The 14 best book trailers of 2021 deserve their just desserts. Thankfully, we’re here to give it to them! Yes, many things happen when the end of the year plops itself down on us. But do you know what the most exciting part of the holiday season is? That’s right! Looking back at all of the incredible book trailers released over the past year. We scraped the internet with a fine-toothed comb to bring you these amazing book trailers. So, heat yourself up some hot apple cider, put another log on the fire, and cozy up with this best of 2021 list. Cheers!
1. ‘Falling’ by T.J. Newman
Is this a trailer for Air Force One? No! In fact, it’s the trailer for the debut novel from a former flight attendant, T.J. Newman. Falling was channeled from the author’s worst fears while sky-high at work. One reviewer says Falling reads like “Jaws at 35,000 feet.” Now, there’s something we can wrap our minds around. Jaws permanently ruined the ocean for many people…sounds like Falling might have a similar effect for those who are squeamish about flying. Legend has it this story began on an in-flight cocktail napkin. This book has fallen upwards since its debut earlier this year, landing at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list within a week.
2. ‘The Most Fun Thing’ by Kyle Beachy
This one does exactly what a book trailer should do–it gets the viewer interested in the author’s work, immediately. Semi-crude animation of skaters shredding the gnar evokes a Waking Life meets Beavis And Butthead feeling. Add a little jazz-infused hip hop and a reputable positive review and viola…The Most Fun Thing has captured your attention.
3. Gods & Monsters by Shelby Mahurin
“Once upon a time, a witch and a witch hunter were wed.” Woah, that’s heavy. Two star-crossed lovers come together in this fiery book trailer for Gods & Monsters by Shelby Mahurin. This magical trailer created by Film 14 features eye-catching special effects, a great underwater shot, piercing titles, and a fantastic soundtrack. If you’re wondering how a fantasy novel trailer can look, this is a great example. “May their love burn forevermore!”
4. ‘Mine’ by Delilah S. Dawson
Gross! A little girl’s family moves into a hoarder house where the previous tenants left all of their stuff behind. Piles of trash, rotten half-eaten pieces of pizza…even a poltergeist! The camera pans slowly over a wrecked house as our protagonist introduces us to her predicament in voice-over to the uneasy tune of a child’s music box. Mine by Delilah S. Dawson is creepy creeps.
5. ‘A Taste For Love’ by Jennifer Yen
Here’s a classic example of simple elegance. A rom-com book trailer made up like a cooking show provides an engaging backdrop while a friendly narrator dishes out the deets. One independent girl. One overprotective mother. Twelve tasty bachelors. Add those ingredients into a mixing bowl and you get…a cake? No, you get A Taste For Love by Jennifer Yen.
6. ‘We Shall Overcome’ by Bryan Collier
Nothing says civil rights like a protest song by Pete Seeger…and what a great title for this book. Bryan Collier uses the song We Shall Overcome as the basis for telling the story of the Civil Rights Movement and the heroes who marched. History is wonderfully preserved in this picture book to help future generations understand there was once a time when people of all backgrounds came together in the fight for equality…and won. They did it then, and we can do it again. Remember folks, the power is still with the people.
7. ‘Traitors Among Us’ by Marsha Skrypuch
Traitors Among Us takes us on a journey to a village in eastern Europe right after WWII where a young girl is imprisoned by a Soviet officer in an abandoned gothic cathedral. How did she and her friends escape the Nazis? That is what this oppressor is determined to find out. The set and costume design is realistic and the actors are convincing. Futhermore, we get the essence of the story in under a minute. Also, it’s a fun trailer to watch. What more can we ask of a book trailer?
8. ‘Escape From Chernobyl’ by Andy Marino
Back to the Eastern Block with Escape From Chernobyl by Andy Marino. The trailer opens on some rubble, a phone off the hook, and a radiation meter going berzerk. Someone obviously left in a hurry…I wonder why? Escape From Chernobyl is a great way to teach the youngsters about the dangers of radiation. Get it at the book fair!
9. ‘Ground Zero’ by Alan Gratz
The trailer for Ground Zero by Alan Gratz is a nice blend of classic book trailer with an author video. Gratz provides the narration, telling the viewer what his book is all about. The visuals give us a sense of the material and put us in the center of the action. New York City, September 11, 2001. Ground Zero is about the 9/11 terrorist attacks as seen through the lives of two different children. A boy in an elevator at the World Trade Center must find his dad when the first plane hits. Then they must escape the falling tower. The second, a little girl in 2019 Afghanistan whose village is being torn apart by the war between the United States and Taliban fighters. Heavy stuff and a worthy 20th-anniversary commemoration of the somber tragedy of 9/11 and the far-reaching impact these events had on the world.
10. ‘Animal’ by Lisa Taddeo
Belletrist and Bookclub collab to bring us an interesting take on the author video format with this one for Animal. The Belletrist ladies Emma and Karah interview the author, Lisa Taddeo, on a mid-century, pop art set, surrounded by neutral and earthy tones. Grainy 16mm footage of the book and the conversation adds some nice punctuation. Dig the light flares! We get all of the facts about this book that deals with female sexuality and rage with the eye-candy of grainy film stock…or a filter. Who knows? Who cares! It works well.
11. ‘Colorization: One Hundred Years Of Black Films In A White World’ by Wil Haygood
This animated trailer creatively honors the title of the book, conjuring a range of emotions in the process. It opens with Birth Of A Nation, then cuts to Oscar Micheaux–an early black filmmaker and author. Next, Hattie McDaniel receives the Oscar for her controversial role as the slave Mammy in Gone With The Wind. The narrator says, “Black were the stereotypes, demanding compliance.” The poem continues over various images of Hollywood’s portrayal of black people over the last 100 years. The Wiz drops in as the visuals change from black and white to color halfway through the trailer. A positive key change slides in as the poet-narrator says, “Black were those who challenged their roles,” while Foxy Brown does her thing. Then Shaft, The Color Purple, and Spike Lee get a shout-out. The trailer ends on an upbeat note, celebrating the change in the way black people are represented in modern Hollywood cinema. Beautifully done.
12. ‘Light Perpetual’ by Francis Spufford
This one is almost entirely made up of found footage. What an effective way of creating a book trailer for a work of historical fiction. Light Perpetual tells the story of five children who were killed in the 1944 bombing of a London shop and the lives they might have lived if they were not casualties of war. The story takes us through every decade since WWII, ending in 2009. We see each decade in masterfully edited found footage, leaving the viewer with a touch of nostalgic sadness coupled with hopeful inspiration. Very effective, indeed.
13. ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’ by Anthony Doerr
Simple yet effective. This bare-bones book trailer tells us why we should read the book without telling us anything about it (other than that it is critically acclaimed). Cloud Cuckoo Land reminds us that sometimes all you need for a solid book trailer are a few great reviews and beautiful shots of a blue sky filled with billowy white clouds, sunset yellows, and maybe an odd flock of geese. The book takes its title from the Radiohead song, “Spinning Plates,” and ranks high on the list of titles we wish we’d come up with.
14. ‘Red Deception’ by Ed Fuller and Gary Grossman
What other 2021 book trailer features a gasoline truck exploding on the freeway? The Red Deception book trailer plays like a film trailer for one of the Jack Reacher action blockbusters starring Tom Cruise. This geopolitical thriller was co-written by two guys with a long history of deep espionage knowledge. Gary Grossman and Ed Fuller really know their stuff…even high-ranking ex-military officials claim the terrorist attacks portrayed in Red Deception could actually cause a global meltdown if they happened in real life. Hopefully, they don’t!
If you enjoyed this piece, check out The Best Book Trailers Of 2020!
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