cover image Yes No Maybe So

Yes No Maybe So

Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $19.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-06-293704-9

Once childhood friends, deeply shy Jamie Goldberg, who is Jewish and white, and stability-loving Maya Rehman, who is Pakistani-American and Muslim, reconnect when pressured into working on the campaign of a progressive Senate hopeful. At 17, both are reluctant to dedicate their summers to canvassing in the Atlanta heat; this is especially so for Maya, whose best friend is college-bound at summer’s end, but her need to escape the constant reminders of her parents’ separation compels her to team up with Jamie to inform and persuade local voters. Soon, swept up in the passions and pressures leading to Election Day, the pair starts falling for each other, though Maya doesn’t date. They also learn firsthand that the political is personal when a proposed bill calls for “a partial ban on head and facial coverings while participating in certain public activities.” Albertalli and Saeed’s collaborative authorship is seamlessly achieved via alternating first-person narratives that offer a nuanced lens on the current U.S. political climate and individuals’ roles in democracy. With a convincing, relevant message about democratic responsibility, studded with references to activists, the authors offer an honest handling of cultural misunderstandings, microaggressions, and open communication via Jamie and Maya’s tight-knit families and developing relationship. Ages 14–up. (Feb.)