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The Black Flamingo

By: Dean Atta
Narrated by: Dean Atta
Length: 3 hrs and 49 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (45 ratings)

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Summary

Fiercely told, this is a powerful coming-of-age story told in verse, from one of the UK's leading poets, Dean Atta. 

Perfect for fans of Sarah Crossan and Poet X.  

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.  

'I masquerade in makeup and feathers and I am applauded.' 

©2019 Dean Atta (P)2019 Hodder Children’s Books

Critic reviews

"A bold and joyous hymn to self-discovery and acceptance." (The Bookseller)

What listeners say about The Black Flamingo

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I'm sad it's over!

I've just now finished this wonderful audiobook and I already miss it! I'm genuinely sad it's over. This was my first book by Dean Atta, but it won't be my last. It was also my first verse novel (I think that's what he called it in the acknowledgments? My apologies if I got it wrong.) and I really enjoyed the format! You can tell Atta's first love is poetry. It lend the whole book something beautifully unique that I loved coming back to. (I feel like I should say something more profound, but I have nothing.) An easy recommendation for everyone!

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essential middle grade/ya literature

Dean Atta's poetry clarifies beautifully what it is to be Black and Queer and illustrates the joys and freedoms of drag. Love.

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Uplifting and illuminating LGBTQ tale

Uplifting and illuminating coming-of-age LGBTQ tale. It's a genre I don't tend to gravitate towards, so when I do read stories of gay teens I usually find something revealing that makes me appreciate the experience of those whose lives are different from my own - it's certainly vital to be taken outside your comfort zone and see the world through the eyes and experiences of others. And Michael is rather a joy to share a few hours with. From his early years loving his Barbie and kissing other boys innocently at parties, to the first crushes and adolescent yearnings, to University and sexual experiences, we are taken through an adolescence of a young gay man who knows who and what he is and is seeking his future path and identity, the same as any teenager. With family and friends, with relationships that fail or falter, with access to his internal monologue, it's a personal voyage with a young man you really want to succeed in life, to find love and acceptance. I was reminded of 'Everybody's Talking about Jamie' at times, the musical theatre production, for the uplifting moments, the gradual move the protagonist makes towards his likely path. I loved the fact that the author narrated this for Audible, his voice really brought Michael to life. The audiobook kept me listening, even when I needed to stop for other things, I just wanted to stay with the story and find out what was next for Michael. Readers will enjoy listening to this as well as following on paper. I learnt a lot about the experience of a gay teen, and Michael has the added element of being Cypriot-Jamaican as well, which was mentioned in the story. The University scenes reminded me of my own first days as a Fresher, the ending pitched just right for a warming conclusion. A great choice for secondary school libraries and classrooms, an honest portrayal with heart. For ages 13 and above. With thanks to Nudge Books for providing a sample Audible copy.

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  • Ru
  • 27-04-20

Beautifully written and narrated

I'll be getting the book to enjoy the illustrations. I'm excited for more by Dean Atta

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Phenomenal

One of my all time favourites for sure. Everything about this story was so endearing, so beautiful.

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  • Sinder
  • 08-06-20

so good

such a powerful and magical story. everyone needs to read this one, as it's so eye opening!