Stage Dreams

Melanie Gillman. Graphic Universe, $10.99 paper (104p) ISBN 978-1-5415-7284-3
The Ghost Hawk—otherwise known as Flor—is a queer Latinx bandit with a bird-of-prey helpmate who wields a six-shooter and wears a leather hat atop her voluminous black mane. In the New Mexico Territory circa 1861, stagecoach passengers pass the time making conversation about Civil War strategies and Southwestern desperados. On cue, Flor swoops in, demanding loot and kidnapping a Southern belle, who modestly hides her face under a green bonnet. “Fine young ladies always make for the best ransoms—and company!” Flor quips with a lascivious wink. (“Despite appearances, it ain’t my intent to hurt you,” she later says, while tying her captive to a tree.) When Flor removes her prisoner’s bonnet, however, she meets an angry, green-eyed, apparently transgender beauty named Grace, who is en route to “the theater in San Francisco” and on the run from “conscription” into the Confederacy. Both are smitten, and nervy Flor now has an accomplice for a daring plot involving a sly tailor, ball gowns, and espionage. Euphemisms and ambiguity leave readers to connect the dots in this Wild West whirlwind, though Grace’s peach-fuzz facial hair implies trans identity. Gillman, whose As the Crow Flies was named a Stonewall Honor Book, delves into queer history and spins a witty and extravagant yarn about a dashing duo. Ages 13–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 09/11/2019
Release date: 09/01/2019
Genre: Children's
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 104 pages - 978-1-5415-6111-3
Library Binding - 104 pages - 978-1-5124-4000-3
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