THE MUSIC OF WHAT HAPPENS
Max: Chill. Sports. Video games. Gay and not a big deal, not to him, not to his mom, not to his buddies. And a secret: An encounter with an older kid that makes it hard to breathe, one that he doesn’t want to think about, ever.
Jordan: The opposite of chill. Poetry. His “wives” and the Chandler Mall. Never been kissed and searching for Mr. Right, who probably won’t like him anyway. And a secret: A spiraling out of control mother, and the knowledge that he’s the only one who can keep the family from falling apart.
Throw in a rickety, 1980s-era food truck called Coq Au Vinny. Add in prickly pears, cloud eggs, and a murky idea of what’s considered locally sourced and organic. Place it all in Mesa, Arizona, in June, where the temp regularly hits 114. And top it off with a touch of undeniable chemistry between utter opposites.
Over the course of one summer, two boys will have to face their biggest fears and decide what they’re willing to risk — to get the thing they want the most.
Kudos for THE MUSIC OF WHAT HAPPENS
- Starred review from Booklist: “In this ambitious novel, Konigsberg demonstrates once again why he is one of the major voices in LGBTQ literature.”
- Starred review from School Library Journal. “Give to fans of Benjamin Alire Saenz’s Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak. A first purchase for public and high school libraries.”
- “The result is a story with imperfect characters who are, refreshingly, called out on problematic behaviors and aim to do better. A fresh addition to the menu of queer teenage love stories.” — Kirkus Reviews
- “Konigsberg explores how conventional ideas about masculinity trap young men into believing they must act a certain way…. A fun, romantic, and moving novel.” — Publishers Weekly
- “Readers seeking an unusually thoughtful gay-positive romance will find this moving.” — BCCB
- “This book offers an interesting perspective on growing up and coming-of-age by crafting two main characters who offer unique points of view for an often underserved audience. This is a much-needed book in every high school library.” — School Library Connection
- “With The Music of What Happens, Bill Konigsberg serves up a profound examination of masculinity, consent, and relationships through the eyes of two of the most endearing narrators I’ve ever read. Jordan and Max are vulnerable, sweet, funny, and flawed. Teens, whether they identify as LGBTQIA+ or not, are lucky to have this book in their lives.” — Shaun David Hutchinson, author of We Are the Ants
- “The Music of What Happens is a compelling, laugh-out-loud story, as swoon-worthy as it is deeply affecting. Max and Jordan grabbed hold of my heart from the moment I met them and I don’t see them letting go any time soon. Konigsberg has a way of making me see the world–and food trucks!–a little differently.” — David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Mosquitoland and The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik
- “Bill Konigsberg has a way of creating characters that could be your next door neighbor, your best friend, or that cute boy who once helped you change a flat tire. Max and Jordan will find their way into your heart, and after the last page, you’ll regret that they aren’t real. Once you start reading The Music of What Happens, you won’t be able to stop.” — Brigid Kemmerer, author of Letters to the Lost
THE PORCUPINE OF TRUTH
Start in Billings, Montana
Carson Smith isn’t thrilled to spend the summer with his estranged dad. But then he meets Aisha Stinson, the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen. And the smartest. And the funniest. They connect like he never has with anyone …
Also she’s a lesbian. So there’s that.
Turn left at the missing grandpa
Carson’s dad is still bitter about the disappearance of his dad more than thirty years earlier. When Carson and Aisha discover a box of recent cards from his grandfather, they realize the old man is still out there somewhere.
What are two bored teenagers in the middle of nowhere to do?
Proceed for 1,293 miles across the country
So Carson and Aisha being a journey with no destination, to find a man who wanted to be lost, in an unreliable Dodge Neon, with one very prickly mascot. And what comes next is an extraordinary, enlightening, hilarious, inspiring, complete and utter mindblower of a road trip that will transform both their lives.
You have arrived at
The Porcupine of Truth.
Kudos for THE PORCUPINE OF TRUTH
- 2016 Stonewall Book Award – Young Adult
- 2016 PEN Center USA Literary Award – Young Adult/Children’s
- YALSA’s 2016 Best Fiction for Young Adults
- Booklist Best of 2015
- New York Public Library Best Book for Teens 2015
- Teenreads Favorites of 2015
- 2016 Rainbow List
- Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Choices 2016 List
- Summer 2015 Kids’ Indie Next List
- Starred reviews from Booklist and School Library Journal
What reviewers are saying about THE PORCUPINE OF TRUTH:
“Quirky, hilarious, sad, and ultimately tender. The world could use more tenderness and more books like this one. Words like ‘Brilliant’ are so overused when praising novels–so I won’t use that word. I’ll just think it.” – Benjamin Alire Saenz, award-winning author of ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE.
