cover image Fan Art

Fan Art

Sarah Tregay, illus. by Melissa DeJesus. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (368p) ISB

A high school literary magazine becomes the vehicle for a number of awakenings in Tregay’s (Love and Leftovers) tender coming-of-age-and-coming-out story. Narrator Jamie has been open about his sexuality to his parents since ninth grade but, fearing rejection, he heads toward graduation still closeted from his best friend, Mason, with whom he is falling in love. Though Jamie isn’t the rebellious type, when the literary magazine’s board tries to avoid controversy by rejecting a lesbian student’s comic (illustrated by DeJesus and not seen by PW) depicting love between two boys, Jamie’s righteous indignation propels him to take unorthodox steps to address their prejudice. Poems by classmates, some anonymous, appear between chapters, providing poignant insight into supporting characters’ inner lives. Suspense builds as Jamie’s fear blinds him to signals readers will likely discern. The school’s factions are refreshingly nuanced, not stereotyped; a lack of understanding does not equate with meanness. The fact that even with supportive adults, encouraging friends, and a gay-straight alliance, coming out can be a daunting prospect will make this story resonate with readers. Ages 13–up. Agent: Danielle Chiotti, Upstart Crow Literary. (June)