May/June 2021 Kids Indie Next List
— Rebecca Waesch, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH
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Return to the beloved world of Julie Murphy’s #1 New York Times bestselling Dumplin’—now a popular Netflix feature film starring Jennifer Aniston—in this fabulously joyful, final companion novel about drag, prom, and embracing your inner Queen.
Waylon Russell Brewer is a fat, openly gay boy stuck in the small West Texas town of Clover City. His plan is to bide his time until he can graduate, move to Austin with his twin sister, Clementine, and finally go Full Waylon so that he can live his Julie-the-hills-are-alive-with-the-sound-of-music-Andrews truth.
So when Clementine deviates from their master plan right after Waylon gets dumped, he throws caution to the wind and creates an audition tape for his favorite TV drag show, Fiercest of Them All. What he doesn’t count on is the tape getting accidentally shared with the entire school. . . . As a result, Waylon is nominated for prom queen as a joke. Clem’s girlfriend, Hannah Perez, also receives a joke nomination for prom king.
Waylon and Hannah decide there’s only one thing to do: run—and leave high school with a bang. A very glittery bang. Along the way, Waylon discovers that there is a lot more to running for prom court than campaign posters and plastic crowns, especially when he has to spend so much time with the very cute and infuriating prom king nominee Tucker Watson.
Waylon will need to learn that the best plan for tomorrow is living for today . . . especially with the help of some fellow queens. . . .
Praise For Pumpkin (Dumplin')…
“With her signature blend of humor, sensitivity, and panache, Murphy has crafted a sensational narrative that is bursting with life and is anything but a drag….Murphy's best-selling Dumplin' series grows bigger and better with every installment, and this book will quickly rule the YA realm.” — ALA Booklist (starred review)
“An aspiring drag queen grows to embrace his body and individuality in this winning YA contemporary novel." — Shelf Awareness (starred review)
“Murphy is at it again with a third return to Clover City and the Dumplin’ universe. Tackling heavy topics with humor, this novel touches on the importance of staying true to yourself even (and especially) when it’s hard. A must-purchase for fans of Murphy’s previous books, a good prom story, and RuPaul’s Drag Race.” — School Library Journal
"[This] novel is full of inspiration, fabulousness, and romance, and readers will be enthralled as they race to learn what happens to Pumpkin and his friends… Enticing as homemade pumpkin pie. Bon appétit!”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Waylon’s combination of self-confidence and self-defense is utterly believable… the stirrings of romance with Tucker are delicious and the plot overall is huggably cheesy, leaving readers cheering for Waylon, his Clover City cohort, and any kids taking a chance to be their full selves right now.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“This third story set in Clover City, Texas, features a genuine and unbreakable sibling bond; a strong romantic connection; and a cast of well-developed supporting characters, including guest appearances from Willowdean and Callie and Millie. Like those protagonists, Waylon learns to love who he is and refuses to settle for anyone who doesn’t…. It’s easy to cheer for Waylon—who eventually triumphs both as himself and as Pumpkin—in this celebration of individuality and self-expression.” — Horn Book Magazine
Praise for PUDDIN’: “Murphy’s plot brims with unlikely friendships, irresistible romance, fabulous fat acceptance, and a kick-ass ending. Buoying.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“This companion to the very popular Dumplin’ introduces more memorable characters for whom readers can’t help but cheer.” — School Library Journal
“Murphy’s energetic writing style makes for compulsive readability.”
— ALA Booklist
“Texans and non-Texans alike will appreciate getting to know two strong-minded Lone Star girls.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Julie Murphy has created the platonic love story of a lifetime. I am wildly in love with Puddin’.”
— Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Leah on the Offbeat and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Praise for DUMPLIN’: “Will’s singular voice compels readers to think about all that goes into building-and destroying-self-esteem...Splendid”
— ALA Booklist (starred review)
Praise for DUMPLIN’: “Murphy...successfully makes every piece of the story—Dolly Parton superfans, first love, best-friend problems, an unlikely group of pageant entrants, female solidarity, self-acceptance, and Willowdean’s complicated relationship with the mother...-count, weaving them together to create a harmonious, humorous, and thought-provoking whole.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“[A] richly enjoyable novel...a clever and funny book to please lovers of thoughtful romance and secret pageant fans.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Genuine, romantic, and with a dash of Texan charm, this is a novel that celebrates being who you are while also acknowledging that it’s incredibly difficult to do.”
— The Horn Book
Balzer + Bray, 9780062880451, 336pp.
Publication Date: May 25, 2021
About the Author
Julie Murphy lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cats who tolerate her. After several wonderful years in the library world, Julie now writes full-time. When she’s not writing or reliving her reference desk glory days, she can be found watching made-for-TV movies, hunting for the perfect slice of cheese pizza, and planning her next great travel adventure. She is also the author of the young adult novels Dumplin’ (now a film on Netflix), Puddin’, Ramona Blue, and Side Effects May Vary. You can visit Julie at www.juliemurphywrites.com.