On this episode of Everything is Canon, Steve talks to Mark Oshiro all about their new book, their first middle grade in fact, The Insiders which is described as “Three kids who don’t belong. A room that shouldn’t exist. A year that will change everything. Perfect for fans of Rebecca Stead and Meg Medina, this debut middle grade novel from award-winning author Mark Oshiro is a hopeful and heartfelt coming-of-age story for anyone who’s ever felt like they didn’t fit in.”
Here’s the summary…
San Francisco and Orangevale may be in the same state, but for Héctor Muñoz, they might as well be a million miles apart. Back home, being gay didn’t mean feeling different. At Héctor’s new school, he couldn’t feel more alone.
Most days, Héctor just wishes he could disappear. And he does. Right into the janitor’s closet. (Yes, he sees the irony.) But one day, when the door closes behind him, Héctor discovers he’s stumbled into a room that shouldn’t be possible. A room that connects him with two new friends from different corners of the country—and opens the door to a life-changing year full of friendship, adventure, and just a little bit of magic.
This is about as good as it gets for middle grade in our opinion with little to bullshit, strong character work, and important messaging, all coming together in this wonderful story about friendship, family, and coming of age.
Steve and Mark talk about many, many things including their shared love of music, learning to write the hard way, a decent amount of Star Wars, The Insiders of course, and much, much more.
The Insiders is out now, click HERE to order a copy today!
Cover art by Helder Oliveira.
And don’t forget, September is National Hispanic Heritage Month, click HERE to see a list of Hispanic/Latine authors you can support!
About the Author:
MARK OSHIRO is the queer Latinx, Hugo-nominated writer of the online Mark Does Stuff universe (Mark Reads and Mark Watches), where they analyzed books and TV series. They were the nonfiction editor of Queers Destroy Science Fiction! and the co-editor of Speculative Fiction 2015, and is the President of the Con or Bust Board of Directors. When not writing/recording reviews or editing, Oshiro engages in social activism online and offline. They are the award-winning author of the young adult books ANGER IS A GIFT (2019 Schneider Family Book Award) and EACH OF US A DESERT, both with Tor Teen.