Title: You’re Welcome, Universe (2017)
Author: Whitney Gardner
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.
Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.
Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.
Read an excerpt…
Six stencils in and it’s gone. Okay, the tag vanished by Stencil Number Two, but I have a point to prove. I’m not covering up your scribbled slur with just anything. I’m making art here. I’m creating. I’m on fire.
I’ve never thrown up such an intense piece—I was worried I wouldn’t be able to pull it off in time. My arm flies across the wall, pink paint striping across the last stencil. It looks like it’s going to work out. I chuckle to myself. This is what it’s all been for, the hours of paint-pen practice, filling up every inch of every sketchbook with tags and words and pictures. All my hard work has paid off, and it’s all up here on the wall.
I know I shouldn’t be tagging the school. I know that. But I wasn’t the first, and that mess had to go. Jordyn told the principal that someone tagged the gym, she had to. The vandal singled her out, and word gets around real quick at Kingston School for the Deaf. But three weeks went by, and “Jordyns a SLUT” was still there on the back of the gym for all to see. And good ole Principal Howard hadn’t done a damn thing.
Have you read this book yet? 💗✨