January/February 2022 Kids Indie Next List
“80’s nostalgia, pop culture, and progressive politics make up this time-traveling, funny and witty young adult novel of a queer Latinx teen trying to solve an LGBT mystery while trying to change the world.”
— Gerard Villegas, Warwick's, La Jolla, CA
From lauded writer David Valdes, a sharp and funny YA novel that’s Back to the Future with a twist, as a gay teen travels back to his parents’ era to save a closeted classmate’s life.
All Luis Gonzalez wants is to go to prom with his boyfriend, something his “progressive” high school still doesn’t allow. Not after what happened with Chaz Wilson. But that was ages ago, when Luis’s parents were in high school; it would never happen today, right? He’s determined to find a way to give his LGBTQ friends the respect they deserve (while also not risking his chance to be prom king, just saying…).
When a hit on the head knocks him back in time to 1985 and he meets the doomed young Chaz himself, Luis concocts a new plan—he’s going to give this guy his first real kiss. Though it turns out a conservative school in the ’80s isn’t the safest place to be a gay kid. Especially with homophobes running the campus, including Gordo (aka Luis’s estranged father). Luis is in over his head, trying not to make things worse—and hoping he makes it back to present day at all.
In a story that’s fresh, intersectional, and wickedly funny, David Valdes introduces a big-mouthed, big-hearted, queer character that readers won’t soon forget.
David Valdes is the author of the nonfiction books Homo Domesticus, The Rhinestone Sisterhood, and Today Show pick A Little Fruitcake, as well as a dozen produced plays. A former Boston Globe columnist and HuffPost blogger whose posts have received over a million hits, he also wrote an advice column for Medium, and was recently featured in the New York Times’s Modern Love column. He teaches writing at Boston Conservatory and Tufts. David lives in the Boston area with his teen daughter.
An Indie Next pick
A Junior Library Guild selection
"An absolute blast. I loved it, and I couldn't put it down." —Bill Konigsberg, award-winning author of The Music of What Happens
"This engaging read is full of honesty, vulnerability, and truly funny moments. . . . An immersive story offering a unique look at second chances, acceptance, and progress." - School Library Journal
“The solid pacing and pleasant, fluid prose make this a page-turner. . . . A great read offering entertainment, encouragement, and plenty to reflect upon.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Prepare to laugh out loud as Cuban American high-school senior Luis takes a trip into the past that rivals Back to the Future. . . Readers will fall for Luis and Chaz, and--bonus!--Luis' clumsy, misunderstood roommate, Ernie. The ripple effects of their brave choices change everyone's future for the better. ” —Booklist