Karen Strong with Julian Winters, and Terry J. Benton-Walker!

Big news! Some of our favorite authors have teamed up, Avengers: Endgame style, for the book of our DREAMS, and they want to celebrate with little ol' us for a big launch event!! That's right, Karen Strong, Julian Winters, AND Terry J. Benton-Walker (are you swooning yet?) are going to be at Little Shop to discuss their book, Cool. Awkward. Black., a series of short stories that challenge the concept of "the geek" and celebrate what it means to be both black and nerdy! This book is absolutely enchanting + lovely + enthralling, and we CANNOT WAIT to celebrate it with you, so see below for more details:


Admission: $0. That's right, admission is free! However, you still need to "purchase" a ticket for every person who plans to attend!

Pre-order Cool. Awkward. Black.: $18.99 
You must purchase a book from Little Shop of Stories in order to enter the signing line!


Little Shop of Stories Upstairs Event Space. Masks are required in our event space!

About the book:

A girl who believes in UFOs; a boy who might have finally found his Prince Charming; a hopeful performer who dreams of being cast in her school’s production of The Sound of Music; a misunderstood magician (of sorts) with a power she doesn’t quite understand.

These plotlines and many more compose the eclectic stories found within the pages of this dynamic, exciting, and expansive collection featuring exclusively Black characters. From contemporary to historical, fantasy to sci-fi, magical to realistic, and with contributions from a powerhouse list of self-proclaimed geeks and bestselling, award-winning authors, this life-affirming anthology celebrates and redefines the many facets of Blackness and geekiness—both in the real world and those imagined.

About the authors:

KAREN STRONG is a lifelong technology and science geek and the author of the critically acclaimed middle grade novels Just South of Home, which was selected for several Best of Year lists including Kirkus Reviews Best Books, and Eden’s Everdark, a Junior Library Guild selection and an ABA Kids' Indie Next Pick. She has also written short fiction for Star Wars and other award-winning anthologies. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Karen lives in Atlanta.

JULIAN WINTERS is the author of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Award–winning Running with Lions, the Junior Library Guild selections How to Be Remy Cameron and The Summer of Everything, the multi-starred Right Where I Left You, and the forthcoming As You Walk On By. A self-proclaimed comic book geek, Julian currently lives outside of Atlanta, where he can be found reading, or watching the only two sports he can follow—volleyball and soccer.

TERRY J. BENTON-WALKER is the author of Blood Debts, his magical YA contemporary fantasy debut on the way from Tor Teen in Winter 2023, and Alex Wise vs. the End of the World, his apocalyptic middle grade contemporary fantasy debut coming from Labyrinth Road/PRH in Fall 2023. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Event date: 
Tuesday, January 10, 2023 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
133A East Court Square
Decatur, GA 30030
Cool. Awkward. Black. By Karen Strong (Editor) Cover Image
By Karen Strong (Editor)
ISBN: 9780593525098
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - January 10th, 2023

Real or imaginary, geekdom is where it's at in this multi-genre YA anthology that celebrates "the geek," with stories by some of today's top bestselling, critically acclaimed Black authors.