“Young teens gravitate to Rachel Gold’s novels with good reason: she gets them. It’s tough enough for inter-racial romance to survive. Even tougher for queer, gender-seeking 14-year olds. Good thing Gold’s wise and witty novels provide a safe haven. They should be required reading for all adults who parent and teach young teens.” — Penny Mickelbury author of The Mimi Patterson/Gianna Maglione Mysteries and Two Wings to Fly Away

Fourteen-year-old Kaz Adams just wants to read comic books and spend every day with Aisha Warren. And maybe get up the nerve to ask her out, if Kaz turns out to be a gender that Aisha’s into.

Kaz had always expected to be targeted for gender nonconformity, but loving Aisha opens Kaz’s eyes to the prevalence of racism in their town. Trouble is, none of the other white people are seeing it, even when Kaz points it out. By the time they reach sophomore year, Aisha is fighting on all fronts and their school system is crushing her.

Kaz’s gender expression was something the two of them could tackle together in private. The issues Aisha is up against are different and there’s no place they can hide. Kaz can’t magically undo centuries of systemic racism—but must find a way to change minds at school and among their friends before Kaz loses the sweetest, smartest, comic-book-reading girl in the world.

Read an excerpt!

Order from Bella Books, from Amazon or find a local, independent bookstore through IndieBound.

(See below for the books I read to research the novel and some recommended resources.)

What are people saying?

Maggie S. – So much accurate representation of various aspects of the LGBT community all in one book! Bravo to the author for clearly knowing what she was talking about.

R. SwierIn the Silences was one of the best YA books I have recently read. The information and messages contained within this book are important and should be in all school libraries/classrooms to be read and discussed. Highly recommended!

Lex Kent’s Reviews – In this book Gold takes on race, gender, and sexuality. Each time I read one of her books I walk away feeling like I learned something new which I always appreciate. This is one of those books that definitely messed with my emotions. I went from crying one minute, to being so mad I was steaming the next. And while some of this book was hard to read because you know it’s a fiction book based on facts, there was still plenty of uplifting moments. This is one of those YA books that should really be in school libraries but is also a book adults should read. Like I mentioned before I think Gold writes books that are important. She knows how to leave an impact on you while getting your mind working. That is the sign of a good book and a good author in my opinion.

Emma A. – A really well executed YA novel with depth and feeling that touches many diverse topics but manages to give a coherent and strong message to young people and adults alike. The characters are beautifully written, the plot interesting, the young romance sweet, the family dynamics amazingly well done. Read it! It’s more than well worth your time. Highly recommended.

Kade G. – I adore this author for correctly representing so many factors of the LGBT community. This is a fantastic YA read.

Resources & Reading

Currently this is a list of books I read and it will become an expanding list of resources over time.

  • Between the World and Me. Ta-Nehisi Coates.
  • Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do. Claude Steele.
  • So You Want to Talk About Race. Ijeoma Oluo.*
  • Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out. Ruth King.*
  • Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva.
  • The Way of Tenderness: Awakening through Race, Sexuality, and Gender. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel.*
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Robin J. DiAngelo.

* Author is also part of the LGBTQIA community.