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The Black Flamingo

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781444948608

Price: £8.99

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“Intensely moving and heart-warming” Cosmo
“Bold” Guardian
“I loved every word” Malorie Blackman

This is not about being ready, it’s not even about being fierce, or fearless, IT’S ABOUT BEING FREE.

Michael waits in the stage wings, wearing a pink wig, pink fluffy coat and black heels.

One more step will see him illuminated by spotlight.

He has been on a journey of bravery to get here, and he is almost ready to show himself to the world in bold colours …

Can he emerge as The Black Flamingo?


*The paperback edition has beautiful gold foil added to the striking cover design*


A deeply moving story of love, self belief and identity. It is a wonderfully honest and moving read - perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo and Sarah Crossan. told through beautifully constructed poetry, this is the coming of age story of Michael, a mixed race gay teen. Readers will be completely absorbed by Michael's personal journey, and will laugh, cry and cheer for him
The Scotsman
A novel told in beautifully-written verse...an uplifting coming of age story
The Independent
This book felt both quiet and ferociously loud and proud at the same time, tackling deep emotions and giving me frequent goosebumps. It tackles toxic masculinity, internalised homophobia and racism with thought-provoking, phenomenal writing that utterly entranced me
Suffolk Libraries
Beautiful...a delight to read, whatever your age
The Independent
The Black Flamingo is a celebration of complex layered identity...It leaves room for messiness, mistakes, and the strange meandering coincidences of life as we watch Michael grow up, exploring the facets of his identity and celebrating the intersections between them. It handles a lot of topics and nuance in a way that keeps the underlying messiness while reaching for something healthier and more whole with every page. There's a lot of growth in the secondary characters as well, even minor characters learn and change in meaningful and obvious ways by the time the story is over. I loved reading this and highly recommend it.
Reviews That Burn
Uplifting and dazzlingly unique
A moving coming-of-age story, written with heart and panache
Irish Independent
The Black Flamingo is the book I wish I had when I was younger ... joyful, emotional and full of depth
Travis Alabanza, performance artist and poet
Paperback Princess
A powerful and revealing young adult novel...bold, tender and full of blossoming moments of heartache and joy
A very modern masterpiece
The Guyliner
One of our top reads this year
Just Imagine
A masterful, evocative, imperative snapshot of our time - who we are today, and everything we could be, if we gave ourselves a try...Emotionally, there are plenty of gut punches, but there's also warmth, wisdom, and hope
Justin Myers, The Strategist UK
Clever and unique
Book Clubs In Schools
Big hearted and dizzyingly flamboyant
An intimate contemporary verse novel that explores identity and belonging...Michael's journey to embracing his identity as The Black Flamingo is long and often painful, but ultimately triumphant.
Happy Golden Kim blog
Celebratory and passionate, Atta's bold verse novel calls to its readers to find their own blazing, performative inner truth
The Guardian
A force to be reckoned with, and a voice that demands to be heard
PRIDE magazine
Beautiful, sharp, bold and utterly original
Book Riot
An important, necessary and hopeful book that should be enjoyed by readers of all ages
An excellent book to spark discussions, break down barriers, open peoples eyes to other lives.
Independent Book Reviews
A classic in the making
Bookworms Anonymous Blog
A gorgeous story
Lisa Talks About...blog
Beautiful and eloquent
The Book Duchesses blog
I so amazed by the sheer beauty of this...this is one of the most brutal and honest reads I have come across. On each page you can feel the heart poured onto it, can feel the emotion bleeding from each page, and share in the vulnerability...This has to be the most powerful and beautiful book I have read
Babbles n Books blog
The Black Flamingo is all about being free in our minds and our bodies, not conforming to gender rules of society and finding our place in the world. The pages layout is stunning, with a lot of drawings and different shapes. To read this book is to enter Michael's life, from his birth to his rebirth, his struggles, his questionings. The writing style took my breath away multiple times and made me shiver at the end. I L O V E D I T.
The Bookish Garden blog
This book is inspiring and uplifting and inclusive and raw and...well, a masterpiece. Please, everyone, go out and read it. As one of the best books I've read this year, I can tell you that you won't be disappointed, trust me.
Novel Ideas Blog
I cried with joy
The Hungry Reader blog
Ultimately inspiring
Irish Times
The Black Flamingo is a powerful and emotional coming of age story...Dean Atta has written a beautiful coming of age story that teens and young adults desperately need. The Black Flamingo has opened my eyes and broadened my understanding with it's bold and powerful story telling.
Library Looter blog
Emotive, strong and powerful
Lost In Literature blog
A fierce, poetic, moving coming-of-age story...There's plenty of fabulous, rousing scenes to inspire, amuse and move. Lyrical, direct, honest and witty, The Black Flamingo is a breath-taking exploration of race, identity, sexuality and gender
Pen & inc.
The heartwarming coming-of-age YA novel
Studded with poetry and illustrations, The Black Flamingo shows us what life can look like when we begin to live in bold color.
I adore this book...The world needs to know more about Michael. We need books like this to spread acceptance, inclusivity, diversity. This gorgeous book has just smashed my heart and made me fall so deeply in love with it.
A Little Haze Book Blog
Every inch of it is full of heart and power and joy
Did You Ever Stop To Think blog
If you're going to read one verse novel this year, this decade, or in your life, make it this one. You won't regret it.
Vee Bookish Blog
The Black Flamingo is a must-read for everybody...The Black Flamingo is a beautifully written, poignant story that deserves to be experienced by all
Unapologetically Kelly blog
This book really does have it all...This book is a wonderful celebration of being Black, being queer and doing Drag.
The Books Are Everywhere
Dean Atta's tender coming of age novel casts a fresh and enriching perspective on what it means to be seen as different at the level of race, culture, identity, heritage and gender ... an important book for young people
Malika Booker, Poet
This incredibly raw debut novel excellently captures internal struggles of growing up and learning to find your voice. Written in verse, this is one that is sure to make you shed a tear.
A beautifully written coming-of-age story...I cried, I laughed, and overall, it's a really empowering book.
Anniek's Library blog
Beautiful...I cannot praise this book enough, please read it I'm sure you will love it
Reviews By Rhiannon
Beautifully constructed poetry
Scottish Booktrust
I absolutely loved this book...written so beautifully
Books For All 245
Absolutely fantastic
Kalafudra's Stuff
A gorgeous and moving first person exploration of sexuality, poetry, blackness and love...a nuanced piece of freeform verse that oozes with warmth, insight and forgiveness...a beautiful piece of work, filled with love and insight and words I would have longed to read as a teenager/20-something and still to hear them again as an adult
The Queer Review
An emotive read
The Teacher Bookworm blog
Beautifully written
The School of English
A bold and joyous hymn to self-discovery and acceptance
The Bookseller
An excellent book to spark discussions, break down barriers, open peoples eyes to other lives
Independent Book Review
Books Let Us Escape
One of poetry's greatest modern voices...The Black Flamingo is a powerful coming-of-age story about finding who you are, all told in beautifully-written verse...with an overarching message of embracing who you are and showing your true colours in the world that often imposes mundanity, it's a book that anyone can appreciate
Gay Times
The short lines give Michael's story an epigrammatic quality and an urgent pace that is deeply involving. A compact hardback edition, it has been beautifully produced by Hodder
Financial Times
Readers won't be left disappointed
The Queerness
A beautiful, real story told with grit...Dean Atta has a fresh narrative voice and he is a gifted poet. I'd definitely recommend this read.
A Take From Two Cities