The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta  Hodder Children’s Books, 2019

Written in verse, this follows the life of Michael, a biracial gay teen growing up in the UK who has always known he was different.  We follow Michael from ages six to nineteen as he navigates his identity and the stigma surrounding his skin color and queerness.  We follow Michael from being a kid who prefers Barbies over Ninja Turtles, through the ups and downs of coming out at school, first crushes, first high heels, and discovering drag at university.

The Black Flamingo is, at its core, a salute to finding and loving yourself, and discovering that the only person’s opinion that matters is your own.  As the story ends, Michael’s life journey in many ways is just beginning.  

Dean Atta has been named one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK.  The Black Flamingo is his debut novel. This book was the winner of the American Library Association’s 2020 Stonewall Book Award, which recognizes “exceptional merit relating to the LBGTQ+  experience” in books published in the U.S.  The audio edition of this book is also outstanding, for those who like to listen to a book being read, as the poetic reading is done by the author.

Submitted by Stand with Trans board member Barb Shumer, who is a retired public librarian.

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