Dreamer: Akim Aliu Autobio Comic Coming in 2023 from Scholastic
Scholastic is teaming with Kaepernick Publishing — yes, the publishing company of football player Colin Kaepernick — to publish Dreamer, an autobiographical novel by and about Akim Alui, the Ukrainian-Nigerian-Canadian pro hockey player and activist, "about his life growing up in Ukraine and Canada, the systemic racism he faced throughout his childhood and hockey career, and how he spoke out against it with integrity and bravery," a press release revealed this week. And it the book is co-written by Is'nana: The Were-Spider creator Greg Anderson Elysée and illustrated by Karen De la Vega, making her published debut with Dreamer.
Full disclosure: Greg is also a former Bleeding Cool writer and a fellow former writer for defunct toilet-themed satirical comics news website TheOuthousers.com. But don't worry: I won't copy and paste this press release any differently just because we're friends.
Here's the solicit for Dreamer, set to hit stores next February:
By Akim Aliu and Greg Anderson Elysée, Illustrated by Karen De La Vega
Scholastic Graphix / Kaepernick Publishing | Publication Date: February 7, 2023
Ages 8-12 | $14.99 USD, $19.99 CAD | Paperback | ISBN 978-1-338-78760
Akim Aliu — also known as "Dreamer" — is a Ukrainian-Nigerian-Canadian professional hockey player whose career took him all around the world and who experienced systemic racism at every turn. Dreamer tells Akim's incredible story, from being the only Black child in his Ukrainian community, to his family struggling to make ends meet while living in Toronto, to confronting the racist violence he often experienced both on and off the ice. This is a gut-wrenching and riveting graphic novel memoir that reminds us to never stop dreaming, and is sure to inspire young readers everywhere.
Aliu had this to say in the press release:
I have lived all over the world and seen both the beauty and the ugly side of humankind. For the longest time I wondered, 'Why me? Why does everything seem to be so much more difficult for me than most other kids? Is it my skin color, or because of where I come from?' Today, I can say that I'm grateful to have gone through all of those trials and tribulations so I can pass on these lessons and experiences, and create a smoother path for the next Dreamer.
And even Colin Kaepernick had a quote:
With honesty and courage, Akim Aliu's Dreamer will inspire readers of all ages to move confidently in the direction of their future. Not only does Akim's story speak to the power of dreams, but his persistence in the face of adversity can inspire us to build a better world for the next generation.
No quote from Greg though, probably because he's too busy counting all that money, since the press release notes:
The book will be published February 7, 2023 by Scholastic Graphix and Kaepernick Publishing and is aimed at middle grade readers ages 8-12. In an exclusive offer, the agreement includes world rights and all languages for print, eBook, and audiobook formats.
You can pre-order Dreamer on Amazon now.