If I Had A Shelf Talker: "Changers Book One: Drew" by T Cooper & Allison Glock-Cooper

Changers, Book One: Drew  by T Cooper & Allison Glock-Cooper (Black Sheep / Akashic Books / Consortium, Feb 2014)

Changers, Book One: Drew by T Cooper & Allison Glock-Cooper (Black Sheep / Akashic Books / Consortium, Feb 2014)

If I had a shelf talker, this is what I'd say about "Changers, Book One: Drew"

If you can say one universal thing about high school, it's that every student goes through a lot of changes over the course of their years as high schoolers. Some young adults become more like what they were when they started, others reinvent themselves completely. Some go through multiple reinventions.

The new Changers series takes that universal experience and super-sizes it.   As Book One opens, Ethan Miller goes to sleep, confident that he's as prepared as any sporty rock-and-video game teen boy can be for starting freshman year in a new school in a new town. Fresh kicks, favorite t-shirt, skateboard ready to roll. But when he wakes up, he discovers that he's staring at the face and body of a blonde. A hot blonde. Yep, he's a girl. This could be awkward.

His parents rush to explain that he belongs to a race of humans called Changers. Each year for the four years of high school, Ethan (now named Drew) will wake up in a new body and a new identity. After four years, Ethan/Drew will need to choose which of the four identities and bodies he/she will be for the rest of his/her life.  

The Changers community believes that their purpose is to help lift humans up with greater understanding - who would have more empathy towards their fellow humans than people who have been four completely different people?

Naturally, as in any good speculative novel, there are people opposed to the Changers - the Abiders. And there is a radical wing of the Changers, who are tired of staying in the shadows.

On top of that, Drew has to learn to navigate a completely different social circle – multiple times. And deal with the Mean Girls. And definitely NOT fall in love with another Changer.

I loved what this book had to say about teens and their changing brains and identities in high school - a fantasy metaphor for understanding your everyday ordinary teen reinventions and the deeper reinventions of transgender teens.

Changers: Book One - Drew
by T Cooper & Allison Glock-Cooper
Black Sheep / Akashic Books / Consortium | 9781617751950 | $11.95 | Paper | Feb 2014
Black Sheep / Akashic Books / Consortium | 9781617752117 | $18.95 | Cloth | Feb 2014

More, elsewhere:
T Cooper: web
Changers @ Akashic Books: web

If I Had A Shelf Talker: "Unmentionables" by Laurie Loewenstein

  Unmentionables  by Laurie Loewenstein (Kaylie Jones Books / Akashic Books / Consortium, Jan 2014)

 Unmentionables by Laurie Loewenstein (Kaylie Jones Books / Akashic Books / Consortium, Jan 2014)

If I had a shelf talker, this is what I'd say about "Unmentionables"

 "I'm a sucker for beautifully written historical novels – especially a book such as Unmentionables, that can effortlessly toss together the arcane details of Tent Chautauqua circuit planning, early twentieth-century newspaper typesetting, World War One Red Cross volunteers, the economics of Chicago streetcar conductors, radical societies, dress reform, suffrage, and small town race relations. Did I forget to mention the main characters - Marian & Deuce - around whom this novel revolves? Wonderful. This quickly became one of my favorite novels - I'm looking forward to it coming out in January."

Unmentionables
by Laurie Loewenstein
Kaylie Jones Books / Akashic Books / Consortium | 9781617751943 | $15.95 | Jan 2014

More, elsewhere: 
Laurie Loewenstein: web
Kaylie Jones Books: web
Akashic Books: web | facebook | twitter
Consortium Book Sales & Distribution: web | facebook | twitter

 

Joe Meno's new novel, Office Girl, is coming soon! Early reviews & tour details here.

by Joe Meno
with black-and-white illustrations by Cody Hudson and photographs by Todd Baxter 
Akashic Books / Consortium | 9781617750762 | $14.95 | July 2012

Chicago-based author and longtime indie-bookseller-favorite Joe Meno is back with his latest novel, a short and sweet story set in Chicago, circa winter 1999. I loved it.  

He's heading off on a nationwide tour starting at Chicago's Printers Row lit fest and a book launch at the Book Cellar in Lincoln Square on June 28.

From the book's site, a capsule description:

NO ONE DIES IN OFFICE GIRL. Nobody talks about the international political situation. There is no mention of any economic collapse. Nothing takes place during a World War.

INSTEAD, THIS NOVEL IS ABOUT YOUNG PEOPLE doing interesting things in the final moments of the last century. Odile is a lovely twenty-three-year-old art-school dropout, a minor vandal, and a hopeless dreamer. Jack is a twenty-five-year-old shirker who's most happy capturing the endless noises of the city on his out-of-date tape recorder. Together they decide to start their own art movement in defiance of a contemporary culture made dull by both the tedious and the obvious. Set in February 1999--just before the end of one world and the beginning of another--Office Girl is the story of two people caught between the uncertainty of their futures and the all-too-brief moments of modern life.

Early reviews have been strong for the book:

"Fresh and sharply observed, Office Girl is a love story on bicycles, capturing the beauty of individual moments and the magic hidden in everyday objects and people. Joe Meno will make you stop and notice the world. And he will make you wonder."
--Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief

"Meno has constructed a snowflake-delicate inquiry into alienation and longing. Illustrated with drawings and photographs and shaped by tender empathy, buoyant imagination, and bittersweet wit, this wistful, provocative, off-kilter love story affirms the bonds forged by art and story."
--Booklist (*starred review*)

"The talented Chicago-based Meno has composed a gorgeous little indie romance, circa 1999...When get weird as things do when we're young, Meno is refreshingly honest in portraying lowest lows and not just the innocent highs. A sweetheart of a novel, complete with a hazy ending."
--Kirkus Reviews

"High on quirk and hipster cred."
--Publishers Weekly (Pick of the Week)