Little, Brown Ink. May 2024. 256p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780316429429.
Gr 6-9–Nonbinary teen Ashton Price is excited to bunk with their best friend and crush Ivy for their last year together at Highland Arts theater camp before they part ways for high school. Ash is immediately disappointed when Ivy is placed in a different cabin. This summer, Ivy is the lead in the musical alongside Lucas, who plays Ivy’s love interest, while Ash is the stage manager, helping build the sets and coordinate costumes. Ash struggles with jealousy and fear that Lucas will “steal” Ivy away from them. As Ivy and Lucas spend more and more time together, Ash becomes withdrawn, isolating themself from their roommates and other campers. When Ivy begins canceling plans to work on her lines with Lucas, Ash snaps. They confront the two of them and begin taking their anger out on their crewmates. However, when a piece of the set unexpectedly catches fire, Ash and their friends are forced to come together to make the show a success. Easter’s illustrations are colorful and expressive. The LGBTQIA+ representation in this book is wonderful and exemplifies the diversity of queer experiences. While Ash’s crush is the main focus of the book, ample time is spent reflecting on friendships and personal growth. The theater camp setting will be exciting for campers and theater kids alike.
VERDICT This is a great selection for middle schoolers transitioning to high school or struggling to navigate social groups, and for elementary and middle school libraries looking to add age-relevant LGBTQIA+ stories to their collections.

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