75 pages 2 hours read

Akwaeke Emezi


Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2019

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  • Genre: Fiction; young adult fantasy/speculative fiction
  • Originally Published: 2019
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 820L; grades 7-10
  • Structure/Length: 12 chapters and epilogue; approx. 208 pages; approx. 5 hours, 33 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Jam, a 15-year-old Black transgender girl, lives in a utopian town where all the evils of the world—known as monsters—have been eliminated. However, when a creature named Pet emerges from one of her mother’s paintings, Jam learns that monsters come in many forms.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Sexual and physical abuse of a child, violence

Akwaeke Emezi, Author

  • Bio: Born in 1987 in Umuahia, Nigeria; began writing stories at age five; moved to the US at age 16; earned MPA in international public policy from New York University; identifies as non-binary transgender and uses they/them/their pronouns; received a Global Arts Fund grant (2017) for their video art; their novel Freshwater is being adapted as a TV series; was honored as one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35”
  • Other Works: Freshwater (2018); The Death of Vivek Oji (2020); You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty (2022); Bitter (2022)
  • Awards: Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa (2017); National Book Award for Young People’s Literature (finalist; 2019); The Otherwise Award (2019); Ilube Nommo Award (2021); Stonewall Book Award for Nonfiction (2022)