Although Maia Kobabe is both the most banned author in America, and the Comics Industry’s Co-Person of the year, e have also found time to work on a new graphic novel about exploring gender.
According to Publishers Weekly, Saachi’s Stories will be published in Spring 2025 by Scholastic’s Graphix imprint. Kobabe will write and artist Lucky Srikumar will co-write the book, which is described as a coming of age middle-grade graphic novel about “aspiring author Saachi, who struggles to navigate changing social dynamics and her evolving identity, as her friends start coupling up and everybody else seems to fit neatly into a boy/girl binary.”
Srikumar’s work can be found on Patreon and Instagram.
The book was acquired in a six figure auction by editor David Levithan and agented by Emily Mitchell at Wernick & Pratt, and e ‘grammed about the news.
“The whirlwind continues: I sold my second book, SAACHI’S STORIES, due out from @graphixbooks in 2025! I co-wrote this book with my wonderful, smart, hot, funny, talented friend Lucky Srikumar. You can find them on instagram @diamoric.comix and @luckswats. We’ve both been working on this book since mid 2020, and I am so excited to finally tell you about it, and share it with the world in a couple years! This book is fiction, and it’s aimed at a younger audience than Gender Queer but it is once again about a character wrestling with gender, identity, and sexuality, this time in the crucible of junior high. I will probably post updates and progress reports on my patreon over the course of the next year– our final art deadline is January 2024! Thank you for all the support, and I hope you love this new book when it comes out. ✍️✨”
Kobabe is best known, of course, for Gender Queer, eir first graphic novel, published by Oni/Lion Forge, an autobiographical tale of Kobabe’s own gender journey to being non-binary. (Kobabe uses e/em/eir pronouns.) Over the last few years the book has become both an inspirational book for people looking to understand their gender, and a lightning rod for controversy, being removed from shelves in school lubraries and, increasingly, public libraries over purported “obscenity.”
Kobabe spoke about eir next book on eir spotlight panel at SPX, as reported by Brigid Alverson.
“It was written mostly based on feedback I received when Gender Queer first came out,” Kobabe said, “from parents who would say, I read this and it was so useful, but my gender non-conforming child is like, 12, or 10, or 8, or 6, a little too young for this book. A lot of parents asked me, ‘Would you ever make an all-ages version of Gender Queer,’ and I was like, I don’t want to abridge my memoirs, but I could write a new book that hopefully is addressing what you’re asking me, which is, ‘I want a book about gender identity and sexuality, but that’s appropriate for a younger reader.’ So that’s what inspired me to want to work on the book.”
Despite the controversy over Gender Queer, the book has never been marketed as a children’s book, although it won an Alex Award from the ALA, which recognizes “books published for adults that hold crossover appeal for readers aged 12 to 18.”