Rights offering detail :
The Magic In Changing Your Stars (Film/TV/Stage)
Dec. 17, 2020
Leah Henderson
Children's: Middle Grade Fiction
Featuring an all African-American cast of characters and many moments infused with African-American culture and history, this is a time travel adventure that has been waiting to be told.

Eleven-year-old Ailey Benjamin Lane wants nothing more than to play Michael Jackson’s Scarecrow in his school’s production of The Wiz. The only problem is Ailey doesn’t think he needs to practice. When a classmate overshadows him at auditions, a deflated Ailey uses a word his grandfather hates to hear: never. After Ailey confesses he is ready to give up before he really even tries, Grampa reveals his own big secret—a special pair of tap shoes given to him by the famous dancer and the unofficial “Mayor of Harlem,” Bojangles Robinson.

When the magic shoes unexpectedly transport Ailey back to 1930s Harlem, he befriends Grampa as a young street tap dancer. Ailey realizes he must help the twelve-year-old version of his Grampa overcome a lingering regret without messing up the future. In the process, Ailey finds the confidence to retake the stage—he just has to first figure out a way back to the future.

THE MAGIC IN CHANGING YOUR STARS is a story about family, stumbling, getting back up and never quitting on yourself or your dreams.


"A fast-paced story about family, bravery, and the arts, this story will have readers wanting to visit Harlem and tap alongside Ailey, Grampa, and Bojangles himself." - School Library Journal, starred review.

"Henderson weaves magical realism and historical fiction together, offering hard lessons about trying and grit, alongside overwhelming love of family, a lot of laughs, and a “smidgen of magic.” Ailey’s charisma is overwhelmingly enjoyable, and his faults and missteps add relatability. Readers will revel in how he navigates the past, while also coming to understand the depth of his relationship with Grampa." - Booklist, starred review

“Henderson’s characters have such powerful names, evoking a legacy of black excellence that dovetails triumphantly with this story of facing regrets and achieving redemption. . . . Black excellence, black fantastic, and black family combine for a transformational story of passion and persistence.” – Starred Kirkus Review
Rights sold:
Published by Sterling, Fall 2020
Other Information:
Leah Henderson is the author of ONE SHADOW ON THE WALL (Atheneum, Spring 2017) and will be included in the upcoming short story anthology edited by Ibi Zoboi, BLACK ENOUGH (Balzer + Bray). She also has four picture books related to African-American history with major publishers. See www.LeahHendersonBooks.com
Martin Literary & Media Management
phone: 206-466-1773
Offering #:
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