cover image Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution

Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution

Kacen Callender. Amulet, $19.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4197-5687-0

Callender (Moonflower) explores themes such as accountability, honesty, and self-love in this West Philly–set novel that follows a queer Black teen searching for a place to belong. Persistent online bullying causes nonbinary Lark Winters, who’s 17 and self-diagnosed as neurodivergent, to feel self-conscious and lonely. Nevertheless, they believe that an active Twitter presence is the only way they’ll get to publish their in-progress novel about a winged teen named Birdie. When Lark’s former best friend, Black trans 17-year-old Kasim, mistakenly posts—from Lark’s Twitter account—a thread about Kasim’s secret crush, the tweets go viral. Lark agrees to say they wrote the thread to protect Kasim’s “hardcore” image after they realize the tweets are increasing their platform, but the more popular the thread becomes, the more lies Lark must tell, and the more they stand to lose. Lark’s fictional protagonist, Birdie, is a constant companion, offering advice and solace as events unfold. Callender proffers complex perspectives on activism, bullying, respectability politics, and polyamory, among other timely topics via a queer, socially conscious cast. Lark’s experiences are emotionally fraught but not overwrought, emblematic of a deeply kind soul who is growing and learning from every triumph and mistake. Ages 14–up. Agent: Beth Phelan, Gallt & Zacker Literary. (Sept.)