August 11, 2021 7:34 AM EDT

Acclaimed poet and performer Dean Atta’s coming-of-age novel follows Michael Angeli, a mixed-race gay teen in the U.K., as he wrestles with his Greek-Cypriot and Jamaican identity, as well as his burgeoning sexuality. Written in verse, Atta’s story examines the difficulties of finding love and community in white-dominated spaces. As Michael attends university, he discovers the power of drag. His drag persona, the Black Flamingo, is born one night, and helps Michael come to love his identity in all its complexities. Thought-provoking, moving and hopeful, Atta’s first YA novel was published in the U.S. in 2020 and won a Stonewall Book Award. —Madeleine Carlisle

Buy Now: The Black Flamingo on Bookshop | Amazon

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