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A 12-year-old girl from the housing projects discovers her brother was more than he seemed … And so is she.

Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alive. Not even when the police told her otherwise, or when she got in trouble for standing up to bullies who said he was gone for good.

So when she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet, nominating her for a tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain the secretive organisation holds the key to locating Quinton – if only she can wrap her head around the idea of magicians, fairies, aliens, and other supernatural creatures all being real.

Now she must compete for a spot against kids who’ve known about magic their whole lives. No matter how hard she tries, Amari can’t seem to escape their intense doubt and scrutiny – especially once her own supernaturally enhanced talent is deemed ‘illegal’.

With an evil magician threatening the supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she’s an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t stick it out and pass the tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton …

 

 

Dear Reader,

I wish I could say that I was courageous. That once I’d created the world of this book, I didn’t panic when Amari popped into my head, with her brown skin and curly afro. Growing up, I’d never seen a main character who looked like me in a fantasy. Surely, I can’t tell this story through her eyes, I thought. No one will want to read it. And, certainly, no one will want to publish it.

So I resisted. Instead, I created the typical middle-grade protagonist, a wise-cracking white kid. Because that was realistic. A black kid – a black girl, especially – just wasn’t. I’m sad to say that sometime in my thirty-plus years of living, I’d come to believe that there are some adventures people like me don’t get to have.

But that manuscript kept stalling after a few chapters, and each time it did, Amari’s annoyed voice would remind me that this was her story. Exasperated, I finally gave in. And let me tell you, once I did, Amari’s story just flowed. For the first time in my life, I was also telling my story, and the story of the people I grew up with.

I hope you enjoy Amari’s story. It’s also my sincere hope that this book sparks your sense of wonder, because that’s what I love most about fantasy. And for those of you who look different or feel different, whatever the reason, please know that your uniqueness needn’t be a source of fear and insecurity. There is great strength and joy to be found in simply accepting and loving yourself for who you are.

Because once you do so, you’ll be unstoppable.

—B.B. Alston

 

About the author

B.B. Alston lives in South Carolina, USA. Amari and the Night Brothers is his debut middle-grade novel, which he pitched on a whim via #DVPit on Twitter. After a whirlwind international auction for rights to the book, Universal Pictures secured film rights. When not writing, Alston can be found eating too many sweets and exploring country roads to see where they lead.

 

 

Amari and the Night Brothers is an electrifying, dizzyingly incredible adventure that will remind you why children’s books can change the world. Amari herself is such a brilliant character – funny, gutsy, vulnerable, stubborn and talented – and I was captivated by her willingness to step up in the face of privilege and bigotry in the search for her missing brother. Read this book. I PROMISE you will love it just as much as we do!’
—Marisa Pintado, Publishing Director HGCP

‘Amari is a magical adventure filled with whimsy and heart. This exciting, mysterious, action-packed book is one that children will love.’
—Alison Evans, Children’s Bookseller, The Little Bookroom

‘As a former black girl misfit who wanted nothing more in the world than to be magical, this book is a song to my soul. Amari is the heroine we all need.’
—Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin

‘The author weaves magical whimsy with honest, realistically portrayed circumstances, allowing Amari’s literal #BlackGirlMagic to shine even when she doesn’t believe in herself. This timely, energetic, first-person narrative moves quickly with clear descriptions, a thrilling buildup, and strong messages about profiling. An impressive debut series opener.’
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

‘It was Amari herself that won me over. I am definitely not the target market but I was with her and wanting her to be safe – but liking her taking risks to find her much loved brother. She is a great, feisty character and I hope this will be only the first of many adventures.’
—Sandy Grant, CEO Hardie Grant Publishing​

​‘Forget waiting for an owl to deliver a letter – I’ll be waiting for my nomination briefcase to come for the rest of my life! I loved Amari and the Night Brothers – full of magic, mystery and more!’​
—Penelope White, Managing Editor HGCP

 

 

Chapter sample and ARC giveaway

Dive into the enchanting world of Amari and the Night Brothers! Click the image above to read a chapter sample, then enter our advanced copy giveaway! Email your name and mailing address to mailbag@hardiegrant.com to go into the running to receive one of five ARCs. Winners will be selected at random and notified by Friday 30 October.

#nominationdetected

 

Point of sale materials available

We are currently offering a pre-order display pack and two dumpbin pack options to stores! Our pre-order pack will arrive in early January and will feature two standees, a pre-order poster, and an out now poster. Our dumpbins are available with options for either 32 or 50 books. Please talk to your sales representative to order your stock, quoting ISBN 9781760505882.

 

 

 

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