by Nina Packebush
Bink Books YA
Publication date: November 2017
Sixteen-year-old queer-identified Banjo Logan wakes up groggy in a juvenile mental ward. She realizes that the clueless therapist and shiny psychiatrist can’t help her come to terms with her genderqueer boy/girlfriend’s suicide, much less help her decide what to do with the fetus that’s growing inside her or answers the question of why she cuts. She’s befriended by two fellow patients—a strangely manic queer girl and a shy, gay boy disowned by his born-again Christian parents. With their help she starts to find the tough answers to her future.
Why we signed Girls Like Me . . .
Opening paragraph was a definite hook . . . pregnant teenage protagonist in a mental hospital. Cutting edge YA/ New Adult book about the life of a pregnant queer girl . . . and how she got that way. Coming of age story. We like the sharp writing, clever dialog, good insights for the readers.
From the Author . . .
As a working class teenage mom, and avid reader, I was never able to find myself represented in books. It was a lonely feeling that increased my feelings of worthlessness and isolation. Later when I came out as queer the chances of seeing myself represented in novels—even adult novels—became even less likely. As studies show that queer teenagers are more likely to become pregnant than straight teenagers, it is increasingly important that we see ourselves reflected in the media. Teenagers from poor and working class backgrounds, teenage parents, and queer kids need to see themselves and their realities reflected in literature. In addition, as someone who has navigated the rocky aftermath of suicide of loved ones I know I would have fallen in love with this book in my teen and young adult years, and even now as an adult.
About the Author . . .
Nina Packebush is a grown up queer teen mama, zinester, mental health advocate, audio producer, and wannabe urban farmer. She lives in Washington state with her rad girlfriend, a bunch of children, and way too many animals. She’s passionate about supporting queer youth and teen parents, loves hiking, and likes to draw comics about empowered snails. She was a 2012 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Fiction and has been published in a variety of alternative magazines, websites, and anthologies.