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SLAY
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SLAY
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"Gripping and timely." —People "The YA debut we're most excited for this year." —Entertainment Weekly "A book that knocks you off your feet while dropping the kind of knowledge that'll...
"Gripping and timely." —People "The YA debut we're most excited for this year." —Entertainment Weekly "A book that knocks you off your feet while dropping the kind of knowledge that'll...
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  • "Gripping and timely." —People

    "The YA debut we're most excited for this year." —Entertainment Weekly

    "A book that knocks you off your feet while dropping the kind of knowledge that'll keep you down for the count. Prepare to BE slain." —Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin and Odd One Out

    Ready Player One meets The Hate U Give in this dynamite debut novel that follows a fierce teen game developer as she battles a real-life troll intent on ruining the Black Panther–inspired video game she created and the safe community it represents for Black gamers.
    By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the "downfall of the Black man."

    But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for "anti-white discrimination."

    Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?

About the Author-

  • Brittney Morris is the author of SLAY. She is also the founder and former president of the Boston University Creative Writing Club. She holds a BA in economics. Brittney spends her spare time playing video games, slaying at DDR, and enjoying the Seattle rain from her apartment. She lives with her husband, Steven, who would rather enjoy the rain from a campsite in the woods because he hasn't played enough horror games. You can find her online at AuthorBrittneyMorris.com and on Twitter or Instagram @BrittneyMMorris.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 8, 2019
    Morris’s not-to-be-missed YA debut explores gaming culture and the diversity of the African diaspora. When black teen Kiera Johnson creates a virtual reality game called SLAY as a safe space for black gamers, she knows she must keep her identity as its developer secret. Her black boyfriend, Malcolm, insists that video games are “a distraction promoted by white society,” her parents will disapprove of her embracing certain aspects of black culture, and the students at her predominantly white school just won’t understand what a game by and for black people really means. But when the massively popular game’s existence is threatened after a dispute results in a player’s murder and the media stirs controversy, a new player emerges, forcing Kiera to wager the game’s control in a duel to maintain her secret identity and avoid a discrimination lawsuit. This tightly written novel will offer an eye-opening take for many readers and speak to teens of color who are familiar with the exhaustion of struggling to feel at home in a largely white society. Told from Kiera’s point of view with peeks into the minds of other characters, and peppered with easily accessible references to black culture, teens and adults alike will race through every page, relating to the importance of online friends, sharing Kiera’s desire to make the world a better place, and discovering that blackness is impossible to define. Ages 12–up. Agent: Quressa Robinson, the Nelson Literary Agency.

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator Kiersey Clemons portrays high school honor student Kiera, who is the secret developer of SLAY, a popular online role-playing game aimed at celebrating black culture. When a gamer is killed in the real world due to an in-game conflict, SLAY is slammed by the media as racist. Clemons's portrayal of Kiera is youthful and emotional as she struggles with her real-world relationships, and gains ferocity as Kiera stands up for her creation and protects the community she's carved out for black gamers. A few chapters explore the perspectives of other characters, and several narrators are brought in to fully embody the diversity of the gamers who find so much meaning in a world that is unapologetically black. A.K.R. � AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

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