Today we’re delighted to reveal the cover for young adult novel Pritty by Keith F. Miller, Jr.! The cover art is by SOGO Arts. The book was designed by Alison Klapthor and edited by Carolina Ortiz. It will be released on November 14, 2023 by HarperTeen. Preorder it here. Keep scrolling for an exclusive author’s note!
On the verge of summer before his senior year, Jay is a soft soul in a world of concrete. While his older brother is everything people expect a man to be—tough, athletic, and in charge—Jay simply blends into the background to everyone, except when it comes to Leroy.
Unsure of what he could have possibly done to catch the eye of the boy who could easily have anyone he wants, Jay isn’t about to ignore the surprising but welcome attention. But as everything in his world begins to heat up, especially with Leroy, whispered rumors over the murder of a young Black journalist and long-brewing territory tensions hang like a dark cloud over his neighborhood. And when Jay and Leroy find themselves caught in the crossfire, Leroy isn’t willing to be the reason Jay’s life is at risk.
Dragged into the world of the Black Diamonds—whose work to protect the Black neighborhoods of Savannah began with his father and now falls to his older brother—Leroy knows that finding out who attacked his brother is not only the key to protecting everyone he loves but also the only way he can ever be with Jay. Wading through a murky history of family trauma and regret, Leroy soon dis-covers that there’s no keeping Jay safe when Jay’s own family is in just as deep and fighting the undertow of danger just as hard.
Now Jay and Leroy must puzzle through secrets hiding in plain sight and scramble to uncover who is determined to eliminate the Black Diamonds before someone else gets hurt—even if the cost might be their own electric connection.
Pritty is a queer love letter to home—to the hood, to the rough, to the soft, to the swagger. It’s an ode to the twerk, to the triumph, to the trauma and healing that is Black and Brown culture. It is a (re)introduction to the unforgettable figures and unsung (s)heroes many of us couldn’t live without: the matriarchs, the candy ladies, the aunties, the uncles, the corner boys, the grandmas in their church hats, the brothas from other mothas and fictive kin, the walking wounded, the misunderstood, the overstated, the underestimated, the incarcerated, the institutionalized–proof we are all in a constant state of healing.
The lives of these boys you will soon meet—and those who love them—revolve around more than attraction, but also a yearning for intimacy, a deeper knowing and state of being known. In the midst of their fight to survive, to do everything they can to protect those they love, I hope you’ll know one thing above all the rest: they exist, they matter. You exist, you matter. Even when the world we live in dares to divide us and says the opposite. — Keith F. Miller, Jr.
Keith F. Miller, Jr. is an award-winning educator, artist, and researcher who studies healing literacies and their role in supporting BIPOC communities in healing, growing, and thriving through trauma. The founder of Healing By Any Means, LLC, Keith’s work powers people, projects, and healing-centered research in service of systems and narrative change through the arts. He is an executive producer of Pritty: The Animation. Keith has an M.S. in Educational Psychology from University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.F.A from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY. Pritty is his debut novel.