Out now: TWO NAOMIS, with Audrey Vernick (Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins).

NAACP Image Award Nominee!
Kirkus Prize Nominee

“Warm, upbeat, and satisfying.”Publishers Weekly.
Starred reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal.

8th Grade Superzero has been named:
A Notable Children’s Book for a Global Society by the International Reading Association

A Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People by the National Council for the Social Studies and CBC

To the Kansas National Education Association (KNEA) Reading Circle Catalog.

After the worst first day of school ever, Reggie “Pukey” McKnight wants to get through the school year out of the spotlight and on the sidelines. He wants to turn his image around, but he has other things on his mind as well: his father is out of a job; life with his best friends is getting complicated by race and romance; and his nemesis Donovan is out for blood.

The elections for school president are coming up, but Reggie wouldn’t stand a chance, if he even had the courage to run. Then he gets involved with a local homeless shelter, and begins to think about making a difference, in his world and beyond. And when a pair of “Dora the Explorer” sneakers seems to have powers of transformation, Reggie begins to wonder: Pukey for President? It can happen…if he starts believing.


“…a masterful debut…a layered middle-school tale filled with characters who are delightfully flawed and, more importantly, striving to overcome those flaws.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A good-hearted, nuanced story of a young man who dares to be more than his place in a middle-school social hierarchy, a tale rooted in religious faith and social conscience, related with lively good humor.”

“…Reggie might see himself as a wimpy kid, but he’s anything but as steps up to new challenges and confronts big questions about doing the right thing in a tough world. Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich’s debut novel is a smart and satisfying read for teens and ‘tweens.”
–Amazon Best Books of the Month, January 2010

A Junior Library Guild Selection.

Look for my essay “They Don’t Tell You About That” in Katherine Bomer’s wonderful THE JOURNEY IS EVERYTHING (Heinemann), on “Teaching Essays That Students Want to Write for People Who Want to Read Them.”
You can also find my thoughts on writing education in Luke Reynolds’ IMAGINE IT BETTER: VISIONS OF WHAT SCHOOL MIGHT BE (Heinemann),


I’ve contributed to OPEN MIC: RIFFS ON LIFE BETWEEN CULTURES IN TEN VOICES (Candlewick), edited by Mitali Perkins, openmiccover Kate Messner’s REAL REVISION, Victoria Hanley’s SEIZE THE STORY and WILD INK, KEEP CALM AND QUERY ON and BREAK THESE RULES, also edited by Luke Reynolds. Many thanks to these lovely and talented authors for including me in their work.

Video by DJ Johnson