How the Boogeyman Became a Poet

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SKU: 9780063296008 Categories: , , ,


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Poet, writer, and hip-hop educator Tony Keith Jr. makes his debut with a powerful YA memoir in verse, tracing his journey from being a closeted gay Black teen battling poverty, racism, and homophobia to becoming an openly gay first-generation college student who finds freedom in poetry. Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, George M. Johnson, and Jacqueline Woodson. Includes photos and handwritten poems.

I’m terrified that the Boogeyman is gonna hear
what I’ve been thinking about certain boys
and what happens to my heartbeat when I’m around some of them.

Tony dreams about life after high school, where his poetic voice can find freedom on the stage and page. But the Boogeyman has been following Tony since he was six years old. First, the Boogeyman was after his Blackness, but Tony has learned It knows more than that: Tony wants to be the first in his family to attend college, but there’s no path to follow. He also has feelings for boys, desires that don’t align with the script he thinks is set for him and his girlfriend, Blu.

Despite a supportive network of family and friends, Tony doesn’t breathe a word to anyone about his feelings. As he grapples with his sexuality and moves from high school to college, he struggles with loneliness while finding occasional solace in gay chat rooms and writing poetry. But how do you find your poetic voice when you are hiding the most important parts of yourself? And how do you escape the Boogeyman when it’s lurking inside you?

Additional information

Weight0.8 lbs
Dimensions8.3 × 5.5 in
Book Author

Date Published

February 6, 2024








Katherine Tegen Books

Year Published



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