Becoming a Queen
by Dan Clay
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Pub Date 25 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 25 Apr 2023
Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, Roaring Brook Press
A vibrant and emotional novel from debut author Dan Clay about a boy who turns toward love, self-expression, and drag when the unthinkable happens, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Julie Murphy.
If only Mark Davis hadn’t put on a dress for the talent show. It was a joke—other guys did it too—but when his boyfriend saw Mark in that dress, everything changed.
And now, fresh on the heels of high school heartbreak, Mark has given up on love. Maybe some people are just too much for this world—too weird, too wild, too feminine, too everything. Thankfully, his older brother Eric always knows what to say to keep Mark from spinning into self-loathing. "Be yourself! Your full sequin-y self.”
But Mark starts to notice signs that his perfect older brother has problems of his own.
When the source of Mark’s strength suddenly becomes the source of his greatest pain, the path back to happiness seems impossible. Searching for a way out, Mark slips into a dress to just, briefly, become someone else, live a different life. His escape, however, becomes an unexpected outlet for his pain—a path to authentic connection, and a provocation to finally see other people as fully as he wants to be seen.
Beautifully written, heart-wrenching, and ultimately uplifting, Dan Clay's Becoming a Queen is a stunning story about love, loss, and the ineffable power of a purple princess dress.