This Is Our Place

Scholastic/PUSH. Nov. 2022. 320p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781338818642.
Gr 9 Up–Martins’s second novel is a delightful LGBTQIA+ rom-com that crosses among three teens who live in the same house, Number 8 Sunflower Street, during different years. In 2000, Ana frets about telling her single dad that she’s gay and then learns that they are moving away from the house and from her girlfriend. Ten years later, Gregorio comes to visit his aunt in the same house and develops a crush on the food delivery boy. Then, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Roberto, his mother, and sister are housebound there and Berto tries for an online romance with a boy who has admired the photos he takes from his window. Each story is both sweet and realistic, with an adult playing a significant role in the central teen character’s life. Martins adds inspired charm by making the house itself the narrator of the whole novel, a feat which makes impossible our knowing anything beyond what goes on inside the house, in its yard, or what other characters say within its hearing. There is racial diversity in the cast.
VERDICT With its Brazilian setting and multiracial cast, this well-realized tale’s tightly woven development delivers warmth and humor.

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