Transmogrify!: 14 Fantastical Tales of Trans Magic

HarperTeen. May 2023. 416p. ed. by davis, g. haron, ed. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063218796.
Gr 9 Up–This anthology was created with the intention of giving trans identities more visibility in fantasy for teens. Davis explains in their foreword that the focus of the collection would be in representing identities that have been missing. So, 14 stories by authors on the continuum wrote their hearts out in fun, meaningful, and fantastical ways guided by the hands of davis, as editor, someone who is no stranger to publications including anthologies for teens. Recognizable authors, such as Cam Montgomery anchor a collection that also features newcomers, such as Dove Salvatierra, whose first published work is their short story here called “Espejismos.” The imbalance of the collection does not come from the prior resume of the authors, but from the lack of development the fantasy short stories need to thrive. Readers will want more from each of the stories. A lack of worldbuilding in this short format prevents a fully realized setting, leaving more questions than answers for avid fantasy readers. Yet, the characters are richly entertaining, such as Ari in Reneé Reynolds’s “Verity,” who attends a magical school and loves the library, or Ella in Mason Deaver’s “Genderella.” The visibility outweighs these issues though as the fantasy is secondary to the celebration of intersectionality and genre.
VERDICT The cover includes the quote that “magic is for everyone” and this short story collection lives up to it with trans characters at the forefront. A strong purchase for YA shelves.

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