The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

The Black Flamingo

Fiercely told, this is a timely coming-of-age story, told in verse about the journey to self-acceptance. Perfect for fans of Sarah Crossan, Poet X and Orangeboy.A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen - then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. A bold story about the power of embracing your uniqueness. Sometimes, we need to take charge, to stand up wearing pink feathers - to show ourselves...

Details The Black Flamingo

TitleThe Black Flamingo
Release DateAug 8th, 2019
PublisherHodder Children's Books
GenrePoetry, Young Adult, LGBT, GLBT, Queer

Reviews The Black Flamingo

  • Kai
    who else did not know they needed this drag queen origin story??I first saw Dean Atta talk and read at a poetry event in Berlin. I had previously read his poem "How to come out as gay" in the queer anthology Proud (that you should definitely read cause it's perfect and super gay) and couldn't believe my luck when I found out that I would be able to see him perform live. The reading was fascinating and Dean's poetry touched me deeply. He has a way...
  • Acqua
    A beautiful coming-of-age story about a gay biracial black boy as he find his voice through poetry and drag.For me, it's always a breath of fresh air to read about marginalized characters who are not from the US. Yes, Michael is British, and it's not difficult to find stories set in England, but stories about marginalized characters in contemporary are overwhelmingly American. In this story, you'll see Michael come to terms with what it means for...
  • Dean_o
    THIS BOOK DESERVES ALL THE STARS!!I honestly picked this one up last minute at YALC. I had met Dean Atta the day before and was immediately in love.However, I have never really been into poetry.I always felt like they were a bunch of pretty words put together to maybe rhyme but most of all sound good."The Black Flamingo" is the first time that I could ever really connect with a piece of poetry, a novel written in verse.Now I have to say that I'm ...
  • Kate (GirlReading)
    This is without a doubt one of the most beautifully portrayed coming of age stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It delves into the nuances of self discovery, acceptance, expression and identity in such an endearing and accessible way. I was truly captivated, so much so that I devoured this in one sitting, unable and unwilling to put it down.TW: racism, homophobia, homophobic slurs.
  • Megan Ashcroft
    Definitely recommend, a beautiful story about identity and self-discovery!
  • Eleanor Grace
    This book was so beautiful and powerful. So glad I picked this up, even though it’s totally different from my usual reads. I loved it wholeheartedly.
  • Alfie Rowland
    I was unfamiliar with Dean Atta’s work until I read Stripes’ Proud anthology earlier in the year and his contribution of ‘How To Come Out As Gay‘ was absolute standout for me. It’s probably one of the only poems that has ever spoken to me and made me cry (I’m not poetically cultured). When I saw that he was bringing out a full length novel told in verse I knew I had to have it – thank you to my friend Bella who gave me her early cop...
  • Lisa
    "Sometimes, we need to take charge, to stand up wearing pink feathers - to show ourselves to the world in bold colour."And this verse novel does all of that and more. Beautiful, bold and brilliant.
  • Leo
    Actual rating: 4.5☆I’m on the train and I’m crying. This is one of those books that needs to be read. It doesn’t matter if you’re black, mixed, white, queer or straight.Read this book. RtC.
  • ashortbooklover
    Real rating 4.5 stars
  • Elizabeth Beverley
    Brilliant coming of age novel about exploring identity and sexuality from Dean Atta. Told in verse, A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen – then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. A bold story about the power of embracing your uniqueness. Sometimes, we need to take charge, to stand up wearing pink feathers – to show ourselves to the world in bold colour.
  • Aoife
    Told in free verse, this heartfelt story follows Michael from birth to university as he discovers his identity and finds the people who will stand with him. Mixed in is the poetry he writes to try to understand himself and his reactions and those of the people around him. This is a lovely, quick read with beautiful illustrations. This is a story that will stay with you for a long time.Be aware, there is a lot of discussion of sex and some drugs.H...
  • Jude
    Michael, the main character, has had male stereotypes and expectations thrust on him his whole life but, when he attends university and discovers the drag club, he finds the people he best fits in with. "Black Flamingo" contains lots of messages about gender, identity, self-discovery, acceptance of everyone etc. It is written in verse form and is a great read.
  • Rachael
    Beautiful book about identity, masculinity, gender, sexuality and just being yourself, not having all these labels! I enjoyed the story of the main character, how he grew up in the book and his journey through life.
  • Anniek
    RTC, but let's just say I adored this, and I already can't wait to get my hands on a finished copy and reread it and put sticky tabs all over it.CWs: physical abuse, absent father, racism, homophobia, drug use, alcohol consumption, bullying, toxic masculinity
  • Amy
    4.5 stars!
  • Lauren
