The trade paperback edition of the highly buzzed about YA debut from Mark Oshiro, Anger Is a Gift follows a boy from Oakland as he falls in love amidst the chaos of modern America.
*31st Annual Lammy Finalist for LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult category*
*2019 ALA Schneider Family Book Award Teen Winner*
*Buzzfeed's 24 Best YA Books of 2018*
*Vulture's 38 Best LGBTQ YA Novels*
*Book Riot's Best Books 2018*
*Hyable's Most Anticipated Queer YA Books of 2018*
*The Mary Sue's 18 Books You Should Read in 2018*
Moss Jeffries is many thingsconsiderate student, devoted son, loyal friend and affectionate boyfriend, enthusiastic nerd.
But sometimes Moss still wishes he could be someone elsesomeone without panic attacks, someone whose father was still alive, someone who hadn’t become a rallying point for a community because of one horrible night.
And most of all, he wishes he didn’t feel so stuck.
Moss can’t even escape at schoolhe and his friends are subject to the lack of funds and crumbling infrastructure at West Oakland High, as well as constant intimidation by the resource officer stationed in their halls. That was even before the new regulationsit seems sometimes that the students are treated more like criminals.
Something will have to changebut who will listen to a group of teens?
When tensions hit a fever pitch and tragedy strikes again, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift.
About the Author
MARK OSHIRO is the Hugo-nominated writer of the online Mark Does Stuff universe (Mark Reads and Mark Watches), where they analyze book and TV series. They were the nonfiction editor of Queers Destroy Science Fiction! and the co-editor of Speculative Fiction 2015, and are the President of the Con or Bust Board of Directors. When not writing/recording reviews or editing, Oshiro engages in social activism online and offline. Anger Is a Gift is their acclaimed debut YA contemporary fiction novel.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I can't recommend this book enough. It touched my heart, gave me joy, made me cry, and connected me to the power of anger. It's a YA book, but don't let that restrict you if you don't fit the demographic. As an adult, I was overwhelmed with amazement by Anger Is a Gift.
This is an incredibly powerful novel about resilience in the face of adversity and loss. It is about community. It is about taking a stand against the system of oppression, even if it seems hopeless. This is an incredibly difficult read, but it is such an important read. The Bay Area, and Oakland especially, has a long history of activism and holding the police accountable yet there is a long documented history of police brutality there. This novel shines a light on what it is like to be a person of color in countless cities around the United States. Anger is a Gift follows sixteen year old Moss and his diverse group of friends at the start of their junior year at West Oakland High School - a dilapidated school that the system may as well have forgotten about. Peeling paint, missing ceiling tiles, not enough books to go around; funding having been restricted due to low test scores, a choice that has doomed the students to an endless cycle. Even the College Fair proves to reinforce the self-fulfilling prophesy these disenfranchised kids cannot achieve success and better their positionality. Juxtaposed against any of the other area high schools, the kids at West Oakland High have the deck stacked against them. This is a contemporary dystopian, except that this is currently happening across the country. It begins with random locker searches, but things quickly escalate. The kids decide to organize, to execute their first amendment rights. Reading the events unfold felt like reading the news; crippling to the injustices in the world and feeling almost powerless to stop it. And as we have become all too aware of, the media's role in shaping the narrative of public discourse helps to continue the system of disenfranchisement. I appreciated Esperanza's character a lot. She is Hispanic but having been adopted by well-off, well educated white parents in the posher neighborhood of Piedmont, circumstances that all afforded her privilege that she was not aware of. The journey that she takes, in witnessing the differing realities that she and her best friend Moss inhabit due to the circumstances of their homes firsthand was incredibly powerful for me, and added a layer of complexity to the narrative. She learns how to be a better ally, and as a result so did I. The novel was a bit slow to start, but I think that pacing was important as the reader gets to know the characters and the system of oppression that they live in. I came to care deeply for them, and that made the novel all the more powerful as the narrative progressed and things escalated. In addition to exploring issues of race, this novel also delves into gender and sexual identity with gay, nonbinary, queer, and trans characters. cw: police brutality, violence, death, loss of a parent, racial profiling, racism, religious intolerance This is a love poem to those activists that stand up for what is right and a rallying call to action for those on the sidelines. It also provides context on how to be an ally in a masterful manner. I recognize my privilege and my positionality in this society, and I'm not going to pretend I understand or can relate to POC's suffering to even the slightest degree. But I will stand by you, because I do understand that our justice system is UNjust and NEEDS to be transformed. I cannot recommend this book enough both to everyone. Thank you to NetGalley for providing me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.