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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Birthday

Birthday

A Novel

Meredith Russo

Flatiron Books

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Two best friends. A shared birthday. Six years...

ERIC: There was the day we were born. There was the minute Morgan and I decided we were best friends for life. The years where we stuck by each other’s side—as Morgan’s mom died, as he moved across town, as I joined the football team, as my parents started fighting. But sometimes I worry that Morgan and I won’t be best friends forever. That there’ll be a day, a minute, a second, where it all falls apart and there’s no turning back the clock.

MORGAN: I know that every birthday should feel like a new beginning, but I’m trapped in this mixed-up body, in this wrong life, in Nowheresville, Tennessee, on repeat. With a dad who cares about his football team more than me, a mom I miss more than anything, and a best friend who can never know my biggest secret. Maybe one day I’ll be ready to become the person I am inside. To become her. To tell the world. To tell Eric. But when?

Six years of birthdays reveal Eric and Morgan’s destiny as they come together, drift apart, fall in love, and discover who they’re meant to be—and if they’re meant to be together. From the award-winning author of If I Was Your Girl, Meredith Russo, comes a heart-wrenching and universal story of identity, first love, and fate.

“Beautifully written, Birthday is an altogether singular contribution to the gradually growing body of transgender literature and, indeed, to mainstream literature, as well.” —ALA Booklist, starred review

MORGAN


I’m holding my breath, hovering between wavering sunlight and deep, dark blue, arms twirling while my feet kick up and down, slow as tides. I’m not ready to go back up; too much waits for me above the surface....

Praise for Birthday

“Beautifully written, Birthday is an altogether singular contribution to the gradually growing body of transgender literature and, indeed, to mainstream literature, as well.” —ALA Booklist, starred review

“Stonewall Award winner Russo (If I Was Your Girl) tackles teen love, heartbreak, sexuality, and gender identity in this novel told over the course of six years through the alternating voices of transgender girl Morgan and cisgender boy Eric, two childhood best friends who share the same birthday. A realistic picture of the challenges that teens may face when finding themselves and falling in love.” —Publishers Weekly

“Stonewall Award winner Russo captures the intense longing of two teens who feel trapped in their small town…the slow-burn romance is affirming and worth the wait. An emotional, winning touchdown.” —Kirkus Reviews

Birthday is a luminous and profoundly moving coming-of-age story of love, family, friendship, destiny, and the struggle to live as one’s truest self. It will break your heart, piece it back together even stronger, and do it again and again until the last page.” —Jeff Zentner, author of Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee

“Both heartbreaking and heartwarming, this book is a celebration of friendship, life, and enduring love between two teens.” —Mason Deaver, author of I Wish You All the Best

“I couldn’t put it down. Birthday broke my heart and made me tear up, but it was also so triumphant. This book will save lives.” —Camryn… More…

“Beautifully written, Birthday is an altogether singular contribution to the gradually growing body of transgender literature and, indeed, to mainstream literature, as well.” —ALA Booklist, starred review

“Stonewall Award winner Russo (If I Was Your Girl) tackles teen love, heartbreak, sexuality, and gender identity in this novel told over the course of six years through the alternating voices of transgender girl Morgan and cisgender boy Eric, two childhood best friends who share the same birthday. A realistic picture of the challenges that teens may face when finding themselves and falling in love.” —Publishers Weekly

“Stonewall Award winner Russo captures the intense longing of two teens who feel trapped in their small town…the slow-burn romance is affirming and worth the wait. An emotional, winning touchdown.” —Kirkus Reviews

Birthday is a luminous and profoundly moving coming-of-age story of love, family, friendship, destiny, and the struggle to live as one’s truest self. It will break your heart, piece it back together even stronger, and do it again and again until the last page.” —Jeff Zentner, author of Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee

“Both heartbreaking and heartwarming, this book is a celebration of friendship, life, and enduring love between two teens.” —Mason Deaver, author of I Wish You All the Best

“I couldn’t put it down. Birthday broke my heart and made me tear up, but it was also so triumphant. This book will save lives.” —Camryn Garrett, author of Full Disclosure

Praise for If I Was Your Girl

ALA Stonewall Book Award Winner
We Need Diverse Books’ Walter Dean Myers Award Honor Book
Goodreads Choice Award Finalist
iBooks YA Novel of the Year
Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
Kirkus Best Book of the Year
Lambda Literary Award Finalist
Amazon Best Book of the Year
Barnes & Noble Best Book of the Year
New York Public Library Best Book of the Year
Chicago Public Library “Best of the Best”
Zoella Book Club Pick
Bustle Best YA Book of the Year
ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults List
YALSA Top 10 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers
YALSA Teens’ Top 10 Pick
ABA IndieNext Top 10 Pick
“One of the 50 Books Every Modern Teenager Should Read” —Flavorwire

“A necessary, universal story about feeling different.” —Kirkus, starred review

“An illuminating debut guided by hope and overwhelming kindness.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

”Everything a coming-of-age novel should be.” —SLJ, Popular Pick

“Will change minds and open hearts.” —Nina LaCour, Printz Award-winning author of We Are Okay

“This book is exactly what YA is for: to break ground, to break hearts, to teach us empathy, to find the universal in the specific. I loved every word.” —Julie Buxbaum, author of Tell Me Three Things

Read this wonderful book. Just read it.” —Jennifer Niven, author of All the Bright Places

“If there's any justice in the world, we’re all witnessing a YA powerhouse in the making.” —Forever YA

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Reviews from Goodreads

Meredith Russo

MEREDITH RUSSO was born, raised, and lives in Tennessee. She started living as her true self in late 2013 and never looked back. If I Was Your Girl was partially inspired by her experiences as a trans woman. Like Amanda, Meredith is a gigantic nerd who spends a lot of her time obsessing over video games and Star Wars.

image of Meredith Russoo
Anthony Travis

Meredith Russo

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