Scant details on this thus far... but enough to get excited about.
Fox 2000 has acquired 23-year-old author Tomi Adeyemi's debut YA (Young Adult) West African fantasy novel "Children of Blood and Bone," which is the first in what will be a trilogy.
Adeyemi's "Children of Blood and Bone" - which hasn't been published yet - must have serious potential and impressed both Fox brass and Macmillan Publishing immensely, as the deal with Fox is said to be in the seven-figures; also reportedly whopping is the author's publishing deal with Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group - one of the biggest YA debut novel publishing deals ever, says Deadline Hollywood who broke the news this evening.
Described as "'Avatar: The Last Airbender' meets Black Lives Matter," what we know of the story thus far is minimal: With magic, Zélie’s family could stand against the royal guard. Her people wouldn’t live in fear. Her mom wouldn’t have hanged from that tree. Years after the king wiped magic out of Orïsha, Zélie has one chance to bring it back. To do so, she’ll have to outwit/outrun the crown prince, who’s hell-bent on erasing magic for good.
That's all we've got thus far in terms of story. Although in a "Pitch Wars" conversation the author had on Brenda-Drake.com last September, the novel was further described as follows: "From the West African-inspired world, to Tomi’s painstakingly layered characters, and her ability to crush you with heart-shattering *FEELS* bombs... how she uses magic and the monarchy to illuminate privilege and connect with Black Lives Matter... is nothing short of ingenious!"
In addition, on the author's website, in her bio, she states that she writes because: "I want a little black girl to pick up my book one day and see herself as the star. I want her to know that she's beautiful and she matters and she can have a crazy, magical adventure even if an ignorant part of the world tells her she can never be Hermione Granger. I want to give something to the world that I feel I missed out on as a child, and I want to help people of all races, ethnicities, and orientations understand that no matter what differences we may think we have, everyone is a human and everyone deserves to be respected and valued. I also write because I refuse to believe I will never have any magical powers and if I keep writing YA Fantasy I can keep that delusion up."
No word on when the first book in the trilogy - "Children of Blood and Bone" - will hit book stores. Henry Holt Books for Young Readers will publish under Macmillan Publishers.
Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey are producing the Fox 2000 film adaptation with Karen Rosenfelt.
Adeyemi is a Nigerian-American writer and creative writing coach with a degree from Harvard University; she's also the recipient of a fellowship to study West African mythology and culture in Salvador, Brazil.
Kudos to Ms. Adeyemi. This is most certainly a timely project we'll be tracking.