Akashic Books, 2015

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CHANGERS Book Two: Oryon

Changers Book Two: Oryon in the four-part Changers Series for young adults finds our hero Ethan/Drew on the eve of her second metamorphosis—into Oryon, a skinny African American skater boy with more swagger than he knows what to do with. Enter a mess of trouble from the Changers Council, the closed-minded Abiders, the Radical Changers (RaChas), and his best friend Audrey—at least she was his best friend when Oryon was Drew—and now, it’s complicated.

But that’s life (and life, and life, and life) for Changers, an ancient race of humans who must live out each year of high school as a completely different person. Before next summer, Oryon will learn what it means to be truly loved, scared spitless, and at the center of a burgeoning national culture war. Most of all, he will learn again how much the eyes of the world try to shape you into what they see—and how only when you resist do you clearly begin to see yourself.

The New York Times Style Section on CHANGERS

"Oryon's winning and witty narrative voice is consistently engaging... Oryon is African-American, and much of what he observes is about race... Raises thought-provoking questions."

Kirkus Reviews

“This is more than just a ‘message’ book about how we all need to be more understanding of each other. The imaginative premise is wrapped around a moving story about gender, identity, friendship, bravery, rebellion vs. conformity, and thinking outside the box.”

School Library Journal

“Changers should appeal to a broad demographic. Teenagers, after all, are the world’s leading experts on trying on, and then promptly discarding, new identities.”

The New York Times Book Review

“A thought-provoking exploration of identity, gender, and sexuality . . . an excellent read for any teens questioning their sense of self or gender.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A probe into effects of gender, race and body image on the formation of identity.... As marketable as it is topical, catnip to curiosity seekers and to the marginalized communities that often get short shrift in other young adult fiction."

The New York Times Styles

"A perfect read for a young adult: warm and humorous without being superficial or saccharine, engaging real issues of teenage life with ease and natural grace, and offering an element of fantasy accurately reflecting the wonder and terror of growing up."

Knoxville News Sentinel

Links

The New York Times Styles on CHANGERS
Feature on the Authors in The Guardian
Bringing Empathy Back (Scholastic)
The Authors on Identity in The Guardian
Publisher's Changers page
Interview with the Authors (PW)
Authors Who Give Back (John Green)

Videos

Change is at hand

EXCERPT From "The Changers Bible":

CHANGERS EMBLEM. A variation on Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man drawing, dating to approximately 1490 CE (Figure 1).The Changers Emblem contains four bodies superimposed in motion, instead of two (as portrayed in da Vinci’s composition), and appears to the eye as both four bodies and one body at the same time—though all sharing one head and heart. An emblem of the Changer mantra: In the many we are one.

FIG. 1. CHANGERS EMBLEM