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My Fairy Godmother Is a Drag Queen
Contributor(s): Clawson, David
ISBN: 1510714111     ISBN-13: 9781510714113
Publisher: Sky Pony Pr
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: May 2017
Annotation: Wanting nothing more than to survive high school as an only stepkid in a social-climbing family, Chris forges an unexpected romantic relationship with his stepsister's wealthy boyfriend before a new friend helps him learn to accept himself and his family. A first novel. 20,000 first printing.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Family life; Fiction.
Self-acceptance; Fiction.
Sex; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2017021619
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.25" H x 5.50" W x 1.00" (0.90 lbs) 257 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 March #2)

In a contemporary gay riff on Cinderella, 17-year-old Manhattanite Chris Bellows attends a high-society ball with the help of a drag queen, Ms. Coco Chanel Jones. Soon after, Chris begins a secret romance with a young political hopeful, J.J. Kennerly, even though J.J. is dating Chris's stepsister Kimberly. First-time novelist Clawson touches on topics of class, sexuality, and politics, but the story's pacing and characterizations leave much to be desired. Chris and J.J.'s romance is kept so hidden that their chemistry is nearly nonexistent, and while Chris's complicated relationship with his stepfamily could be discussion worthy, the secondary characters are largely one-dimensional. Chris's relationship with Coco is more interesting, but the language surrounding their interactions reads as stereotypical and off-putting (Chris's first impression of Coco when she's not in drag is of a "slightly thuggish-looking black guy in oversized hip-hop clothes... dressed in a way that would have made me wonder if I was being racist or just reasonably cautious if I tried to avoid crossing his path too closely"), even if it's intended to reflect Chris's naiveté. Ages 14–up. Agent: Claire Abramowitz, Cartel Entertainment. (May)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 April)

Gr 9 Up–Chris is a high school senior caught in a Cinderella-like role at home and afraid to reveal his sexual orientation there or anywhere else. He narrates the story of the winter when he found love, self-respect, his stepsiblings' esteem, and a true friend in fashionista drag queen Duane/Coco Chanel Jones. Clawson deftly walks a thin line between realism and wish fulfillment, and readers will happily suspend disbelief. Chris is complex, admirable, and wholly likable, while the equally sharp and more acid-tongued Duane/Coco leavens the plot with enough humor and meddling to keep Chris buoyed up even when the rich, politically poised guy of Chris's dreams—who also happens to be the designated escort of his vapid stepsister—seems to choose the closet over true love and honesty. In this endearingly reconceived version of the fairy tale, the stepmother isn't cruel but rather a thoughtless drunk, the shoe is thrown more often than simply lost, and the fairy godmother spends more time helping stepfamily members apply makeup than dolling up Chris himself. In short, it's a spot-on modern version for contemporary teens, with an artful balance of serious insights about being true to oneself and riffs on pop culture. VERDICT A fun, lighthearted YA retelling that's an especially strong choice for collections in need of LGBTQ romances.—Francisca Goldsmith, Worcester, MA

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.