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Meet your Headmarveller, Dhonielle Clayton

Dhonielle Clayton is a New York Times Bestselling author. She’s written a myriad of books such as The Belles series, The Mirror: Shattered Midnight, and The Marvellers. She’s the co-author of Blackout and Whiteout, The Rumor Game, and the Tiny Pretty Things duology, a Netflix original series. She hails from the Washington, D.C. suburbs on the Maryland side. She taught secondary school for several years, and is a former elementary and middle school librarian. She is COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books. She’s an avid traveler, and always on the hunt for magic and mischief. You can find her on social media @brownbookworm.

Black and white headshot of Dhonielle Clayton, smiling woman of color with glasses and long braids

This book is a love letter to my 11-year-old self; the tiny, glasses-wearing nerd who used to hide beneath her grandmother’s mahogany dining room table with a stack of books. I was obsessed with all things magic and looking for kids who looked like me in the grand adventures of my favorite stories.

I wanted an invitation to magic school so badly, so I wrote a world I would’ve desperately wanted to live in as a young reader. An institute where you could master brewing Indian spice elixirs, practice the art of Caribbean steel drum hypnosis, care for Chinese dragons, or practice bartering with pesky Irish pixies. A place where all people from around the world could come together and share what’s marvelous about their culture and its magical traditions – and young readers could dive into big themes about how one builds a community among magical people.

The seeds for this world grew out of my time as an elementary and middle school librarian at a charter school in Harlem, New York. I watched my young students struggle to develop a relationship with literature because of the lack of representation in books. They were often afterthoughts and erased in other big, magic book franchises that took up so much space in the canon of children’s books.

So I created this universe to remind all readers that they deserve magic no matter what. I hope you find your place here.

More Ways to Connect

  • School Visit

    Want Dhonielle to visit your school or library? Please visit the Author Village and fill out the request form!

  • Write a Letter

    Write to Dhonielle (she loves letters) at P.O. Box 491 Olney, MD 20830

  • Agent Contact

    For rights related inquiries please contact Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency
    For all TV/Film related inquiries, please contact Mary Pender at UTA