From the Stonewall Award–winning author of The Black Flamingo comes a romantic coming-of-age novel in verse about the beautiful—and sometimes painful—fallout of pursuing the love we deserve. The ideal next read for fans of Kacen Callender, Elizabeth Acevedo, and Becky Albertalli.
Fifteen-year-old Mack is a hopeless romantic—likely a hazard of growing up on film sets thanks to his father’s job. Mack has had a crush on Karim for as long as he can remember and he can’t believe it when gorgeous, popular Karim seems into him too.
But when Mack’s father takes on a new directing project in Scotland, Mack has to move away, and soon discovers how painful long-distance relationships can be. It’s awful to be so far away from Karim, and it’s made worse by the fact that Karim can be so hard to read.
Then Mack meets actor Finlay on set, and the world turns upside down again. Fin seems fearless—and his confidence could just be infectious.
Award-winning author Dean Atta crafts a beautifully nuanced and revelatory story in verse about the exquisite highs and lows of first love and self-discovery.
About the Author
Dean Atta’s poems deal with themes of race, gender, and identity. He regularly performs across the UK and internationally and his work has been shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize and appeared on MTV and BET. The Black Flamingo is his debut YA novel. You can find him online at www.deanatta.com.
“Stonewall winner Atta’s novel in verse is an exquisite and detailed look at friendship, compromises, family, and love, deftly capturing Mack’s insecurities in a voice authentic to the high-school experience…. The vivid, multifaceted depiction of teenage emotions makes this highly recommended.” — Booklist (starred review)
“An emotional free verse novel… traces a slow-burn love triangle that avoids excusing Mack’s actions, centering a protagonist whose emotional arc unpacks themes of young love and self-acceptance alongside intersections of body image, gender identity, race, and sexuality.” — Publishers Weekly
“This slow-burn novel in verse is a raw, real, deep dive into the messy internal world of its relatable main character. Readers will become attached to Mack and will want to know exactly how this love triangle plays out.” — School Library Journal
“Raw beauty and honesty are the verse novel’s greatest strengths.” — Kirkus Reviews
PRAISE FOR THE BLACK FLAMINGO: “Courage and fierceness abound in this lyrical coming-of-age story…Gripping, unflinching, and unforgettable.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Atta’s story uplifts as it informs and entertains as it affirms.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A triumphant and emotional story about standing up for and embracing oneself that readers of any orientation and ethnicity will relate to.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
The Black Flamingo presents expertly crafted, stirring poetry to portray an unforgettable teen who lives his liberation and truth in drag." — Shelf Awareness (starred review)
“Winner of the 2020 Stonewall Book Award, this British verse novel by a poet and drag performer offers a welcome exploration of the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality…. [A] memorable YA debut.” — Horn Book Magazine
"Captures its audience from the very first page, with verse poetry that grows and matures alongside its protagonist…. Michael’s internal dissonances are relatable on the most human level, leaving readers in a state of ultimate euphoria when he finally finds family in the Drag Society.” — ALA Booklist
"Unexpected and beautiful." — Buzzfeed
“A novel in verse, Michael’s tale explores how our identities and our discomfort mold us. Winner of the prestigious Stonewall Book Award, Atta’s thick debut novel is a fast read about a young man learning to feel comfortable in his own skin.” — them
"The Black Flamingo is an essential addition to the canon of queer coming-of-age stories. Dean Atta has gifted us with words that are lyrical, hilarious and intimate. I’m obsessed with this book and you will be too." — Abdi Nazemian, Stonewall Honor-winning author of Like a Love Story