“Bill Konigsberg’s THE PORCUPINE OF TRUTH is at once heartwarming and heartbreaking, a funny and thought-provoking road trip with remarkable friends Carson and Aisha, who share tough lessons about mending fractures, forging bonds, and discovering grace. Undeniably human and unforgettably wise, this book is a gift for us all.” — Andrew Smith, award-winning author of GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE and 100 SIDEWAYS MILES.
“Konigsberg weaves together a masterful tale of uncovering the past, finding wisdom, and accepting others as well as oneself.” – School Library Journal (Starred Review)
“Konigsberg crafts fascinating, multidimensional teen and adult characters. A friendship between a straight boy and a lesbian is relatively rare in YA fiction and is, accordingly, exceedingly welcome. And that’s the truth.” – Booklist (Starred Review)
“Konigsberg eloquently explores matters of family, faith, and sexuality. … Bouts of humor leaven the characters’ intense anguish in a story that will leave readers thinking about inherited traits (whether an oddball sense of humor or a tendency to overdrink), the fuzzy lines between youth and adulthood, and the individual nature of faith.” – Publishers Weekly
“The story tackles questions about religion, family, and intimacy with depth and grace. … Equal parts funny and profound.” – Kirkus Reviews
Seamus Rafael Goldberg, aka Rafe, is tired. Tired of being “The gay kid” who plays soccer. “The gay kid” who hangs with Claire Olivia. So he decides to reinvent himself without the label. Because he’s more than just that. He goes to a new school, where he finds himself among the jock crowd, and he loves it. But what happens when he falls in love with Ben, who doesn’t know about Rafe’s past? Can he give up a part of who he is, and still be himself?
Kudos for Openly Straight…
- Sid Fleischman Award for Humor
- Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Finalist
- Lambda Literary Award Finalist
- Rave review in The New York Times!
- Starred Reviews from Booklist and The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
- YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2014
- YALSA Teens’ Top Ten nominee, 2014
- ALA’s Rainbow List
- Texas Library Association’s TAYSHAS List (Top Ten Title)
- CCBC (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, University of Wisconsin) Choices Best, 2014
- Best Books of the Year for Children and Young Adults, Children’s Book Committee of the Bank Street College of Education (Starred Title)
- Earphones Award for audio book performed by Pete Cross
- Notable Book for a Global Society Award – IRA Children’s Literature and Reading SIG
- Georgia Peach Award nominee
- North Carolina Young Adult Book Award nominee
- Capital Choices Noteworthy Books for Teens List
- Summer ’13 Kids’ Indie Next List
- Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
- Honorable Mention in the 2015 Joan F. Kaywell Books Save Lives Award
What people are saying about Openly Straight…
“An exceptionally intelligent, thought-provoking, coming-of-age novel about the labels people apply to us and that we, perversely, apply to ourselves. A sometimes painful story of self-discovery, it is also a beautifully written, absolutely captivating romance between two boys, Rafe and Ben, who are both wonderfully sympathetic characters. With its capacity to invite both thought and deeply felt emotion, Openly Straight is altogether one of the best gay-themed novels of the last ten years.” — Michael Cart, Booklist Starred Review
“Konigsberg’s lovely novel invites us to walk with Rafe through his season of assumed identity and his costly emergence into honesty. It’s beautiful. It’s a story of salvation.” — Jeff Chu, New York Times
“Openly Straight aims high and succeeds brilliantly. It’s
up-to-the-second contemporary, funny, unexpected, peppered with
terrific dialogue — and best of all, achingly honest.”
–Ned Vizzini, bestselling author of IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY, and THE OTHER NORMALS
“An original, thought-provoking, hilarious story about the importance
of embracing your true identity, and the cost to yourself and others
when you don’t.”
–Julie Anne Peters, award-winning author of LUNA and KEEPING YOU A SECRET
“Bill Konigsberg hands a great “high concept” to a really compelling
narrator and presents us with a terrific read. Openly Straight is
smart, funny and unflinching. Read this book.”
–Chris Crutcher, bestselling author of DEADLINE, WHALE TALK and PERIOD 8
“OPENLY STRAIGHT sports a sharp plot with a twist, sympathetic (and
totally hot) characters, and universal appeal. It’s a must-read for
–Lisa McMann, bestselling author of the WAKE Trilogy and the VISIONS Series
“A terrific new novel with a very contemporary take on coming out and
an age-old look at falling in love.”
