It’s Spotlight Time!
All month long we’re going to be chatting with a few of the awesome authors
behind the middle grade anthology:
THIS IS OUR RAINBOW
A boyband fandom becomes a conduit to coming out. A former bully becomes a first-kiss prospect. One nonbinary kid searches for an inclusive athletic community after quitting gymnastics. Another nonbinary kid, who happens to be a pirate, makes a wish that comes true–but not how they thought it would. A tween girl navigates a crush on her friend’s mom. A young witch turns herself into a puppy to win over a new neighbor. A trans girl empowers her online bestie to come out.
From wind-breathing dragons to first crushes, This Is Our Rainbow features story after story of joyful, proud LGBTQIA+ representation. You will fall in love with this insightful, poignant anthology of queer fantasy, historical, and contemporary stories from authors including: Eric Bell, Lisa Jenn Bigelow, Ashley Herring Blake, Lisa Bunker, Alex Gino, Justina Ireland, Shing Yin Khor, Katherine Locke, Mariama J. Lockington, Nicole Melleby, Marieke Nijkamp, Claribel A. Ortega, Mark Oshiro, Molly Knox Ostertag, Aisa Salazar, and AJ Sass.
Today we have a guest post from one of the contributing authors, Lisa Bunker!
This is Lisa. Everyone say, “Hi, Lisa!”
The Author Visits Her Twelve-Year-Old Self in a Dream
by Lisa Bunker
—Hello, young one. It is strange to see you. Strange, but good.
—Who are you?
—I’m not sure I should say.
—And what are you doing in my dream?
—I’m not sure. Maybe I’m dreaming too.
—Well, you interrupted me. I was figuring out how to skim above the ground by keeping my feet lifted during a step.
—I remember that dream!
—What do you mean? Have you had the same dream?
—The exact same dream. It’s time for me to tell you who I am.
—How can that be? You’re an old lady.
—I’m you from the future.
—And I’m a boy.
—Are you sure about that?
—Of course I’m sure.
—Then why have you worn your hair so long since you were seven?
—I don’t know. I’m being a hippie, I guess.
—The question makes you uncomfortable, I know. I also know that you get teased by the other kids at school. They say all mean, “You look like a girl!” It’s a lot of trouble for a random idea about being a hippie. Are you sure it’s not something else?
—I don’t know. I just feel like it, I guess.
—I remember now. Mommy made it clear so firmly and so early that there was no room, no way for me to be me, so I taught myself to stop thinking the thoughts. But I still knew. People would say, “You look like a girl,” and deep inside my silent answer was, “Duh, I am a girl.”
— It’s only a dream, it’s only a dream.
—Sweetheart, I’m sorry I disturbed you. You are still so young. And you love your mother and you need her love, and she said no. Honey, don’t cry. It’s OK.
—Really? I’m a girl? Really?
—Yes, really. But listen, dear one, you don’t have to do anything about it right now if it scares you too much. Because it would be hard. The world isn’t ready for you, sadly. So, you have a choice.
—The choice to remember this dream, or to forget it. It’s a hard choice, but either way it’s going to be OK. You are strong. You will survive.
—Listen: I remember, because I’m you, that when you were younger, you dreamed you could fly.
—And then it changed to skimming, and then after a while the flying dreams stopped. But just the other day, I dreamed I was standing on a hillside, and I thought, this is stupid, of course I can fly, and I took off like a rocket. I shot hundreds of feet into the air. I had no fear, and I could fly as high and far and fast as I wanted.
—Really? That sounds cool. —Sweetheart, I have to go. You can remember, or forget for a while longer, whichever you need. You have no easy choices, but you are strong and you will survive. Happy skimming, as long as it lasts. I love you.
That was so lovely. Thank you so much for joining us, Lisa!
(Lisa Bunker works full time as a writer. Her first novel, Felix Yz, about a boy fused with an alien, was published by Viking in June 2017. Her second novel, Zenobia July, about a trans girl getting to live as a girl for the first time in a new family and school, came out, also from Viking, in Spring 2019. She lives in Exeter, New Hampshire with her wife, Dawn Huebner, a child psychologist and author in her own right. Between them they have three grown children. Since 2018 Lisa has served her town in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. She is also an online entrepreneur: in July 2021 she founded Crucinova, an indie subscription service dedicated to championing innovation in crossword puzzle construction.)
Kick-butt Kidlit friends, make sure you check out THIS IS OUR RAINBOW!
It hits shelves on October 19th!
Click here to enter to win a copy of THIS IS OUR RAINBOW!
Contest ends Friday, October 29th at 11:59 pm EST
(There will be more opportunities to enter the giveaway with each spotlight post
so keep entering the draw!)
Thanks for reading!
The next KBKL Spotlight on This Is Our Rainbow post features: Mariama J. Lockington!
Don’t forget to check out our previous posts featuring: