cover image Different Kinds of Fruit

Different Kinds of Fruit

Kyle Lukoff. Dial, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-5931-1118-5

Rising sixth grader Annabelle Blake is in her last year at her Tahoma Falls, Wash. school, and all she wants is a break from her small-town routine. Happily, change soon arrives in the form of Bailey Wick, a nonbinary new student on whom Annabelle develops her first crush. When Annabelle’s father reacts poorly upon learning Bailey’s gender, Annabelle learns that her dad is a “stealth” trans man who no longer publicly participates in a local LGBTQ community. Inspired by both her father and by Bailey, whose gender is disrespected by adults in the school community, Annabelle and her classmates fight for real, progressive change via protests and a Coming Out Day panel. Via the cued-white protagonists, Lukoff (Too Bright to See) highlights topics including climate change, gender presentation, intercommunity conflict, and LGBTQ history, but supporting characters—especially Bailey and their parents—are insufficiently developed, serving primarily to explain LGBTQ terms to Annabelle. Still, Annabelle’s energetic voice is infectious, and the book’s central theme—that labels can be both powerful and arbitrary—is bighearted and affirming. Ages 10–14. Agent: Saba Sulaiman, Talcott Notch. (Apr.)