I KNOW I'M NOT GAY. Gay boys like other boys. I hate boys. They’re mean, and scary, and they’re always destroying something or saying something dumb or both. I hate that word. Gay. It makes me feel . . . unsafe.

It's the summer between middle school and high school, and Aiden Navarro is away at camp. Everyone's going through changes―but for Aiden, the stakes feel higher. As he navigates friendships, deals with bullies, and spends time with Elias (a boy he can't stop thinking about), he finds himself on a path of self-discovery and acceptance.

Award-winning author and artist Mike Curato draws on his own experiences in Flamer, his debut graphic novel, telling a difficult story with humor, compassion, and love. Recommended reading age 14+ or with adult guidance.

"This is a story that will be read and reread, and for some, it will be the defining book of their adolescence." Kirkus starred review

"Masterfully nuanced and stunningly told, this is visual storytelling at its finest." 

Booklist starred review

"An essential book that shows readers that they are never alone in their struggles."
School Library Journal starred review 


"Both heartbreaking and joyous, Flamer 

acknowledges the brutal weight of hatred, yet inspires the courage to live."

Shelf Awareness starred review

"...emotionally powerful, proudly and extravagantly spiritual..."
Horn Book starred review

"Emotional and raw" Publishers Weekly

Best Books of 2020


2021 Golden Kite Award Honor
Illustrated Book for Older Readers

Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators

Best Graphic YA Books of 2020

Kirkus Reviews

Best Graphic Novels of 2020

School Library Journal


Fanfare 2020 Booklist

The Horn Book 

Best Books for Teens 2020

New York Public Library

Best Teen Graphic Novels and Manga of 2020

Chicago Public Library

Project Lit Book Club Selection 2020-2021

Project Lit

2021 Maverick Graphic Novels Reading List

Texas Library Association

The Best Books for Young Readers of 2020

U Penn Graduate School of Education

The 2020 Nerdies: Graphic Novels

Nerdy Book Club

2021 Great Graphic Novels for Teens

Young Adult Library Services Association

2021 Rainbow Book List

Rainbow Round Table, American Library Association

2021 Choices Reading List

Cooperative Children's Book Center

'Flamer' Offers Real Hope — Not Just Rainbows — To Queer Kids NPR


A gay teen discovers himself at summer camp in this Flamer first look the AV Club

Flamer: A Conversation with Mike Curato

7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Panel Mania: Flamer by Mike Curato

Publishers Weekly

Writing Queer Comics for Teens

Talks at Google

Writing and Illustrating Graphic Novels for Teens/Adults featuring Mike Curato, Kiku Hughes, Jo Rioux, and MT Anderson

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and Macmillan 

Virtual Book Tour: Mike Curato on Flamer

The TeachingBooks Blog

Artist Mike Curato Shares Personal Journey in Graphic Novel Debut

Balitang America

More To Come 433: Mike Curato Interview

Publishers Weekly

Mike Curato - Flamer

Matthew C Winner

Shelfcare Podcast Graphic Novel Interview

Mike Curato is the author and illustrator of books for children. 

© 2021 by Mike Curato.