Elizabeth Acevedo is a powerful writer and her books are masterfully done. Part of why readers gravitate to Acevedo is because she makes us feel seen and her latest book cover once again beautifully represents Afro-Latinidad. The Afro-Dominican writer just revealed the cover for her upcoming book Clap When You Land featuring two curly-haired sisters Afro-Dominican sisters, one with the fire escape imagery tied to New York City in the backdrop while the other features the palmeras representing the Dominican Republic.
The book is an exploration of grief, love, forgiveness, and the bonds that shape us, however difficult they may be. On the one hand, there’s Camino Rios who anticipates the regular summer visit of her father to the Dominican Republic only to arrive and find everyone in the airport in tears and her father nowhere to be found. Then there’s New York City resident Yahaira Rios who learns about her father’s death from her mother inside her principal’s office. Both sisters, unaware of their bond, have to learn to live in this new reality and through the grief, they find each other.
“I hope you’ll love these girls as much as I’ve loved writing their story.” Acevedo posted on Instagram after posting the cover art reveal.
Clap When You Land is available for preorder now and set to be released on May 5, 2020. It comes almost exactly a year after the release of With the Fire on High, which featured an Afro-Boricua lead and recently got picked up for a movie deal. In March 2018 Elizabeth Acevedo released her debut novel, The Poet X, which catapulted her career and cemented her status as both a writer of young adult literature and an Afro-Latinx writer focused on representation. The book highlighted her poetry skills and centered around Afro-Dominican teenager Xiomara Batista who finds strength and freedom through poetry. It went on to win the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, the Pura Belpré Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Walter Award, and she became the first woman of color to win the Carnegie Medal children’s book award.
There’s no doubt that with her upcoming novel she’ll once again light up the literary scene and readers will once again connect with her vibrant characters.
“When I tell stories, I am letting other Afro-Latinx know they are wondrous protagonists of the worlds I imagine,” she recently shared on Instagram.
With literature in the U.S. historically being for and by white people, writers like Acevedo help to elevate and amplify the voices of us through the unabashedly proud representation of the Afro-Latinx community.