Scholastic Acquires Two Books for Young Readers By Henry Louis Gates Jr.


New York, NY—January 11, 2018—Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education, and media company, has acquired two books for young readers by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., one of the premier U.S. scholars of African American literature and history. The first book, Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow, a narrative nonfiction book for ages 9-12, will be written with Coretta Scott King Honor author Tonya Bolden, and will be published in Spring 2019. These are Gates’ first books for young readers. David Kuhn and Lauren Sharp of Aevitas Creative Management represented Gates in a two-book deal for world rights, and Jennifer Lyons of Jennifer Lyons Literary represented Bolden.

“I grew up reading Scholastic books, so becoming a Scholastic author is a dream come true!” said Professor Gates. “Scholastic and I share a mission of reaching young readers and their teachers through vivid, riveting narratives that bring history to life. After all, we’re educating tomorrow’s leaders, preparing them for crucial roles that will define the future of our country. Learning about the pivotal events that shaped our nation is an exciting way to help students understand themselves and the complexities of our world. As an admirer of Tonya Bolden’s award-winning works of nonfiction, the opportunity of collaborating with her brings an extra dimension of excitement and pleasure to creating my first Scholastic book.”

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Tonya Bolden present a captivating journey through America’s turbulent past and our nation’s attempts at renewal in this dynamic look at the Civil War’s conclusion, Reconstruction, and the rise of Jim Crow racism and segregation. Stirring, real-life accounts of heroism, grit, betrayal, and bravery, drive this book’s narrative, spanning America’s history from 1861-1915, and drawing parallels to today.

Topics include the destruction of slavery, the Reconstruction Amendments, the emergence of white supremacy, and African American resilience in times of racial vengeance. Notable figures cited throughout include Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Jacobs, Charlotte Forten, Henry Adams, Booker T. Washington, WEB DuBois, and more.

“We are thrilled to welcome one of this century’s most noted historians to Scholastic,” said Andrea Pinkney, VP, Executive Editor, Scholastic. “Henry Louis Gates Jr. has an unparalleled talent for presenting history through dramatic storytelling. Now, Gates will deliver that same spark of excitement in books for young readers.”

Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is one of the premier U.S. scholars of African-American literature and history. Gates is the head of Harvard's African American Studies department. He is an acclaimed author and critic who has unearthed an array of literary gems; he has also hosted PBS programs such as Wonders of the African World, Finding Your Roots, and Black in Latin America. Gates is the recipient of more than 50 honorary degrees and numerous prizes. He was one of the first recipients of the MacArthur genius grant in 1981. He was the first African American scholar to be awarded the National Humanities Medal, was named to Time’s 25 Most Influential Americans list in 1997, selected for Ebony’s Power 150 list in 2009, and to Ebony’s Power 100 list in 2010 and 2012.

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Tonya Bolden, who will serve as Gate’s collaborator, is the award-winning author of many notable books for children and young adults, among them the Coretta Scott King Author Honor-winning Maritcha: A Nineteenth Century American Girl, which was also a James Madison Book Award Winner and CCBC Best Book of the Year. Ms. Bolden’s Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty was named a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year and is the recipient of the Carter G. Woodson Book Award. Ms. Bolden is a two-time NAACP Image Award nominee, and Winner of the 2016 Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC.’s Nonfiction Award for Body of Work.

About Scholastic

Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books, a leading provider of core literacy curriculum and professional services, and a producer of educational and entertaining children's media. The Company creates quality books and ebooks, print and technology-based learning programs for pre-K to grade 12, classroom magazines and other products and services that support children's learning both in school and at home. With operations in 14 international offices and exports to 165 countries, Scholastic makes quality, affordable books available to all children around the world through school-based book clubs and book fairs, classroom collections, school and public libraries, retail and online. True to its mission of 97 years to encourage the personal and intellectual growth of all children beginning with literacy, the Company has earned a reputation as a trusted partner to educators and families. Learn more at

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