Ten Books to Be on the Look Out This Month

Books January 2021 BeLatina Latinx
Written in Starlight, Ambitious Girl, and One of The Good Ones are some of the books that you should have on your radar this January.

It is the beginning of a new year, and typically during this time, most people have their resolutions in mind. From being more money savvy to starting a healthier lifestyle, many folks are thinking about how they can be a better version of themselves in the new year.

To some, 2021 feels like a breath of fresh air as we leave the mess that was 2020.  Others feel more pessimistic, considering that we are still living in the middle of a pandemic despite the holiday.

Though we all hope 2021 will be the year that the COVID-19 pandemic ends, we all have to continue staying at home as much as possible, social distancing, wearing masks, and washing our hands. Luckily, there are many literary surprises to look forward to this month while everyone is at home staying safe.

From children’s books by Atlanta rapper Lil Nas X and lawyer Meena Harris to Nadia Owusu and Marcos Gonsalez’s heartbreaking memoirs, here are ten books to be on the lookout for in January 2021.


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C is for Country. Photo courtesy of Amazon.

C is for Country by Lil Nas X

This 21-year-old gay, Black rapper is not only making history by blurring the lines between country and hip hop music, but he’s also releasing a children’s book about it!

Written by Lil Nas X and illustrated by Theodore Taylor III, C is for Country is the perfect book for children between ages 3 and 7 who are learning their ABC.

The book will be available on January 5, 2021.


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Photo courtesy of Twitter.

One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

The Miamian, Haitian-American authors of Dear Haiti, Love Alaine are back with a fictional story that reflects the reality of many. 

The book explores race relations and police brutality in the United States through the lens of a Black family – through their pain, loss, grief, and mourning. When Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally, her parents and sister are left wondering what it means to be “one of the good ones.”

The book will be available on January 5, 2021.

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Photo courtesy of Amazon.

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

Who isn’t a sucker for love stories in times of conflict? Last Night at the Telegraph Club is a breath of fresh air among El-amor-en-los-tiempos-del-cólera kinds of books because this time, the protagonists are queer. In this historical romance, however, it is two girls who fall in love.

Set in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1954, the story follows seventeen-year-old Chinese-American Lily Hu in the exploration of her sexuality. While Lily sneaks into the Telegraph Club lesbian bar, she is also having to deal with Red-Scare paranoia threatening her family. 

The book will be available on January 19, 2021.


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Photo courtesy of goodreads.com

The High Republic: A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland

Justina Ireland has been a voice for diversity of authors and characters of color in the industry, as shown by her own work and activism. 

The best-selling author of young adult novels is returning with a Star Wars story set “long before the Clone Wars, the Empire, or the First Order.”

The High Republic: A Test of Courage follows teenage Jedi Vernestra Rwoh after the disastrous escape of a ship on fire. She is now forced to lead a young, chaotic group of passengers as they are all stranded on a moon with little to no resources.

The book will be published on January 5, 2021.


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Photo courtesy of Twitter.

We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal

Hafsah Faizal is an American-Muslim author of Sri Lankan and Arab descent who was inspired by The Hunger Games and Lord of the Rings to create the Sands of Arawiya duology.

We Free the Stars is the sequel to We Hunt the Flames, her first best-seller, which tells the story of a hunter who disguises herself as a man in order to travel into a dangerous forest and restore magic to her people.

We Free the Stars is the continuation of a strong female character’s adventures in a fantasy ancient Arabia.

The book will be available on January 19, 2021.


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Photo courtesy of Amazon.

Pedro’s Theory: Reimagining the Promised Land by Marcos Gonsalez

In Pedro’s Theory, Gonsalez navigates “the lives of these many Pedros, real and imagined.” As the gay son of Puerto Rican and Mexican migrants, he retells and shifts the narrative of the American Dream in this memoir.

Many of the voices are the author himself; some are strangers, others are lovers, archetypes, and the men he might have become in different lives. All Pedros are hoping to discover an America of their own.

The book will be available on January 12, 2021.

Ambitious girl BeLatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Book Depository.

Ambitious Girl by Meena Harris (and illustrated by Marissa Valdez)

Vice-President Harris’ niece, Meena Harris, is an author committed to increasing representation in children’s books and fostering a more inclusive environment for girls.

Ambitious Girl is a story that will inspire the next generation of women to “reframe, redefine, and reclaim words meant to knock them down.” It will teach girls to take up space and own their power.

The book will be available on January 19, 2021.


Written in Starlight BeLatina Latinx
Photo Courtesy of isabelibanez.com

Written in Starlight by Isabel Ibañez

As the daughter of Bolivian immigrants, the designer, illustrator, and author Isabel Ibañez created a fantasy world inspired by Bolivian politics and history for her debut novel (and one of TIME’s 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time), Woven in Moonlight

Written in Starlight is the anticipated companion to Woven in Moonlight, where Ibañez is bringing nuanced female characters, a story full of romance and danger, and a magical setting altogether.

The book will be available on January 26, 2021.


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Photo courtesy of the New York Times.

Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu

Ghanaian and American-Armenian by birth, author Nadia Owusu’s childhood travels inform her gaze and language in this elliptical, questioning memoir.

Aftershocks walks the audience through Owusu’s experiences and shows what led her to arrive in New York as a young woman feeling stateless, motherless, and uncertain about her future, yet eager to find her own identity.

The book will be available on January 12, 2021.


The Prophets BeLatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Buzzfeed.

The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.

This book is another historical romance that is breaking barriers with its powerful truths and characters’ complexities.

The Prophets is “a singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence.”

The book will be available on January 5, 2021.