The Black Flamingo
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The Black Flamingo

4.43 (17,987 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Illustrated by 

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Description

"Intensely moving and heart-warming" Cosmo
"Bold" Guardian
"I loved every word" Malorie Blackman

This is not about being ready, it's not even about being fierce, or fearless, IT'S ABOUT BEING FREE.

Michael waits in the stage wings, wearing a pink wig, pink fluffy coat and black heels.

One more step will see him illuminated by spotlight.

He has been on a journey of bravery to get here, and he is almost ready to show himself to the world in bold colours ...

Can he emerge as The Black Flamingo?

WINNER OF THE STONEWALL BOOK AWARD
SHORTLISTED FOR THE CILIP CARNEGIE MEDAL
SHORTLISTED FOR THE JHALAK BOOK PRIZE

*The paperback edition has beautiful gold foil added to the striking cover design*
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Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 126 x 194 x 28mm | 298g
  • Hodder Children's Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 9781444948608
  • 2,878

Review Text

Celebratory and passionate, Atta's bold verse novel calls to its readers to find their own blazing, performative inner truth The Guardian
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Review quote

Celebratory and passionate, Atta's bold verse novel calls to its readers to find their own blazing, performative inner truth * The Guardian * The short lines give Michael's story an epigrammatic quality and an urgent pace that is deeply involving. A compact hardback edition, it has been beautifully produced by Hodder * Financial Times * The heartwarming coming-of-age YA novel * Bustle * A novel told in beautifully-written verse...an uplifting coming of age story * The Independent * Beautiful...a delight to read, whatever your age * The Independent * This incredibly raw debut novel excellently captures internal struggles of growing up and learning to find your voice. Written in verse, this is one that is sure to make you shed a tear. * Grazia * A powerful and revealing young adult novel...bold, tender and full of blossoming moments of heartache and joy * Attitude * Studded with poetry and illustrations, The Black Flamingo shows us what life can look like when we begin to live in bold color. * Buzzfeed * One of poetry's greatest modern voices...The Black Flamingo is a powerful coming-of-age story about finding who you are, all told in beautifully-written verse...with an overarching message of embracing who you are and showing your true colours in the world that often imposes mundanity, it's a book that anyone can appreciate * Gay Times * A force to be reckoned with, and a voice that demands to be heard * PRIDE magazine * A deeply moving story of love, self belief and identity. It is a wonderfully honest and moving read - perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo and Sarah Crossan. told through beautifully constructed poetry, this is the coming of age story of Michael, a mixed race gay teen. Readers will be completely absorbed by Michael's personal journey, and will laugh, cry and cheer for him * The Scotsman * Ultimately inspiring * Irish Times * A moving coming-of-age story, written with heart and panache * Irish Independent * Beautifully constructed poetry * Scottish Booktrust * A gorgeous and moving first person exploration of sexuality, poetry, blackness and love...a nuanced piece of freeform verse that oozes with warmth, insight and forgiveness...a beautiful piece of work, filled with love and insight and words I would have longed to read as a teenager/20-something and still to hear them again as an adult * The Queer Review * Readers won't be left disappointed * The Queerness * Uplifting and dazzlingly unique * LoveReading4Kids * Big hearted and dizzyingly flamboyant * Achuka * Beautiful, sharp, bold and utterly original * Book Riot * An excellent book to spark discussions, break down barriers, open peoples eyes to other lives * Independent Book Review * One of our top reads this year * Just Imagine * This book felt both quiet and ferociously loud and proud at the same time, tackling deep emotions and giving me frequent goosebumps. It tackles toxic masculinity, internalised homophobia and racism with thought-provoking, phenomenal writing that utterly entranced me * Suffolk Libraries * A fierce, poetic, moving coming-of-age story...There's plenty of fabulous, rousing scenes to inspire, amuse and move. Lyrical, direct, honest and witty, The Black Flamingo is a breath-taking exploration of race, identity, sexuality and gender * Pen & inc. * A masterful, evocative, imperative snapshot of our time - who we are today, and everything we could be, if we gave ourselves a try...Emotionally, there are plenty of gut punches, but there's also warmth, wisdom, and hope * Justin Myers, The Strategist UK * An important, necessary and hopeful book that should be enjoyed by readers of all ages * Wasafiri * Clever and unique * Book Clubs In Schools * If you're going to read one verse novel this year, this decade, or in your life, make it this one. You won't regret it. * Vee Bookish Blog * A classic in the making * Bookworms Anonymous Blog * I adore this book...The world needs to know more about Michael. We need books like this to spread acceptance, inclusivity, diversity. This gorgeous book has just smashed my heart and made me fall so deeply in love with it. * A Little Haze Book Blog * Every inch of it is full of heart and power and joy * Did You Ever Stop To Think blog * A beautiful, real story told with grit...Dean Atta has a fresh narrative voice and he is a gifted poet. I'd definitely recommend this read. * A Take From Two Cities * An intimate contemporary verse novel that explores identity and belonging...Michael's journey to embracing his identity as The Black Flamingo is long and often painful, but ultimately triumphant. * Happy Golden Kim blog * A gorgeous story * Lisa Talks About...blog * This book is inspiring and uplifting and inclusive and raw and...well, a masterpiece. Please, everyone, go out and read it. As one of the best books I've read this year, I can tell you that you won't be disappointed, trust me. * Novel Ideas Blog * The Black Flamingo is a powerful and emotional coming of age story...Dean Atta has written a beautiful coming of age story that teens and young adults desperately need. The Black Flamingo has opened my eyes and broadened my understanding with it's bold and powerful story telling. * Library Looter blog * The Black Flamingo is a must-read for everybody...The Black Flamingo is a beautifully written, poignant story that deserves to be experienced by all * Unapologetically Kelly blog * Beautiful and eloquent * The Book Duchesses blog * I so amazed by the sheer beauty of this...this is one of the most brutal and honest reads I have come across. On each page you can feel the heart poured onto it, can feel the emotion bleeding from each page, and share in the vulnerability...This has to be the most powerful and beautiful book I have read * Babbles n Books blog * The Black Flamingo is all about being free in our minds and our bodies, not conforming to gender rules of society and finding our place in the world. The pages layout is stunning, with a lot of drawings and different shapes. To read this book is to enter Michael's life, from his birth to his rebirth, his struggles, his questionings. The writing style took my breath away multiple times and made me shiver at the end. I L O V E D I T. * The Bookish Garden blog * An emotive read * The Teacher Bookworm blog * I cried with joy * The Hungry Reader blog * Emotive, strong and powerful * Lost In Literature blog * An excellent book to spark discussions, break down barriers, open peoples eyes to other lives. * Independent Book Reviews * A beautifully written coming-of-age story...I cried, I laughed, and overall, it's a really empowering book. * Anniek's Library blog * The Black Flamingo is a celebration of complex layered identity...It leaves room for messiness, mistakes, and the strange meandering coincidences of life as we watch Michael grow up, exploring the facets of his identity and celebrating the intersections between them. It handles a lot of topics and nuance in a way that keeps the underlying messiness while reaching for something healthier and more whole with every page. There's a lot of growth in the secondary characters as well, even minor characters learn and change in meaningful and obvious ways by the time the story is over. I loved reading this and highly recommend it. * Reviews That Burn * Absolutely fantastic * Kalafudra's Stuff * This book really does have it all...This book is a wonderful celebration of being Black, being queer and doing Drag. * The Books Are Everywhere * Beautiful...I cannot praise this book enough, please read it I'm sure you will love it * Reviews By Rhiannon * Beautifully written * The School of English * Powerful * Paperback Princess * I absolutely loved this book...written so beautifully * Books For All 245 * Inspiring * Books Let Us Escape * A very modern masterpiece * The Guyliner * The Black Flamingo is the book I wish I had when I was younger ... joyful, emotional and full of depth -- Travis Alabanza * performance artist and poet * A bold and joyous hymn to self-discovery and acceptance * The Bookseller * Dean Atta's tender coming of age novel casts a fresh and enriching perspective on what it means to be seen as different at the level of race, culture, identity, heritage and gender ... an important book for young people -- Malika Booker * Poet *
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About Dean Atta

