Smart, emotional novel with award potential: Lisa Bunker’s sparkling story combines transportive writing with twists, turns, comedy, and real-life truths, to create a gripping, moving reading experience.
Truthful exploration of trans experience: While never being graphic or too mature, Zenobia’s narrative deftly conveys the nuance and complexity of being a trans tween through loving and authentic prose.
Family at its core: As Zenobia begins her new life in Portland, she finds a new family in her loving aunts, their kooky friends, and the band of misfits she gloms onto at school. It’s a story about finding queer community, with a tender heart.
Activist author: Lisa is a trans woman and activist, whose writerly ambitions include telling stories featuring LGBTQ characters without that being the focus, pushing the boundaries of the word “normal.” An engaging speaker, she’s running for New Hampshire state assembly in November 2018, and she’ll be a strong advocate for Zenobia July and books featuring underrepresented characters in general!
Praise for Zenobia July!
“Bunker’s range of self-assured and joyful, yet imperfect, trans and queer characters is most refreshing. This is what visibility and representation can look like. Welcome to the extended family, Zenobia!” - Alex Gino, author of George and You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P!
*“Bunker’s portrayal of a trans middle school student grappling with typical tween insecurities while being supported by her family and friends is a welcome and much-needed addition to a limited middle grade canon.” - School Library Journal, starred review
“Bunker (Felix Yz) brings considerable empathy and skill to her authentic, nuanced portrayal, balancing Zen’s darker moments with humor…An accessible and relatable story for anyone who is struggling to fit in.” - Publishers Weekly
“Zenobia is an endearing…trans girl heroine, with an accessible amount of angst and anxiety that never tips over into titillating tragedy…A fun read that manages to feel solidly traditional while breaking new ground.” - Kirkus Reviews
“…Bunker writes with a third-person voice that is intimately acquainted with Zen’s anxieties about how the world sees her without being invasive…” - BCCB
“While her #OwnVoices sophomore title is filled with humor, hope and plenty of joy, Bunker is also age-appropriately revealing about challenges confronting Zen…[but] Zen’s realization that among such ”welcoming hearts“ she can ”just be“ proves to be an empowering lesson for all.” - Shelf Awareness
“Bunker’s characters are written with authenticity and heart…This book is a testament to true diversity.” - VOYA
“Author Lisa Bunker has written a book that will be a welcome addition to the LGBTQ canon in middle schools. The characters are well-rounded and face problems that are very real and important. The writing is quite wonderful and the story compelling. This book deserves wide readership.” - Seattle Book Review
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