A 2021 Alex Award Winner!
“A sparkling tale about fame and family… Fans of Elizabeth Berg and J. Ryan Stradal will relish the novel’s humor, spark, and verve.” —Booklist
“Smart yet surprisingly sweet, this meditation on family and media is as captivating as a favorite podcast.” —Shelf Awareness
“Moving, humorous, and briskly-paced.” —J. Ryan Stradal, New York Times bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest and The Lager Queen of Minnesota
A whip-smart, entertaining novel about twin siblings who become a national phenomenon after launching a podcast to find the biological father they never knew.
The death of Thomas and Savannah McClair’s mother turns their world upside down. Raised to be fiercely curious by their grandmother Maggie, the twins become determined to learn the identity of their biological father. And when their mission goes viral, an eccentric producer offers them a dream platform: a fully sponsored podcast called The Kids Are Gonna Ask. To discover the truth, Thomas and Savannah begin interviewing people from their mother’s past and are shocked when the podcast ignites in popularity. As the attention mounts, they get caught in a national debate they never asked for—but nothing compares to the mayhem that ensues when they find him.
Cleverly constructed, emotionally perceptive and sharply funny, The Kids Are Gonna Ask is a rollicking coming-of-age story and a moving exploration of all the ways we can go from lost to found.
In Anthony's brisk coming-of-age story (after Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners), a high school podcast project goes viral when the hosts search for their unknown father. Sophomores Thomas and Savannah McClaire have lived with their grandmother, Maggie, in Minneapolis, since the death of their mother, Bess, two years earlier. The twins launch a podcast called McClaire Dinner Salon, documenting conversations between Maggie and her acquaintances. For a year, the twins' audience plateaus at 300 listeners, until an episode addresses the mystery of their biological father's identity, which attracts interest from Guava Media and a sensational producer whose credits include It's Only Murder. As the teens work with Guava, their audience grows and the show attracts national media attention. One of the show's previous guests, a friend of Bess's from college, questions the ethics of the show on a talk radio program ("They're kids. Asking very personal questions about a very private matter"). As Anthony reveals in an early flash-forward, the twins become overwhelmed and lock themselves in Maggie's house, with protestors and supporters crowding outside. Anthony's story is full of surprises and thoughtful reflections on the expiration date for family secrets. Like a successfully twisty podcast, this delivers the goods.