As reported last fall, Sapphire sold a sequel of sorts to her first novel, Push, titled The Kid, to Penguin Press, scheduled to be published this summer. Its official release date was set for July 5th 2011.

And guess what? Today is July 5th 2011. Boy how time flies... :)

In celebration of the books release, the author has begun traveling the book-signing/talk circuit, starting tonight, at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square, in New York City, where she will be interviewed by journalist Katherine Lanpher, and will read from the novel.

The question that’s probably on your mind right now, as you read this, is whether The Kid will see a film adaptation as Push did. I'd be surprised if it hasn’t already been optioned!! Though I have no info to support that.

As a refresher... this second novel, titled, The Kid, will focus on Claireece “Precious” Jones’ son, “as he approaches manhood – alone, brutalized and with the soul of an artist,” said the press release at the time.

Further, in a later interview posted on the Pittsburgh City Paper's website, the author added: "... we look at a character [Precious's son]... a more flawed human being and we are drawn into his universe. We meet him at the age of 9 and we leave him at 19. I really wanted to show some of the challenges... that African-American boys are facing in the culture today."

As you already know, in Push, the son mentioned in the above brief synopsis is Precious’ second child, the result of being raped by her father. We learn in the end that Precious is HIV positive, but, luckily, her son isn’t, though Sapphire leaves the fate of Precious and her children uncertain.

Curious as to whether she wrote The Kid in the same first-person, harrowing style as she did with Push.

You can order your hardcover now HERE if you'd like.

If anyone has already read it (maybe you received a preview copy, or you bought it today and have already gone through it, or at least gotten into the thick of it), thoughts?

Here's the full synopsis:

Fifteen years after the publication of Push, one year after the Academy Award-winning film adaptation, Sapphire gives voice to Precious's son, Abdul.

In The Kid bestselling author Sapphire tells the electrifying story of Abdul Jones, the son of Push's unforgettable heroine, Precious.

A story of body and spirit, rooted in the hungers of flesh and of the soul, The Kid brings us deep into the interior life of Abdul Jones. We meet him at age nine, on the day of his mother's funeral. Left alone to navigate a world in which love and hate sometimes hideously masquerade, forced to confront unspeakable violence, his history, and the dark corners of his own heart, Abdul claws his way toward adulthood and toward an identity he can stand behind.

In a generational story that moves with the speed of thought from a Mississippi dirt farm to Harlem in its heyday; from a troubled Catholic orphanage to downtown artist's lofts, The Kid tells of a twenty- first-century young man's fight to find a way toward the future. A testament to the ferocity of the human spirit and the deep nourishing power of love and of art, The Kid chronicles a young man about to take flight. In the intimate, terrifying, and deeply alive story of Abdul's journey, we are witness to an artist's birth by fire.