Monstrous: A Transracial Adoption Story (2023)


Sarah has always struggled to fit in. Born in South Korea and adopted at birth by a white couple, she grows up in a rural community with few Asian neighbors. People whisper in the supermarket. Classmates bully her. She has trouble containing her anger in these moments—but through it all, she has her art. She’s always been a compulsive drawer, and when she discovers anime, her hobby becomes an obsession.

Though drawing and cosplay offer her an escape, she still struggles to connect with others. And in high school, the bullies are louder and meaner. Sarah’s bubbling rage is threatening to burst.

From: Macmillan Publishers

Notes on This Title

This is a memoir by a queer, Korean American adoptee. It depicts their struggles with anxiety and issues with anger. The author uses they/them pronouns in their bio, and the text describes feelings of transness.

There is frequent use of homophobic, transphobic, racist, and ableist language. One character suggests that another should kill themself, and acts of homophobic violence are discussed.


Kirkus Reviews - Best Books of 2023 // Young Adult
2024 Eisner Award for Best Publication for Teens - Nominee


“Immersive and engrossing: a beautifully depicted emotional journey.” (Source: Kirkus Reviews)

“Those wrestling with feelings of disconnect from their communities will find validation in this confessional read.” (Source: Publishers Weekly)

“I highly recommend Monstrous: A Transracial Adoption Story for readers of all ages. We all have a monster within us, but as Sarah shows us in their story, the best way to fight the monster is with love for each other, and most importantly, ourselves.” (Source: School Library Journal)



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