In Publishers Weekly, Sally Lodge reports that HarperCollins Children’s Books will be launching a new imprint “devoted to publishing books by Native creators that introduce young Native protagonists and showcase the present and future of Indian Country.” Heartdrum is currently scheduled to publish its first titles in winter 2021, and will be led by Cynthia Leitich Smith, a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, as well as Rosemary Brosnan, VP and editorial director at HarperCollins Children’s Books. This is particularly welcome news this Native American Heritage month, and as we head into Thanksgiving, which as we all know is a sham with yams.
The imprint was formed in response to a need for not only more representation of Native authors in children’s literature, but better representation. “The books [that exist] are not reflective of the diversity of Native people—not only the diversity among Nations but also the diversity of individuals in terms of their rural or urban lifestyle and so many other characteristics,” Smith said. “It is so clear that we need more Native voices represented in every children’s book format, from picture books to middle-grade to books for teens.”
Congratulations to all involved.