A 2019 New York Public Library Best Books for Kids
A 2020 Tayshas Reading List Selection
A 2020 Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List Selection
Mads is pretty happy with her life. She goes to church with her family, and minor league baseball games with her dad. She goofs off with her best friend Cat, and has thus far managed to avoid getting kissed by Adam, the boy next door. It's everything she hoped high school would be… until all of a sudden, it's not.
Her dad is hiding something big—so big it could tear her family apart. And that’s just the beginning of her problems: Mads is starting to figure out that she doesn't want to kiss Adam… because the only person she wants to kiss is Cat.
Kiss Number 8, a graphic novel from writer Colleen AF Venable and illustrator Ellen T. Crenshaw, is a layered, funny, sharp-edged story of teen sexuality and family secrets.
In 2004, Amanda's life is full of comfortable constants: attending her Catholic high school; spending time with her best friend, Cat; attending church with her family; and watching minor league baseball and bad TV with her beloved father. An overheard conversation and a mysterious letter set her on the path to uncovering a family secret; around the same time, she realizes that she is probably in love with Cat. Venable (Mervin the Sloth Is About to Do the Best Thing in the World) creates a remarkably full picture of Amanda's life family, school, church, baseball, the local music scene, and the corresponding and overlapping relationship dynamics. Amanda's decisions confronting her family about the secret, exploring her sexuality lead to realistically messy consequences that are not easily remedied, and the way these open up and close off areas of her life is handled well. Black-and-white cartoon art by Crenshaw (Test Your Baby's IQ) complements the narrative, offering distinct characters and conveying what the dialogue alone can't. A queer coming-of-age story that earns its powerful emotional impact. Ages 14 up. Author's agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary.
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