Kings of B'more

R. Eric Thomas

Book - 2022

Propelled by his best friend's impending move out of state and inspired by Ferris Bueller's Day Off, sixteen-year-old Harrison plans a farewell through Baltimore that includes a road trip, their first Pride, and a rooftop dance party.

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Subjects
Genres
Novels
Gay fiction
Published
New York : Kokila 2022.
Language
English
Physical Description
410 pages ; 22 cm
Audience
Ages 12 and up.
Grades 7-9.
ISBN
9780593326183
0593326180
Main Author
R. Eric Thomas (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

This lyrical, contemplative novel follows Linus and Harrison, two queer Black best friends so in tune they can communicate without words. They attend different high schools in Baltimore and hang out among the statues at a beautiful old hillside cemetery. Linus gets caught up in history. Harrison loves musical theater. When Linus reveals that he is moving to Charleston, South Carolina, Harrison creates a surprise for Linus modeled on Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Ferris Day begins with a train to Washington, DC, and a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Back in B'more, they attend Pride, connect with friends new and old at a public pool, and stumble onto a mysterious Tea Dance. Through the day, Linus and Harrison weigh how well they really know each other. They meditate on an uncertain future and face up to family issues. Music, poetry, humor, personal insecurities, and personal style are recurring themes. Ultimately, the two enlarge their worlds, break free of parental restrictions, and make one summer day gloriously their own. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Sixteen-year-old best friends Linus and Harrison spend an epic last day together pending imminent separation in Thomas's (Here for It, for adults) fresh YA debut. When Harrison's best friend Linus admits that he's moving away from their Baltimore hometown to South Carolina, Harrison concocts a "foolproof plan for lasting friendship" in time for their final day together. Despite laid-back Linus's desire for a "clean break," prone-to-theatrics Harrison, inspired by a viewing of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, surprises Linus with a day full of memorable experiences across Baltimore, all while avoiding their protective parents' watchful eyes. Their adventure hits many snags, including chases on public transportation, almost-sightings from family members, and unanticipated run-ins with new friends. But as their adventure draws to a close, bringing respective familial turmoil and complicated interpersonal feelings to the surface, the boys must confront their fears for the future, even if it means saying goodbye. Employing a charismatic cast, expert comedic timing, and moving prose, Thomas artfully composes a raucous and tenderhearted story of two queer Black boys discovering new truths about themselves in this loving commemoration of identity and friendship. Ages 12–up. Agent: Anna Sproul-Latimer, Neon Literary. (May) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When his best friend announces he is moving, Harrison gives him a send-off à la Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and as they do things they’ve been scared to do, they learn the scariest thing is saying goodbye to someone you love. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Propelled by his best friend's impending move out of state and inspired by Ferris Bueller's Day Off, sixteen-year-old Harrison plans a farewell through Baltimore that includes a road trip, their first Pride, and a rooftop dance party.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"Infused with all the joy of the best teen movies, Kings of B'more is sure to be a big hit." —BuzzFeed  Two Black queer best friends face their last day together with an epic journey through Baltimore in this magnetic YA debut by bestselling author of Here for It, R. Eric Thomas.With junior year starting in the fall, Harrison feels like he’s on the precipice of, well, everything. Standardized testing, college, and the terrifying unknowns and looming pressures of adulthood after that—it’s like the future wants to eat him alive. Which is why Harrison is grateful that he and his best friend, Linus, will face these things together. But at the end of a shift at their summer job, Linus invites Harrison to their special spot overlooking the city to deliver devastating news: He’s moving out of state at the end of the week. To keep from completely losing it—and partially inspired by a cheesy movie-night pick by his dad—Harrison plans a send-off à la Ferris Bueller’s Day Off that's worthy of his favorite person. If they won’t be having all the life-expanding experiences they thought they would, Harrison will squeeze them all into their last day together. They end up on a mini road trip, their first Pride, and a rooftop dance party, all while keeping their respective parents, who track them on a family location app, off their trail. Harrison and Linus make a pact to do all the things—big and small—they’ve been too scared to do. But nothing feels scarier than saying goodbye to someone you love. “Profoundly charming.”—Ryan Douglass, New York Times bestselling author of The Taking of Jake Livingston"Luminous."—Adib Khorram, award-winning author of Darius the Great Is Not Okay"Unapologetically beautiful and fiercely hilarious."—Julian Winters, award-winning author of Running With Lions