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Goth Girl, Queen of the Universe

Awards and Honors:

Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Title

Ippy Silver Medal - Best First Book, Juv/YA

Kirkus starred review

Publisher's Weekly Starred Review

Friends of American Writers-
Young People's Literature Award

A 2022 Best Book of the Year - Bank Street College of Education Children's Book Committee

Moonbeam Bronze Medal - Best Young Adult Fiction

2024-2025 Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Nominee, Committee of the Maryland Association of School Librarians

Bounced between foster homes since the age of seven, Jessica knows better than to set down roots. Most of the kids at her new Michigan high school think she’s a witch anyway (because, you know, goth). The only one who gives her the time of day is geeky Oscar, who wants to recruit her fashion skills for his amateur cosplay group. But Jess is fine showing off her looks to her Insta fans—until a woman claiming to be her biological mother barges into her DMs.

Jess was claimed by the state when her bio mom’s mental illness made her unstable. While their relationship is far from traditional, blood ties are hard to break. There’s only one problem: Jess can’t reunite with her mom in New York City without a bunch of paperwork and she worries her social worker will never approve the trip. That’s when she remembers Oscar’s cosplay group, who are aiming for that big convention in New York…

So Jess joins Oscar’s team—with every intention of using them to get to her mom. But her plan gets complicated when she discovers that, actually, cosplay is pretty great, and so is having friends. And Oscar, who Jess thought was just a shy nerd, can be as gallant and charming as the heroes he pretends to be. As the big convention draws near, Jess will have to decide whether or not chasing a dream of “family” is worth risking the family she’s built for herself.

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