Dean Atta's debut poetry collection was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize. He was named as one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK by the Independent on Sunday. Dean's work often deals with themes of gender, identity, race and growing up - and has appeared on BBC One, BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service, and Channel 4.


Dean regularly performs across the UK, and internationally. He is a tutor for Arvon and Poetry School, and a Keats 2020 Poet in Residence at Keats House. Dean is based in Glasgow, and is Co-director of Scottish BAME Writers Network.

Anshika Khullar is an illustrator based in Southampton, England, whose bold and vibrant work aims to showcase the ordinary as beautiful. Anshika is an Indian, non-binary transgender creative with a BA in English Literature & Media from the University of Brighton; they have a focused interest in intersectional feminist narratives, a study which has invariably informed their art practice, with illustrations that are colourful, detail-oriented, and thoughtfully studded with hidden gems of metaphors made literal, often dealing in overarching socio-political themes.
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They are a CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal nominee for their work on the cover and interiors of YA novel The Black Flamingo (by Dean Atta, published by Hodder Books).

In addition to commercial, editorial and literary projects, Anshika has appeared as a guest speaker on panels at London Illustration Fair and House of Illustration.
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Rating details

17,987 ratings
4.43 out of 5 stars
5 54% (9,792)
4 36% (6,428)
3 8% (1,523)
2 1% (197)
1 0% (47)
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