A Million Little Revolutions

Robin Gow. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-374-38841-6

In three sections, Gow’s (Our Lady of Perpetual Degeneracy, for adults) bittersweet novel in verse centers two rural 17-year-old trans boys in love navigating romance, family, and finding themselves as life tries to pull them apart. The boys celebrate their trans identities by renaming themselves Aaron and Oliver, after two trans soldiers who fought side by side during and possibly lived together after the Revolutionary War. Aaron, who is Puerto Rican, grapples with his conservative Catholic family’s failure to accept his gender identity. Oliver, whose white, Jewish family is more supportive, is fascinated with the American Revolution—specifically the experiences of queer people at that time. But Aaron’s family suddenly moves away from Kutztown, Pa., to Queens, N.Y., when the family priest’s abuse of Aaron’s brother is made public. Using the names and stories of the soldiers who inspired them, Aaron and Oliver communicate in the form of letters, texts, and imagined conversations, which alternate with Gow’s fluid stream-of-consciousness verse. Though the dual points of view can be difficult to distinguish, sweet details (a sibling “writes little poems for you and leaves them in your shoes”) and steadfast romance make for a compelling journey. Back matter includes an author’s note and recommended reading list. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jordan Hamessley, New Leaf Literary. (Mar.)