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The Black Flamingo is a fiercely unique book that I want to gift to all of my friends! Told in verse, Dean Atta’s brilliant coming-of-age story follows Michael, a young mixed-race gay teen trying to navigate love and family while feeling like he’s never enough for any of his communities. When he discovers drag, Michael feels like he might have finally found his place. While many of the individual poems could stand on their own, they also come together into a powerful and introspective story that offers meaningful commentary on masculinity, queerness, and race. This book is such a needed addition to the YA canon, and I can highly recommend it to anyone young or old who wants to be inspired to find beauty in their own identities. The Black Flamingo manages to be both singular and universal, and it’s the fierce, fun, moving book we all need in our lives!— From Julia D's Picks
Stonewall Book Award Winner!
A fierce coming-of-age verse novel about identity and the power of drag, from acclaimed poet and performer Dean Atta. Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Jason Reynolds, and Kacen Callender.
Michael is a mixed-race gay teen growing up in London. All his life, he’s navigated what it means to be Greek-Cypriot and Jamaican—but never quite feeling Greek or Black enough.
As he gets older, Michael’s coming out is only the start of learning who he is and where he fits in. When he discovers the Drag Society, he finally finds where he belongs—and the Black Flamingo is born.
Told with raw honesty, insight, and lyricism, this debut explores the layers of identity that make us who we are—and allow us to shine.
"In this uplifting coming-of-age novel told in accessible verse, Atta chronicles the growth and glory of Michael Angeli, a mixed-race kid from London, as he navigates his cultural identity as Cypriot and Jamaican as well as his emerging sexuality." (Publishers Weekly, "An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List")
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.