Juvenile Fiction / People & Places / United States / Hispanic & Latino
Juvenile Fiction / Social Issues / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Carlos Gomez knows all about not fitting in. As a member of the only Mexican American family in town, he’s used to being the odd one out. A lisp, a penchant for girl glamor, and being picked on by the class bully don’t help, either. But now there’s a talent show coming up, and Carlos is performing with the BMX stunt team. He’s ready to wow the crowd with his special, freestyling flair. What could possibly go wrong?
Carlos Gomez is a gender-nonconforming Latinx kid with a lisp in seemingly all-white, straight-laced Sioux Falls, South Dakota. While he’s bullied at school and his family experiences micro-aggressions in the community, Carlos retains a hopeful spirit and strong desire to find his own style. When a community talent show leads Carlos to team up with new kid RJ to showcase BMX skills, Carlos just might find the opportunity to reveal his colorful and spectacular true self. The story is semi-autobiographical, with creator Chuck Gonzales describing it as “the Hollywoodized version of my childhood I wished for.” The artwork is colorful and expressive with fun chapter title pages that exhibit the main character’s own art on unique media, like envelopes and notebook paper. This is a story about a supportive family, a community that can change, and a boy who proclaims his pride.
--2021 VLA Graphic Novel Diversity Honor