— Brent Hartinger, award-winning author of GEOGRAPHY CLUB
“For anybody who ever wished they could be someone else (and who
hasn’t?), OPENLY STRAIGHT provides a fun and intriguing,
twisting-and-turning romp through sexuality, identity, friendship, and
— Alex Sanchez, award-winning author of RAINBOW BOYS
The companion to the award-winning Openly Straight, called “remarkable…deeply satisfying and as honest as its appealing protagonist” (Booklist). Perfect for fans of David Levithan, Andrew Smith, and John Green!Ben Carver is back to normal. He’s working steadily in his classes at the Natick School. He just got elected captain of the baseball team. He’s even won a full scholarship to college, if he can keep up his grades. All that foolishness with Rafe Goldberg the past semester is in the past.Except…There’s Hannah, the gorgeous girl from the neighboring school, who attracts him and distracts him. There’s his mother, whose quiet unhappiness Ben is noticing for the first time. School is harder, the pressure higher, the scholarship almost slipping away. And there’s Rafe, funny, kind, dating someone else . . . and maybe the real normal that Ben needs.
Kudos for Honestly Ben:
- ALA’s Rainbow List
- Starred Reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal
- Earphones Award for audio book narrated by Dan Bittner
- Teenreads’ Teen Choice Book Award Nominee
What people are saying about Honestly Ben…
* “Konigsberg has again done a remarkable job developing characters and inviting readers to consider the meaning of friendship with all its rewards and challenges. Extremely well written, this novel of ideas is deeply satisfying and as honest as its appealing protagonist.” — Booklist, starred review
* “Well-rounded characters take readers from serious, thoughtful discussions to typical teen pranks with ease . . . Equal parts serious and funny as it addresses homophobia, hazing rituals, and cheating while also delighting readers with a slice-of-life tale set at a private academy.” — School Library Journal, starred review
* “Konigsberg again realistically explores what happens when one’s self butts up against . . . the world’s expectations and assumptions . . . The result is a refreshingly honest exploration of modern relationships and an understanding that love can take many shapes and forms.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Honestly Ben is funny, complex, joyful, heartbreaking, and exceedingly wise all at once. A teenager with any question about the right way to live couldn’t ask for a better read.” — Geoff Herbach, author of Anything You Want and Stupid Fast
“It’s hard to write a good sequel, keeping what people loved about the first book, but adding something fresh and new. Not surprisingly, Bill Konigsberg pulls it off wonderfully in Honestly Ben.” — Brent Hartinger, author of Geography Club and Three Truths and a Lie
OUT OF THE POCKET
Special paperback re-release out now — featuring a foreword by LGBT ally and former NFL player Chris Kluwe, as well as two new chapters!
What if the star of the high school football team was gay? In the Lambda Literary Award-winning OUT OF THE POCKET, 17-year-old Bobby Framingham is struggling with a secret. One of the most talented players in his state, Bobby knows he is different from his teammates. But he so much doesn’t want to be. Can he be one of the boys while still being who he is? And how will the girl who thinks she’s dating him take to the news?
Kudos for Out of the Pocket…
- Lambda Literary Award Winner – 2009 Children’s/Young Adult
- ALA’s Rainbow List
- NYPL’s Stuff of the Teen Age List
- Fall ’08 Kids’ Indie Next List
What people are saying about Out of the Pocket…
“A thought-provoking, funny, and ultimately uplifting story of
self-actualization that masterfully defies stereotypes about both
coming out and team sports.”
–School Library Journal
“A thoughtful, powerful novel.”
“It’s tough enough completing your pass as the linebackers blitz, but
when your private life is also crashing in, the game is about
survival. A hard-hitting first novel about quarterbacking your life.”
– Robert Lipsyte, author of RAIDERS NIGHT
“How I rooted for Bobby, and all his imperfect, complicated,
– Catherine Gilbert Murdock, author of DAIRY QUEEN and THE OFF SEASON
“The best teen novel I’ve read in ages. This book seamlessly combines
two genres, the sports novel and the coming-out story, to tell of a
star high-school quarterback who’s coming to terms with being gay
while caught in a national spotlight. Konigsberg avoids all cliches
and instead fills his book with funny, fantastic, surprising
characters. He also makes each football game a riveting, high-stakes
–Mark David Bradshaw, Watermark Books