Lambda Literary Award Winner * Entertainment Weekly Best YA Book of 2016 * Children’s Book Council Books Best Book of 2016 * Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Coming-of-Age Novel of 2016 and Best Teen Book of 2016 with Unforgettable Protagonists * Publishers Weekly Fall 2016 Flying Starts * William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist
All Pen wants is to be the kind of girl she’s always been. So why does everyone have a problem with it? They think the way she looks and acts means she’s trying to be a boy—that she should quit trying to be something she’s not. If she dresses like a girl, and does what her folks want, it will show respect. If she takes orders and does what her friend Colby wants, it will show her loyalty.
But respect and loyalty, Pen discovers, are empty words. Old-world parents, disintegrating friendships, and strong feelings for other girls drive Pen to see the truth—that in order to be who she truly wants to be, she’ll have to man up.
Perfect for fans of Meredith Russo, Becky Albertalli, Alex Sanchez, and Jaye Robin Brown!
About the Author
M-E Girard lives just outside Toronto, Canada, where she splits her time between writing YA fiction about badass teen girls and working nights as a pediatric nurse. A 2013 and 2015 Lambda Literary Fellow, M-E is a proud feminist who is endlessly fascinated by the good, the bad, and the ugly regarding the concept of gender. You can find her online at www.megirard.com and all over social media.
“A powerful book about identity, belonging, and the collision between sexuality and cultural expectations.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“This is a fresh title in the growing sea of LGBTQ YA literature. There is no sugarcoating in this very real portrayal of an aspect of teen life that many experience. Recommended for fans of YA urban fiction as well as those who prefer grittier LGBTQ lit.”
— School Library Journal (starred review)
“Fierce. Tender. Unstoppable.”
— Lauren Myracle, New York Times bestselling author of The Infinite Moment of Us and co-author of How to Be Bad
“Original. Courageous. Vibrant.”
— Michael Cart, Columnist at ALA Booklist and Former President of Young Adult Library Services Michael Cart, Editor of Taking Aim and How Beautiful the Ordinary
“Heartfelt. Refreshing. True.”
— Ariel Schrag, author of Potential and Adam
“I loved it. A brilliant new writer to watch.”
— Malinda Lo, author of Ash, Adaptation, and Inheritance and co-founder of Diversity in YA
“Respeito for Pen.”
— Sara Ryan, Award winning author of Empress of the World and Bad Houses
“Raw. Real. Irresistable.”
— I.W. Gregorio, author of None of the Above
“Girard explores questions of family, friendship, loyalty, and identity through the voice of Pen Oliveira, a 16-year old girl ... [She] forcefully conveys the fear Pen lives with, having experienced frequent mockery and bullying, and her courage in aspiring to a safe, loving community for herself and her friends.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)