Constellations (2023)


Are you supposed to be a boy or a girl?

It’s a question that follows Claire everywhere. Inescapable on the street, in school, and even at home. A black hole forever trying to pull them in. But as long as they have ride-or-die best friend Greg at their side and a drink in their hand, everything will be okay. Right?

Except, Claire can never have just one drink. And when harassment at school reaches a fever pitch, Claire begins a spiral that ends in court-ordered rehab. Feeling completely lost, Claire is soon surrounded by a group of new friends and, with the help of a patient counselor, finds a space to unpack all the bad they’ve experienced. But as Claire’s release gets closer so does the question: Can Claire stay sober and true in a world seemingly never made for them?

Set in 1980s Troy, New York, Constellations is a portrait of a queer teen living in the margins but determined to find their way ahead. Done in watercolor and ink, debut author-artist Kate Glasheen has created a world where strong lines meet soft color, and raw emotions meet deep thought in this story of hope, humor, and survival.

From: Penguin Random House

Notes on This Title

The main character of this title is a queer teen who was raised Catholic. Their experiences with alcoholism are shown. Though this character never states a gender identity on panel, they conclude: “Am I a girl or a boy? I still don’t know. I’m neither. I’m both.”

A physically abusive parent-child relationship is depicted, an authority figure is shown sexually harassing a child, and there are multiple sequences where homophobic language and transphobic language are used.




Starred Review: ” This solo debut—a fictionalized, somewhat autobiographical accounting, as indicated in an author’s note—explores its protagonist’s struggles to be a part of their family and community while learning to accept themself, potently reflecting on themes of addiction, healing, and identity.” (Source: Publishers Weekly)

“Anyone who wants to understand more about addiction/substance abuse should read Constellations.” (Source: Geek Girl Authority)



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