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BOY AT THE WINDOW by Lauren Melissa Ellzey


by Lauren Melissa Ellzey

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-63679-092-3
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

When reality becomes too difficult to face, 16-year-old Daniel Kim escapes to Neverland.

In his daydreams, Daniel, who is White and Korean, is the confident leader of the Lost Boys who spends his days seeking treasure and battling Captain Hook. There are no strict, distant parents in Neverland, no homophobic classmates, no pressure for him to be someone he isn’t. In real life, Daniel is a junior at Cranbrook Prep in Southern California, having transferred to the school for a fresh start following a suicide attempt over the summer. He no longer wishes to die but still responds to stressful situations by dissociating, a coping mechanism he developed during a traumatic experience that he refuses to tell his psychiatrist about. A year ago, Daniel excelled at academics and athletics alike; now, he can’t stay awake long enough to finish a test. Joining the Cranbrook cross-country team gives Daniel a sense of the normality he craves and introduces him to Jiwon Yoon, a friendly, attractive, gay Korean American senior who understands what it’s like to hide a part of his identity. The portrayals of mental illness and trauma recovery are handled honestly and sensitively. There is no magical solution; instead, Daniel receives support through learning accommodations, grounding techniques, and assurance from Jiwon as he fights his anxiety and despair.

An ultimately uplifting story that does not shy away from the discomfort of reality.

(Fiction. 13-18)