    I absolutely loved this book!!!! I was lucky enough to have been sent an ARC at work and I could not put this book down! The MC Michael is the friend we all need in our lives. I loved his story and how it started at the beginning of his life and then up until his uni life and how he discovers himself and where he feels he fits in and has purpose. It's such a heartwarming read, an LGBTQ+, diverse masterpiece. I love the black Flamingo!
  • Cat Q
    I wish there was a way to give this book to every single person who needs it.This was fabulous and heartwarming and heartbreaking and so so beautiful.RTC
  • Mrs Craig
    I had high hopes for this book but it just did not work for me. The story was overtaken by the messages in the text. A few lovely passages of verse though
  • Jen
    If you haven’t read a verse novel, and you don’t like poetry, you might wonder if you’ll even like this. I can assure you that you will - it is the best bits of a novel and poetry. The best verse novels mix a brilliant story, realistic characters, and beautiful lyrical words. A verse novel should flow, the poems can be individual but they work together as a story, drawing together a powerful narrative that is easy to read while at the same ...
  • rosamund
    A novel-in-verse about Michael, a mixed-race boy from London, who realises he's gay at a young age, and struggles to figure out his place in a world that feels very hostile to him. Discovering drag at university helps him to feel more comfortable with himself and the way in which he presents himself, as well as engaging with performance poetry. This is a moving, original and accessible novel, that treats its young protagonist with respect and giv...
  • Tom (T.J. Reads the Stars)
    A really powerful introspective coming out story which discussed some really important topics such as identity, internalised racism, homophobia and masculinity. However, the book felt very self-indulgent to read at times and my main issue being that the relationships between the characters were not as in-depth as Dean Atta was clearly trying to make them. This may have been an unfortunate result of the often restricting verse format. Nevertheless...
  • Gabriela Pop
    One of the absolute best coming of age stories & Such a touching, endearing, thought provoking tale of self discovery and self expression. You get invested in the protagonists' story from the very beginning and spend the whole book rooting for his wellbeing. Dean Atta does wonders exploring the ways young people try to discover and come into themselves. Much like Elizabeth Acevedo's The Poet X,this verse novel focuses heavily on using poetry/spok...
  • Gemma
    I enjoyed this coming of age story. It gave me a perspective very different from my own. This will make a good addition to the library, giving others the chance to see themselves within this book. I cannot wait to go out and find a finished copy as it looks like it is going to be beautiful and I expect seeing the illustrations in full will really add to the reading experience.(ARC provided by publishers through Netgalley)
  • Caroline
    This book tells the story of Michael, a mixed race gay teenager who first needs to come out as gay and have himself accepted and then he finds the drag society at University and realises that his journey is still to be completed. When Michael raps one of his poems in drag he finally feels fulfilled. A great story, told in verse, with a unique POV. A good addition to your school library LGBT+ shelves.
  • Luna Cr
    I don't know if Dean Atta will ever read this but you are a beautiful human, your poetry is full and powerful, your books give me so much life and joy and I will follow your career whatever you publish. You left me today with a silly smile in the train and wanting to see you performing your poetry. You are an example of the future that I want to live in, you speak like I think. And you have made me feel all the emotions. Thank you.
  • Francesca
    Don't normally read poetry-format novels and didn't realise what this was until I was reading it - but I really enjoyed it! Loved following Michael and his family, and the poetic format was way easier to get along with that I expected (testament to the author, I think). Really recommend this to anyone looking for a quality LGBT novel with BAME characters, or who just really enjoys poetry.
  • Becca
    I was expecting this book to be good, but it completely blew me away. The writing is beautiful, filled with empathy and insight. The moments where Michael finds increasing confidence in his identity are glorious, triumphant - this is the kind of book you want to celebrate and share with everyone you know.
  • zara
    i want dean atta to narrate my life experiences now.seriously this book is so SOFT, deals with so many racial issues in such a realistic way that makes you challenge your privilege and weaves the most intricately flawed characters with the most irresistible figures of language that make you read the whole page back.
  • E
    5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ or can I even rate this?This in important read, every couple of passages said things that were too real, too true, too everything, but oh so so important. I don’t know if I can even speak about the topics handled in this, as growing up as a white girl, I did not have to face anything remotely like this. I have no words. Just read this. 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ or can I even rate this?This in important read, every...