Twenty-three-year-old author Tomi Adeyemi received a seven-figure book deal from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for her debut novel, “Children of Blood and Bone.” The book is the first installment of a YA fantasy trilogy, Deadline reports.
Oh, and Fox 2000 has already acquired the rights to the book. Basically, Adeyemi is the new gold standard for millennials.
Described as a fantasy inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, “Children of Blood and Bone” is set in a West African-esque world and centers on Zélie, who “at six years old watched the king’s guards hang her mother on a tree outside her home,” according to the logline. “She never forgot it. In the beginning, every Orïshan was a magi: born with dark skin, stark white hair, and the blessing of the gods’ magic once they reached adulthood. Yet over time, their population dwindled and they became Orïsha’s minority. Magic became a thing to loathe, dark skin transformed into a thing to hate.
Ten years after the raid that killed her mother and took away magic forever, Zélie Adebola has one chance to bring the magic back. Through a fortuitous encounter with the Princess Amari, Zélie comes into possession of a sacred scroll necessary to restore a connection to the gods and secure magic for another hundred years. This sets the young women on a quest to end the senseless violence and oppression by the lighter-skinned royal class.”
Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey of Temple Hill will produce the project with Karen Rosenfelt. “Gillian Bohrer will shepherd it” for Fox 2000, Deadline writes.
“The novel is unusual in that the fantasy trilogies studios usually buy for big bucks are built around white characters,” Deadline observes. “This one weaves in African culture and characters and mixes it with magic to create an intriguing mythology that is otherworldly but somehow familiar.” The source adds that Adeyemi’s pact with Macmillan is “one of the biggest YA debut novel publishing deals ever.”
Black Lives Matter also served as the inspiration for Angie Thomas’ “The Hate U Give,” another YA novel. The book, which centers on a 16-year-old girl who witnesses her unarmed childhood friend being shot by the police, will be adapted by Fox 2000 too. Amandla Stenberg (“The Hunger Games,” Stella Meghie’s upcoming “Everything, Everything”) will star.
Adeyemi works as a creative writing coach, according to her website. After graduating from Harvard, the Nigerian-American writer received a fellowship to study West African mythology and culture in Salvador, Brazil.