth. If you have not used Zoom before, don't worry: It's easy! Here's a quick reference guide to help you get oriented: Getting Started with Zoom


Wednesday, August 4, 2021 at 5:00pm Central Time

We work hard to bring events to our community for free, because connecting readers with authors is central to our mission. But these programs are not free for us to put on! If you’re interested in attending this event, we hope you’ll consider purchasing a copy of Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood from our bookshop. Your support is critical to keeping us here and offering events like this, and we hope to do that for many years to come! 

Blue Willow Bookshop expects all participants to maintain an atmosphere of respect and fairness. Any comments or questions that violate this standard of behavior including any form of harassment, may, at the discretion of the organizers, be immediately removed.

About the Authors:

KWAME MBALIA is a husband, father, New York Times bestselling author, and former pharmaceutical metrologist, in that order. His debut middle-grade novel, TRISTAN STRONG PUNCHES A HOLE IN THE SKY, and the sequel, TRISTAN STRONG DESTROYS THE WORLD (October 6, 2020), are published by Rick Riordan Presents/Disney-Hyperion. A Howard University graduate and a Midwesterner now in North Carolina, he survives on dad jokes and Cheez-Its.

JERRY CRAFT is the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of the graphic novels New Kid and Class Act. In 2020, New Kid became the only book in history to win the John Newbery
Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature; the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature; and the Coretta Scott King Author Award for the most outstanding work by an African American writer. Jerry was born in Harlem, and grew up in the Washington Heights section of New York City.

VARIAN JOHNSON is the author of several novels for children and young adults, including The Parker Inheritance, which won both Coretta Scott King Author Honor and Boston Globe/Horn
Book Honor awards; The Great Green Heist, an ALA Notable Children’s book and Kirkus Reviews Best Book; and the graphic novel Twins, illustrated by Shannon Wright, an NPR Best Book.  Varian received an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he now serves as a member of the faculty. Varian lives outside of Austin, TX with his family, and can be found online at

DAVAUN SANDERS resides in Phoenix, Arizona. His short fiction has appeared in FIYAH: Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, PodCastle, Broken Eye Books, Dancing Star Press, and elsewhere. He currently serves as Executive Editor for the World Fantasy Award winning, British Fantasy Award winning and 3x Hugo Nominated FIYAH. His most recent editorial project
includes Breathe FIYAH, a flash fiction anthology collaboration with He hopes to continue expanding his body of work in children's fiction, for his own twins and kids everywhere
who deserve to enjoy inclusive stories. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @davaunsanders.

JULIAN WINTERS is the award-winning author of Running With Lions—which won an IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Award for Best Teen Fiction—as well as the star-reviewed novels How
To Be Remy Cameron and The Summer of Everything. A self-proclaimed comic book geek, Julian lives in Decatur, Georgia, where he can be found watching the only two sports he can follow:
volleyball and soccer. His next book, Right Where I Left You, will be in March 2022. Visit him online at


Payment type must be "CreditCard." Shipping will be charged if you want the book shipped to you. If you'd prefer to use our curbside pickup program, we ask that you please collect your book(s) within one month of the event date. After that date, your book will be donated to a Houston-based literacy organization.

International shipping will be $35.00.

Event date: 
Wednesday, August 4, 2021 - 5:00pm
Event address: 
Staff Pick Badge
Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood By Kwame Mbalia (Editor) Cover Image
By Kwame Mbalia (Editor)
ISBN: 9780593379936
Availability: Usually Ships in 4-7 Days
Published: Delacorte Press - August 3rd, 2021


Celebrate the joys of Black boyhood with stories from seventeen bestselling, critically acclaimed Black authors—including Jason Reynolds, Jerry Craft, and Kwame Mbalia.