cover image Elle Campbell Wins Their Weekend

Elle Campbell Wins Their Weekend

Ben Kahn. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-3388-1530-6

Comics creator Kahn (Heavenly Blues, for adults) crafts a fast-paced, emotional read about tween protagonist Elle Campbell, a Phantom Thief TV show superfan. Feeling seen and emboldened by Nuri Grena, the openly nonbinary star of the Phantom Thief, Elle reveals to their friends and family that they’re nonbinary as well. Elle has a lot of questions about “how to be stronger as a nonbinary person”—questions they’re convinced only Nuri can answer. Their plan to meet Nuri at a local weekend event is foiled when a transphobic substitute teacher gives Elle Saturday detention. Best friends Agatha and Taylor aren’t going to let Elle’s chance slip away, but busting them out of school in a series of harebrained schemes is only the first step toward meeting Nuri. Kahn details Elle’s thoughts and desires through their fast-talking, anxious inner voice and their repeated attempts at belonging to construct an important tale about living outside the gender binary in adolescence. Sensitively rendered, introspective scenes amid the tweens’ adrenaline-fueled adventure showcase Elle’s changing relationships with family, friends, and themself, and highlight how fandom impacts their identity in this unique treatise on how the things one loves often allow for internal reflection. Elle reads as white; supporting characters are intersectionally diverse. Ages 8–12. Agent: Moe Ferrara, BookEnds Literary. (Oct.)