The Black Flamingo

The Black Flamingo

eBook - 2020
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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")


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Jan 11, 2021

Loved it! I could not put it down!!

Dec 21, 2020

Totally amazing and intense story. One that everyone needs to read.

Dec 01, 2020

Wonderful Y.A. book. There are quotes & snippets throughout it that are still sticking with me, and it’s been awhile since I read it. This is the sort of Y.A. book that honors & is suited for the audience, and also has the depth to grow with a person & be appreciated at other ages as well.

Also, note to whoever is doing the “Subject Headings” and put this book under “Female Impersonators”: that strikes me as both wrong for this book (heartbreakingly so if you read & understood the book), & offensive to categorize all books with characters doing drag, under that phrase. Whoever is categorizing things like this...I suggest giving this book a read. It might give the sort of insight that would help a person understand that all drag performance can’t & shouldn’t be assumed to be “female impersonation.” Drag performance can be performances that are outside of societal gender norms, but the only option isn’t people “impersonating females.” Ugh, the way the phrase is rooted in and reinforces harmful assumptions towards various people in the LGBTQIAP+ community is so upsetting. There are so many layers there...just please don’t use that phrase as a blanket description for all drag. Try the subject heading “Drag Performance,” if you want a blanket subject-heading to put any books under that have characters doing drag performance, without knowing the details.

LPL_MargoM Jul 23, 2020

The more I read books in verse, the more I adore them. I'd been curious about this book since it won the Stonewall award at ALA Midwinter 2020. Since then, I'd seen the book around and wanted to read it but hadn't gotten around to it. Once I finally picked it up about a month ago, I absolutely regretted not doing so sooner. Black Flamingo tells the story of Michael, a young gay biracial person growing up in England. The book tackles identity, friendship, art, dating, and so much more and does it spectacularly. It's a very quick read so if you're looking for something you can get through fast but has a lot of heart, this is the book for you. Also, it has one of the better and more nuanced descriptions of a drag I've seen in YA literature. Instead of focusing on what the typical conception of drag is, it talks about what drag can (and quite honestly should) be despite taking up a very small portion of the book. Dean Atta has written something remarkable that sticks with you. Trust me, you'll love this book. I did.

Jun 25, 2020


Jun 07, 2020

This is an absolutely stunning novel in verse focused on self acceptance and becoming comfortable living as the person you truly are.


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