Children of Blood and Bone is a young adult fantasy novel by Nigerian-American novelist Tomi Adeyemi, published on March 6, 2018, by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. The story follows Zélie Adebola, who sets out on a task to restore magic in the country of Orïsha. It is Adeyemi's debut novel and the first book in a planned trilogy. Children of Blood and Bone was highly anticipated and debuted at number one on The New York Times best-seller list for young adult books. Adeyemi has said the idea for the novel came after a trip to Brazil, describing: "I was in a gift shop there and the African gods and goddesses were depicted in such a beautiful and sacred way ... it really made me think about all the beautiful images we never see featuring black people". Another thing that affected her writing process was the backlashing against the black characters in the film The Hunger Games. Adeyemi drew inspiration from Yoruba culture and Western fantasy fiction like Harry Potter and Avatar: The Last Airbender and from both West African mythology and the Black Lives Matter movement. She also cited the books Shadowshaper and An Ember in the Ashes as primary inspirations.
Tomi Adeyemi was born on August 1, 1993 in the United States to parents who emigrated from Nigeria, and struggled financially when Adeyemi was a child. Her father was a physician in Nigeria but found employment as a taxi driver while he waited to transfer his qualifications. Adeyemi's mother worked as a cleaning woman. Adeyemi grew up in Chicago, not being exposed to her Nigerian heritage, which her parents tried to hide from her. She would later embrace her heritage as an adult, explaining, "I didn't think too much of it and I think that is the kind of an experience of the first generation. You're just trying to fit in. You don't realize how cool your culture is until you get out of that phase of trying to fit in." She would later describe one of her novels as a love letter to her culture. Adeyemi wrote her first story when she was five years old, relating, "I loved myself so much I gave myself a twin named Tomi. Everything started out fine. But then I didn't write another black character until I was 18. I look at that gap, and just the thought of me sitting alone in my room reinforcing the lies the world told us pisses me off. Adeyemi graduated from Hinsdale Central High School in Hinsdale, Illinois in 2011. She went on to graduate from Harvard University with an honors degree in English Literature, then studied West African mythology and culture in Salvador, Brazil, on a fellowship.