by Phil Stamper
From acclaimed author Phil Stamper (The Gravity of Us and As Far as You'll Take Me) comes a poignant coming-of-age, contemporary middle grade debut novel about finding your place, using your voice, and the true meaning of pride. Perfect for fans of Rick by Alex Gino and The Best at It by Maulik Pancholy.
Jake is just starting to enjoy life as his school's first openly gay kid. While his family and friends are accepting and supportive, the same can't be said about everyone in their small town of Barton Springs, Ohio.
When Jake's dad hangs a comically large pride flag in their front yard in an overblown show of love, the mayor begins to receive complaints. A few people are even concerned the flag will lead to something truly outlandish: a pride parade.
Except Jake doesn't think that's a ridiculous idea. Why can't they hold a pride festival in Barton Springs? The problem is, Jake knows he'll have to get approval from the town council, and the mayor won't be on his side. And as Jake and his friends try to find a way to bring Pride to Barton Springs, it seems suspicious that the mayor's son, Brett, suddenly wants to spend time with Jake.
But someone that cute couldn't possibly be in league with his mayoral mother, could he?
Target age: 8 to 12
"Full of warmth, hope, and joy, Phil Stamper's middle grade debut is an absolute celebration!" -- Julie Murphy, New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin'
"Small Town Pride is a queer Footloose for the middle grade crowd, with heart, laughs, and a journey that will make readers stand up and cheer. An absolute triumph!" -- Claribel A. Ortega, award-winning author of Witchlings
"Tender and empowering all at once, Small Town Pride is a story of bravery, friendship, and not only finding one's voice, but using it to make a difference. This is a story I wish I had as a young reader." -- Ashley Herring Blake, author of Stonewall Honor Book Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World
"In a heartfelt middle grade debut, Stamper (Golden Boys) traces a gay 13-year-old's arc toward authenticity and queer community in Midwestern America. Drawing from his own childhood experiences and employing sympathetically rendered characters, Stamper keeps the accessible story hopeful with a clear-eyed message of acceptance, inclusion, and bighearted community." -- Publishers Weekly
About the Author:
Phil Stamper is the bestselling author of The Gravity of Us, As Far as You'll Take Me, Golden Boys, and other queer books for kids and teens. He currently works in author development for a major book publisher in New York City, where he lives with his husband and their dog. Small Town Pride is his debut middle grade novel.