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Beau, Lee, The Bomb & Me



"When Beau transferred to our school. I thought: Good; fresh meat. Because I knew he would be tormented the entire time he was at Baboon High. Like I am. All day…every day."


Meet Rusty, a junior at Baboon High, school year 2012-13. She's questioning everything and sure of nothing- except the fact you're doing it wrong.



In high school, there are few worse crimes than being smart or fat. So of course, Rusty's both. But when Beau blows into town, it takes the tools at their lame-ass Seattle school about two minutes to figure out he’s gay, and of course that makes him an even larger target. Have you ever heard the saying: ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’?

There’s something to that.



"Mary McKinley’s writing convincingly captures the unique pathos of teenage angst in her misanthrope and outcast characters... I'd say like John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces--” — Charles R. Cross, Heavier Than Heaven

"A warm, funny, bitterly wise portrayal of the impulsivity and vulnerability of adolescence. You can feel the love in Mary McKinley's storytelling--her love for her wounded, resilient, fiercely alive characters, and their love for one another. If you've been one of the "weird" kids, if you've felt like nothing and everything all at once, if best-friendship is your medicine and snark is your armor, you'll get it." -Lindy West, GQ


"McKinley has some excellent moments.  The message of the book is awesome, truly... at its best it’s great. Reading this as a gay person ... if this book inspires even one teen to be more empathetic to their classmates, then I... count it as a major success.


I liked this book. I would buy it for someone. I’d definitely read another book by Mary McKinley."

"You should be proud. You've written (another) beautiful book."
-Bob Nelson, Nebraska, The Confirmation



"McKinley's TV writing and sketch comedy background show in her smart dialogue, and her debut reads like a love letter to the geography of the Northwest. She quickly develops these three outsider characters, exploring how friendships can be forged through common suffering and the role that complacency plays in perpetuating bullying. McKinley puts forth positive messages about being true to oneself and avoiding judging others."

-Publishers Weekly


"...the issues of bullying and gay rights are timely... for those hoping to flesh out their LGBTQ or bullying selections as well as hardcore Oz-philes."

Emma Carbone, Brooklyn Public Library



"...snappy narration... complexity, realism and AIDS history...this love letter to the West Coast and to the victims and survivors of the gay American AIDS crisis..."

-Kirkus Review, 10/1/14 


"Mary McKinley’s debut novel offers a unique point of view that most young adult authors shy away from...  You will find yourself wanting to take flight on an ill-informed adventure, and gather your own misfits..."

-Lambda Literary


"BLTB&M is a novel for everyone who has ever felt so angry they didn't think they even wanted to be here or so alone that they wondered- what is the point?

The day when you will escape is coming soon. You will choose your own life. Your day is near and when it arrives EVERYTHING will change.

Don't give up. It's closer than you think."

-Mary McKinley


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