cover image Gooseberry


Robin Gow. Amulet, $18.99 (312p) ISBN 978-1-4197-6442-4

Nonbinary 12-year-old B yearns for the perfect new name (“It’s hard to imagine there’s one that’s just right for me”) and to be a dog trainer. When B’s senses are overloaded during an awkward outing with their current foster parents, they are comforted by—and immediately fall in love with—a dog named Gooseberry that’s up for adoption at the local humane society. B’s new placement with a supportive queer foster couple grants them the opportunity to adopt Gooseberry, but their dream dog doesn’t live up to their fantasies. Gooseberry is anxious, scared, and overwhelmed by everything—not unlike B, who is frustrated by how easily they cry as they experience the world with crushing intensity (“Why do I care so much?”). Though B endures daily homophobic torment from school bullies, at home they train Gooseberry and develop patience and trust in an environment that abounds with acceptance and love. B’s search for self-identity is artfully written by Gow (Dear Mothman), who is autistic and nonbinary. Blue-haired B is depicted as white on the cover, and the cast features plentiful queer and racial diversity. Ages 10–14. Agent: Jordan Hamessley, JAB- berwocky Literary. (May)