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May & June 2022 Jr. Top Picks

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TJ Powar Has Something to Prove
By (author): Jesmeen Kaur Deo
Jesmeen Kaur Deo

Imprint:

Viking Books for Young Readers

ISBN:

9780593403396

Product Form:

Hardcover
Hardcover
English

Audience:

Teenage: Age (years) 12, Grade (US) 7
Jun 07, 2022
$23.99 CAD
Active

Dimensions:

8.5in x 5.88 x 1.19 in | 1.02 lb

Page Count:

368 pages
Viking Children's Books
Viking Books for Young Readers
YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
“With an iconic heroine, delightful banter and a deeply felt message, this debut proves many times over that Jesmeen Kaur Deo is an invaluable new voice. TJ Powar Has Something to Prove is rife with insight and rich with rom-com joy, often on the same page.” — Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, authors of If I’m Being Honest

When TJ Powar—a pretty, popular debater—and her cousin Simran become the subject of a meme: with TJ being the “expectation” of dating an Indian girl and her Sikh cousin who does not remove her body hair being the “reality”—TJ decides to take a stand.



She ditches her razors, cancels her waxing appointments, and sets a debate resolution for herself: “This House Believes That TJ Powar can be her hairy self, and still be beautiful.” Only, as she sets about proving her point, she starts to seriously doubt anyone could care about her just the way she is—even when the infuriating boy from a rival debate team seems determined to prove otherwise.



As her carefully crafted sense of self begins to crumble, TJ realizes that winning this debate may cost her far more than the space between her eyebrows. And that the hardest judge to convince of her arguments might just be herself. 

Story Locale: Kelowna, Canada

EMPOWERING GIRLS WITH BODY HAIR: Anyone who has ever struggled with facial or body hair will relate to TJ’s journey and cheer her on—but this is particularly relevant for brown girls: how they’re seen and judged and how they live in their bodies. The ups and downs TJ faces in attempting to prove her resolution deal with with nuance, empathy, and respect for girls no matter what they choose to do or look like, just like in Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ and Leah Johnson’s You Should See Me in a Crown.



SIKH IDENTITY: TJ’s family is Sikh, and while TJ and her parents aren’t actively religious, her cousin Simran and her family are. This book engages thoughtfully with TJ and her cousin’s differences—and their love and respect for each other. 



SWOONY ENEMIES-TO-LOVERS ROM-COM: TJ’s romance with her debate rival Charlie is charming, sexy, and fun. Their sweet and funny enemies-to-lovers relationship, banter, and steamy chemistry will have readers swooning.



DEBATE SETTING: This book is a propulsive, exciting, and accessible entry into the world of competitive debate, like Peyton Thomas’s Both Sides Now and What’s Not to Love by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberly.



COMMERCIAL ROMANCE WITH POWERFUL THEMES: This is a commercial, fun, and thoughtful rom-com with a sparkling voice—which digs deep into big topics like feminism, body image, the beauty and wellness industry, what girls of color face in this world, and more.



DEBUT AUTHOR TO WATCH: Jesmeen Kaur Deo is an Indo-Canadian writer and student from Northern British Columbia. TJ Powar Has Something to Prove is her debut. We signed Jesmeen up for two books in a heated house pre-empt ahead of an auction. She is a talent to watch and is willing to do whatever it takes to promote this book. 

Jesmeen Kaur Deo grew up in northern British Columbia, where she spent most of her childhood daydreaming. She loves books that can make her laugh and tug at her heartstrings in the same paragraph. When not wrapped up in stories, she can be found biking, playing the harmonium, or struggling to open jars. TJ Powar Has Something to Prove is her debut novel. 

Author Residence: ON, Canada

Author Hometown: BC, Canada

Marketing: National media campaign 

Consumer advertising campaign 

Online promotion and social media outreach 

Promotion at consumer festivals 

Librarian and educator outreach 

TJ Powar Has Something To Prove is unlike any book I’ve read before. It’s unflinchingly honest, real, and raw in its examination of body image. Every hairy brown girl will see a reflection of their lives in its page.”—Adiba Jaigirdar, author of Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating and The Henna Wars


“With an iconic heroine, delightful banter and a deeply felt message, this debut proves many times over that Jesmeen Kaur Deo is an invaluable new voice. TJ Powar Has Something to Prove is rife with insight and rich with rom-com joy, often on the same page.”—Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, authors of If I’m Being Honest

“There’s much to appreciate about this book…fans of school stories will enjoy the humor, romance, and fun characters who navigate lost relationships, friendships that endure, and reminders that some people will always have your back—no matter how hairy it may be.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Filled with heart, humor, and a swoon-worthy academic rivals-to-lovers romance of my dreams, Jesmeen Kaur Deo proves self-worth isn’t up for debate. Be It Resolved That I’ll be a forever fan!”—Jessica Parra, author of Rubi Ramos’ Recipe for Success

*“In [a] poignant debut…Deo delivers a refreshing take on the familiar self-love narrative, portraying characters across the Indian diaspora whose determination to be themselves, irrespective of Western cultural perspectives, drives home the idea that the perception of oneself through a singular lens is often incomplete.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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