The B&N YA Podcast: Mariko Tamaki

Explore the stories behind the young adult books you love with the B&N YA Podcast. Join the editors of the B&N Blogs as they sit down with YA authors to talk about books, life, their teen years, their pop cultural obsessions, and how they came up with the stories that keep us up at night. Subscribe to listen in on fascinating new conversations every other week.

Today on the YA Podcast, our special guest is the celebrated graphic novel writer Mariko Tamaki, in to talk about her razor-sharp and groundbreaking new take on a DC comics character who has crossed over from villainous sidekick to fan-favorite antihero. Mariko Tamaki is the Eisner Award and Caldecott Honor-winning author of celebrated graphic novels including Skim, This One Summer and Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me. With Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass, Tamaki offers a story of teen angst, fierce loyalty, and finding your voice. Bestselling author of The Hazel Wood and regular YA Podcast host Melissa Albert spoke with Tamaki on the phone to talk about the quest to give readers a Harley they’ve never seen before.

With just five dollars and a knapsack to her name, fifteen-year-old Harleen Quinzel is sent to live in Gotham City. She’s not worried, though—she’s battled a lot of hard situations as a kid, and knows her determination and outspokenness will carry her through life in the most dangerous city in the world. And when Gotham’s finest drag queen, Mama, takes her in, it seems like Harley has finally found a place to grow into her most “true true” with new best friend Ivy at Gotham High.

But when Mama’s drag cabaret becomes the next victim in the wave of gentrification that’s taking over the neighborhood, Harley gets mad. She decides to turn her anger into action and is faced with two choices: join activist Ivy, who’s campaigning to make the neighborhood a better place to live, or join her anarchist friend Joker, who plans to take down Gotham one corporation at a time.

From Eisner Award and Caldecott Honor-winning author Mariko Tamaki and Eisner Award-nominated artist Steve Pugh comes a coming-of-age story about choices, consequences, and how a weird kid from Gotham goes about defining her world for herself.

Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass is on shelves now. 

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