The Edge of Being Book
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RELEASE DATE - 11 OCTOBER 2022
Reading level - 12 to 17 years.
A tender and heartfelt queer YA novel about the multiplicities of grief, deeply held family secrets, and finding new love.
Isaac Griffin has always felt something was missing from his life. And for good reason: he's never met his dad. He'd started to believe he'd never belong in this world, that the scattered missing pieces of his life would never come together, when he discovers a box hidden deep in the attic with his father's name on it.
When the first clue points him to San Francisco, he sets off with his boyfriend to find the answers, and the person he’s been waiting his whole life for. But when his vintage station wagon breaks down (and possibly his relationship too) they are forced to rely on an unusual girl who goes by Max―and has her own familial pain―to take them the rest of the way.
As his family history is revealed, Isaac finds himself drawing closer to Max. Using notes his dad had written decades ago, the two of them retrace his father’s steps during the weeks leading up to the Compton's Cafeteria Riot in San Francisco, a precursor to the Stonewall Riots a few years later. Only to discover, as he learns about the past that perhaps the missing pieces of his life weren't ever missing at all.
"This luminous novel is at once heartbreaking and joyful in its exploration of identity, love, friendship, and family. Brandon's writing is full of vivid imagery as broad as the universe and as personal as a kiss. In a time when self-discovery and self-acceptance are threatened--just as in the 1960s of Alex's youth--a bold and sensitive novel such as this one is sorely needed."
Booklist, starred review
"Share[s an] undeniably pivotal and important piece of history."
"[In] this thoughtful and gentle exploration of grief, loss, and family ties . . . Brandon's character development is exceptional--everyone is a complicated mix of damaged, loved, and resilient in varying measures. An ambitious amount of West Coast gay history (Compton's Cafeteria riot, for example) is woven in with overall success . . . Isaac is a deeply likeable protagonist who actually gets the answers he has longed for, even if they aren't to the questions he thought he was asking all along."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"In this compassionate novel . . . Brandon employs a rapid pace and demonstrates a deft understanding of the time period, making for a heartfelt road-trip romp that presents a strong message about fighting for what one believes in."