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Kiss Number 8
Cover of Kiss Number 8
Kiss Number 8
A 2019 New York Public Library Best Books for KidsA 2020 Tayshas Reading List SelectionA 2020 Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List SelectionMads is pretty happy with her life. She goes to church with...
A 2019 New York Public Library Best Books for KidsA 2020 Tayshas Reading List SelectionA 2020 Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List SelectionMads is pretty happy with her life. She goes to church with...
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  • A 2019 New York Public Library Best Books for Kids
    A 2020 Tayshas Reading List Selection
    A 2020 Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List Selection

    Mads is pretty happy with her life. She goes to church with her family, and minor league baseball games with her dad. She goofs off with her best friend Cat, and has thus far managed to avoid getting kissed by Adam, the boy next door. It's everything she hoped high school would be... until all of a sudden, it's not.

    Her dad is hiding something big—so big it could tear her family apart. And that's just the beginning of her problems: Mads is starting to figure out that she doesn't want to kiss Adam... because the only person she wants to kiss is Cat.

    Kiss Number 8, a graphic novel from writer Colleen AF Venable and illustrator Ellen T. Crenshaw, is a layered, funny, sharp-edged story of teen sexuality and family secrets.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2019

    Gr 9 Up-Mads lives in a conservative community with her deeply religious parents. Her social circle includes her friends from Catholic school, Cat, Adam, and Laura, but her best friend is her father. After overhearing a phone conversation that upsets him, she realizes that he's hiding something, but her parents refuse to answer her questions, leaving her angry and betrayed. Mads also wonders why her first seven kisses, with boys, aren't as stirring as kiss number eight, with Laura, and why she feels something deeper than friendship for Cat. A mysterious letter and an explosive confrontation with her parents and grandparents lead to a difficult realization, shaking up their relationships. This graphic novel addresses transphobia, sexuality, and hypocrisy. The art's retro feel serves the story well and is most powerful when depicting the contrast between truth and lies. The characters aren't especially deep but they help frame Mads's world. The resolution is realistically complicated, highlighting Mads's agency as she manages her conflicts. Though characters spend more time than necessary proclaiming their trans- and homophobic views, Mads's decisiveness and the clear look at how so-called "values" can mask harmful attitudes make this a thought-provoking book. VERDICT A solid addition to YA shelves.-Carla Riemer, Claremont Middle School, Oakland

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    February 15, 2019
    Grades 8-11 On the surface, Amanda's life seems ideal. She has good friends at church and school, a great relationship with her dad, and her only real problems are a nagging mom and unwanted attention from the boy next door. Overhearing her father talking to another woman changes everything in an instant. To make matters worse, Amanda is beginning to realize that she has romantic feelings for Cat, her best friend. Trying to cope with the confusion, Amanda makes some rash, poor decisions and digs herself into a heap of trouble, but help comes from a couple of unexpected sources. Realistic relationships, well-developed characters of all ages, and diverse and positive LGBTQ representation make this an excellent choice for a wide range of readers. Visually, the black-and-white pages are crowded with text and panels, but Crenshaw really captures the emotional qualities of every character. Amanda is particularly expressive, and her actions are authentically age-appropriate. This isn't the easiest coming-of-age story, but it's one that will resonate with young readers, especially those questioning their sexuality.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

  • Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

    "The interest here is in comparing GLBTQ experiences across a gap of generations--it was difficult then, it can be difficult still, but there's a promise of genuine happiness that makes following the heart worthwhile."

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    First Second
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Ellen T. Crenshaw
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