Pumpkin

In Pumpkin (2021), Julie Murphy has created another hero of Clover City, the West Texas town that is the location of Dumplin‘ and Puddin‘. Waylon Brewer is a high school senior, a fat, openly gay boy whose parents “hit the queer lottery” because his twin sister, Clementine, is a lesbian. Waylon is a ginger withContinue reading “Pumpkin”

On the Come Up

The Hate U Give‘s author, Angie Thomas, has created an even more compelling protagonist, Bri, in On the Come Up (2019). Bri is a high schooler living with her mom and older brother, because her father, the locally-famous rapper Lawless, was killed by gang violence when she was little. She wants to rap, too, andContinue reading “On the Come Up”

Find Layla

Find Layla (2020) is Meg Elison’s first published contemporary YA novel. Elison has won and been nominated for multiple science fiction awards for her Road to Nowhere series, specifically The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (review coming soon), The Book of Etta, and The Book of Flora. Her novelette The Pill won the 2021 LocusContinue reading “Find Layla”

Starfish

Starfish (2021) by Lisa Fipps, surprised me with beauty, heartbreak, and fat positivity in this middle grade novel written in free verse. Ellie, 12, is the youngest of three kids of a mixed-faith psychiatrist-father and editor-mother, and is nicknamed Splash at her 5th birthday party when she does a perfect cannonball. The kids at schoolContinue reading “Starfish”