Sherman Alexie's First Picture Book 'Thunder Boy Jr.' With Yuyi Morales Is Basically Everything We Could Have Hoped For
He's already a poet, short story writer, adult fiction author, young adult writer, and filmmaker (whew), but The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian author Sherman Alexie is making his first foray into books for even younger readers. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers is expected to publish Alexie's first picture book Thunder Boy Jr. May 2016, so you should probably already have it on your list for any baby showers or young birthdays next spring.
But the news gets even better: Alexie will collaborate with Yuyi Morales, the Caldecott Medal-winning creator of Viva Frida. It's almost too much talent for one picture book.
Thunder Boy Jr. will be about a young boy who wants to have his own name, rather than share his father's name as a junior.
The Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian Alexie has been breaking barriers and earning massive acclaim since back in 1993 when he won the PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Book of Fiction for his debut short story collection The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. Alexie then adopted his own stories into the 1998 movie Smoke Signals, the first movie to have the entire production team and cast of Native American descent.
But you YA lit readers probably best know Alexie from his National Book Award for Young People's Literature-winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, following Spokane Indian Junior who transfers to an all-white school. It took home, essentially, all the awards after it was published in 2007, including School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. It sold 1.5 million copies, which is no slouch.
And after Thunder Boy Jr., we are going to be forced to ask ourselves if there's anything Sherman Alexie can't do. Your spoiler alert: Probably no.
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