Praise for Ziggy, Stardust & Me:
“One of the biggest and best YA books of the summer.” —Entertainment Weekly
“One of the best YA Books to read during Pride Month. This heartfelt book will leave you in a puddle of your emotions.”—Buzzfeed
“A historical novel set in the early ‘70s, a time full of turmoil and homophobia, sets the scene for one of the best YA books of the year.” —Paste Magazine
“Gut-wrenching emotion, stream of consciousness, and an intensely evoked soundtrack bring Jonathan’s summer to technicolor life. Every character from Jonathan himself to the ice cream man are fully realized. Give this one to budding activists, music fans, historical fiction readers, and romantics. A highly recommended purchase.”—School Library Journal
“This YA debut set in 1973 is a love letter to self-acceptance...a deeply impactful book that presents historical attitudes and policies with a chilling accuracy.” —Publisher’s Weekly
“Readers will be immersed in Jonathan’s close first-person narration…Debut author Brandon deftly incorporates historical events and realities, including the criminalization of homosexuality, the Vietnam War, Watergate, the occupation of Wounded Knee, and police brutality against Native people…A poignant depiction of a boy’s journey to accepting his gay identity despite the odds.” —Kirkus reviews
“A touching and long overdue story, Ziggy is everything adult novels so rarely are: inclusive, imaginative and affirming.”— Boyculture.com
“A stunning debut. This beautifully written novel made me sob and reminded me of first love in a way no other book has in many years. Read it. Now.” —Bill Konigsberg, award-winning author of The Music of What Happens
“A beautifully written, nostalgic story full of universal truths and timeless angst. Charming, poignant, tender and at times heartbreaking.” —Greg Howard, critically-acclaimed author of Social Intercourse and The Whispers
ABOUT ZIGGY, STARDUST & ME
In this tender-hearted debut, set against the tumultuous backdrop of life in 1973, when homosexuality is still considered a mental illness, two boys defy all the odds and fall in love.
The year is 1973. The Watergate hearings are in full swing. The Vietnam War is still raging. And homosexuality is still officially considered a mental illness. In the midst of these trying times is sixteen-year-old Jonathan Collins, a bullied, anxious, asthmatic kid, who aside from an alcoholic father and his sympathetic neighbor and friend Starla, is completely alone. To cope, Jonathan escapes to the safe haven of his imagination, where his hero David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and dead relatives, including his mother, guide him through the rough terrain of his life. In his alternate reality, Jonathan can be anything: a superhero, an astronaut, Ziggy Stardust, himself, or completely “normal” and not a boy who likes other boys. When he completes his treatments, he will be normal–at least he hopes. But before that can happen, Web stumbles into his life. Web is everything Jonathan wishes he could be: fearless, fearsome and, most importantly, not ashamed of being gay.
Jonathan doesn’t want to like brooding Web, who has secrets all his own. Jonathan wants nothing more than to be “fixed” once and for all. But he’s drawn to Web anyway. Web is the first person in the real world to see Jonathan completely and think he’s perfect. Web is a kind of escape Jonathan has never known. For the first time in his life, he may finally feel free enough to love and accept himself as he is.
A poignant coming-of-age tale, Ziggy, Stardust and Me heralds the arrival of a stunning and important new voice in YA.
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