Blackout cover
Blackout edited by Dhonielle Clayton

Edited by Dhonielle Clayton
Written by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon
Quill Tree, 2021
256 pages

Age 13 and older

Six stories by six different contributors are set during a citywide blackout in New York that begins on a hot summer day and extends into the night, ending at a Brooklyn block party where all the characters converge. A basketball phenom stuck on the subway comes out as bisexual to a (claustrophobic!) bi male classmate he’s attracted to.  A young woman ghosted by a friend she thought was something more senses the seeds of romance taking root with another young woman while visiting her grandfather.  On a stuck-in-traffic bus full of teens visiting NYC from Mississippi, a girl sitting with her boyfriend contemplates her crush but finds self-love. A young woman and her best friend hide in the NYPL after it’s closed, but her real reason for setting up the challenge is to (finally!) tell him she loves him. When a ride-for-hire car runs out of gas, the male driver insists on walking his female passenger through the dark, lively streets to the block party she’s going to. And in an episodic story that spans the collection, two teens who broke up four months before find new ground to stand on as they walk miles back to Brooklyn on foot. This upbeat volume features singular characters, welcome discussions of consent, and open acceptance of sexualities as the diverse Black teens at the center of each story find opportunities for new or fresh starts in the metaphorical and literal dark. ©2021 Cooperative Children’s Book Center