Pet

By: Akwaeke Emezi

There are no monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. Jam and her best friend, Redemption, have grown up with this lesson all their life. But when Jam meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colors and claws, who emerges from one of her mother’s paintings and a drop of Jam’s blood, she must reconsider what she’s been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption’s house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question—How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?

In their riveting and timely young adult debut, acclaimed novelist Akwaeke Emezi asks difficult questions about what choices you can make when the society around you is in denial.

ISBN: 9780525647089

JLG Release: Nov 2019


Sensitive Areas: Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes, Language: Strong Language, Violence: Mild Violence, Violence: Sexual Assault/Rape
Topics: Monsters , Angels , Family life , Artists , Selective mutism , Transgender people , LGBTQ , Social justice , Utopias , Child abuse

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Awards & Honors

Publishers Weekly Best Books - 2019
2019 National Book Awards Finalist
SLJ Best Books - 2019
NPR’s Book Concierge - 2019
CPL Best Books - 2019
NYPL Best Books - 2019
Stonewall Book Award Honoree - 2020
The Walter Award Honoree Teen Category - 2020
Lambda Literary Awards LGBTQ Children's/Young Adult Finalist - 2020

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews*, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books*, The Horn Book Magazine

School Library Journal

The only world Jam has ever known is that of Lucille, a town where the angels have ostensibly banished the monsters and dismantled the structures that allowed monsters and monstrous deeds to pervade. Lucille is a post-prison, post–school shooting, post–police brutality society. A society where someone like Jam, a selectively mute transgender te The only world Jam has ever known is that of Lucille, a town where the angels have ostensibly banished the monsters and dismantled the structures that allowed monsters and monstrous deeds to pervade. Lucille is a post-prison, post–school shooting, post–police brutality society. A society where someone like Jam, a selectively mute transgender teen, can live with complete acceptance, support, and love. Still, she can feel the hard truths of the world, can sense them in the air, hear them in words unsaid. When Jam steals into her mother Bitter’s painting studio and unleashes Pet, a winged, horned, eyeless creature and monster hunter, from one of the paintings and into their world, life as she’s known it begins to dissolve. Jam must confront the harsh realities of her world as she tentatively partners with Pet and ventures forward to avenge a wrong not yet discovered. This is a heart-stirring atmospheric page-turner, a terrific and terrible yet quiet adventure. Emezi spins a tale that defies categorization as strikingly as their characters, forcing readers to deeply rethink assumptions about identity, family structure, and justice. A riveting and important read that couldn’t be more well timed to our society’s struggles with its own monsters.

Horn Book

A haunting and poetic work of speculative fiction—the first for young readers by adult author Emezi. Jam, the adolescent protagonist, is a transgender hearing person who communicates selectively, using both sign language and vocal speech. She was born after a revolution in which human (and some non-human) “angels” rid her now-utopian town of A haunting and poetic work of speculative fiction—the first for young readers by adult author Emezi. Jam, the adolescent protagonist, is a transgender hearing person who communicates selectively, using both sign language and vocal speech. She was born after a revolution in which human (and some non-human) “angels” rid her now-utopian town of monsters (monster being a catch-all term for oppres¬sors and manifestations of evil). When Jam falls on top of a painting made by her artist mother, she is cut with blades embedded in the work. Jam’s blood hits the canvas, and the grotesque figure her mother created (described as having goat legs, a twisted torso, feathers, horns, and human hands) churns to life. The creature’s name is Pet, and it has come to hunt a monster. Worse yet, this monster is said to live in the house of Jam’s best friend, Redemption. The plot moves steadily as Jam investigates Pet’s claims, and the story intensifies to a startling climax. The lyrical, philosophical text includes cultural markers from the African diaspora (Jam’s caregivers lovingly use the French term of endearment “doux-doux”; she listens to soca music while styling her hair in twists). Its theme of deeply examin¬ing self-proclaimed bias- or harm-free spaces has contemporary relevance, yet the engrossing, open-ended narrative (with somewhat nebulous world-building) carries a universality separate from any specific place or time. A thoughtful, indel¬ible story about truth, justice, and remembering: “Forgetting is how the monsters come back.”

Book Details

ISBN

9780525647089

First Release

November 2019

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8" x 6"

Page Count

208

Accelerated Reader

Level 5.7; Points: 7;

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

Level 820L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Library edition with trade jacket added

Publisher

Make Me a World

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes, Language: Strong Language, Violence: Mild Violence, Violence: Sexual Assault/Rape

Topics

Monsters, Angels, Family life, Artists, Selective mutism, Transgender people, LGBTQ, Social justice, Utopias, Child abuse,

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