Ronald L. Smith

Black Panther: The Young Prince

Twelve-year-old T’Challa, Prince of the warrior nation Wakanda, is content to spend his days running races, playing games, and getting into mischief with his best friend M’Baku. But he is also quite aware of his destiny. Wakanda is a technologically advanced African land, once struck by a meteor that brought with it a material so strong it had no equal. The material, called Vibranium, is now a much-desired resource and there are many who would fight to possess its power. T’Challa’s father, also known as the Black Panther, is King of Wakanda and the descendant of the great warrior Bashenga who protected the isolated nation from evil spirits when the meteor struck. Prompted by rumors of an invasion, his father summons T’Challa and tells him he will be sent away to Chicago along with his friend M’Baku. There, he will be safe until the uprising is settled. But the south side of Chicago is a far cry from Wakanda, and South Side Middle School has its own demons. Faced with making new friends while hiding his true identity, T’Challa must also deal with a bully, Gemini Jones, who has a few secrets of his own, one of which may challenge T’Challa to choose between his best friend and his destiny.
Ronald L. Smith

Ronald L. Smith is the award-winning author of the middle grade novel, Black Panther: The Young Prince. His first novel, Hoodoo, won the 2016 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award, and he is also the author of the supernatural Victorian fantasy novel, The Mesmerist.

Ronald grew up on Air Force Bases and has lived in Japan, Maine, Alabama, Michigan, South Carolina, and a bunch of other places he doesn’t remember. As a boy, he loved to read, especially fantasy and science fiction, and this inspired his lifelong passion of the fantastical. The book that inspired him to write more than any other was The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Ronald worked in advertising and wrote television commercials for big corporations, helping to sell everything from cheeseburgers to automobiles to airlines. Without a doubt, he’s much happier writing for kids.

These days, you can find Ronald writing in coffee shops because sitting in a quiet room gives him the creeps. Visit him online at

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