Dalia's life has been too much like a rollercoaster recently: Her dad is remarrying; she needs a new best friend; and she's dealing with her first ever crush. A road trip with her soon-to-be stepsister gives her the chance to ride rollercoasters for the first time ever, and Dalia realizes this trip may just help sort everything out. This tender coming-of-age story is perfect for middle schoolers.
In this unabashedly queer middle grade debut, a week-long amusement park road trip becomes a true roller coaster of emotion when Dalia realizes she has more-than-friend feelings for her new bestie.
"Dalia’s journey to self-discovery is refreshingly honest, and this entire cast of characters will steal your heart.” – Maulik Pancholy, actor and Stonewall Honor-winning author of The Best At It
Would-be amusement park aficionado Dalia only has two items on her summer bucket list: (1) finally ride a roller coaster and (2) figure out how to make a new best friend. But when her dad suddenly announces that he's engaged, Dalia's schemes come to a screeching halt. With Dalia's future stepsister Alexa heading back to college soon, the grown-ups want the girls to spend the last weeks of summer bonding--meaning Alexa has to cancel the amusement park road trip she's been planning for months. Luckily Dalia comes up with a new plan: If she joins Alexa on her trip and brings Rani, the new girl from her swim team, along maybe she can have the perfect summer after all. But what starts out as a week of funnel cakes and Lazy River rides goes off the rails when Dalia discovers that Alexa's girlfriend is joining the trip. And keeping Alexa's secret makes Dalia realize one of her own: She might have more-than-friend feelings for Rani.
About the Author
Jake Maia Arlow is a podcast producer, writer, and bagel connoisseur. She studied evolutionary biology and creative writing (not as different as you might think) at Barnard College. She has lived in various places, but can always be found with an iced coffee.
“Almost Flying is a thrilling celebration of all the twists and turns, breathtaking jumps and heart-pounding falls of a first crush. Dalia’s journey to self-discovery is refreshingly honest, and this entire cast of characters will steal your heart. Every middle schooler will want to take this ride.” – Maulik Pancholy, actor and Stonewall Honor-winning author of The Best At It
“Fierce and tender all at once, Almost Flying is a soaring roller coaster ride of a book that stole my breath with every heartwarming twist and each empowering turn.” –Ashley Herring Blake, Stonewall Honor-winning author of Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World
“A story about the messiness of family, the confusion and awkwardness of a first crush, and the bonds that can only exist between older and younger queer teens. This charming debut had my heart soaring.” –Nicole Melleby, author of Hurricane Season and In the Role of Brie Hutchens…
“A delightfully queer-positive and engrossing road trip story.” –Booklist
“While this book contains many elements that are widely relatable, the storyline around exploring sexuality is especially resonant… A heartwarming, queer-affirming story.” –Kirkus
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