Boy at the Window

Bold Strokes. Feb. 2022. 254p. pap. $13.95. ISBN 9781636790923.
Gr 9 Up–High school student Daniel Kim wakes up in a hospital after jumping off the roof of his house. He struggles with his place in life. An obsessive Peter Pan fan, he escapes in his mind to Neverland to cope with the trauma he is recovering from. His stern and conservative Korean father pushes him to his mental limits. His white mother is far more concerned with their financial businesses than providing him the emotional support he needs. When Daniel is released from the hospital, his parents jet to Asia for business leaving Daniel alone to deal with his enrollment in a new school where he must navigate very adult situations such as attending his 504 meeting without the presence of an adult. Daniel joins the cross-country team where he meets Jiwon Yoon. They become a couple and Daniel must navigate new waters as he confronts his homosexuality, which his parents are strongly opposed to. Ellzey’s novel is a sensitive story from a gifted writer who navigates this territory wisely. While the book has some triggering content, such as suicide attempts and mental illness, the author never equates Daniel’s mental struggles to his sexuality. It is a very keen move to draw that line very cleanly. Daniel is a fresh take on LGTBQIA+ youth representation who many readers will gravitate to; he is relatable without being stereotypical and his story is one young adults will want to read.
VERDICT This debut novel belongs on the shelves of all libraries that serve high school readers.

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