An exciting teen coming-of-age epic from author Samuel Teer and debut graphic novel artist Mar Julia, Brownstone is a vivid, sweeping, ultimately hopeful story about navigating your heritage even when you feel like you don’t quite fit in.
Almudena has always wondered about the dad she never met.
Now, with her white mother headed on a once-in-a-lifetime trip without her, she’s left alone with her Guatemalan father for an entire summer. Xavier seems happy to see her, but he expects her to live in (and help fix up) his old, broken-down brownstone. And all along, she must navigate the language barrier of his rapid-fire Spanish—which she doesn’t speak.
As Almudena tries to adjust to this new reality, she gets to know the residents of Xavier’s Latin American neighborhood. Each member of the community has their own joys and heartbreaks as well as their own strong opinions on how this young Latina should talk, dress, and behave. Some can’t understand why she doesn’t know where she comes from. Others think she’s “not brown enough” to fit in.
But time is running out for Almudena and Xavier to get to know each other, and the key to their connection may ultimately lie in bringing all these different elements together. Fixing a broken building is one thing, but turning these stubborn individuals into a found family might take more than this one summer.
Samuel Teer is the author of Brownstone and Veda: Assembly Required. Raised outside of St. Louis, Missouri, he lives in Aurora, Colorado.
Mar Julia lives on unceded Piscataway land that makes up Baltimore, Maryland. Previous comics credits include the Lumberjanes and Adventure Time series. Brownstone is their debut full-length graphic novel.
“Brownstone's superb storytelling, charming characters, and dynamic illustrations work together to form a beautiful and heartfelt coming-of-age tale that lovingly captures both the difficulties and joys of growing up mixed-race.” — Rose Bousamra, Eisner Award–winning illustrator of Frizzy
“Brownstone will pry, patch, and repaint your heartstrings. This is a gorgeous story about a father and daughter crossing culture and language for each other. A vibrant comic about renovating a home, a family, and a heart.” — Sara Alfageeh, Harvey Award–winning cocreator of Squire
“Richly illustrated and full of heart, Brownstone engages in important topics such as gentrification, cultural heritage, and the importance of community. It challenges and empowers its readers to dream of possibility in our own communities. A must-have in every home, library, and classroom.” — Cathy G. Johnson, Ignatz Award–winning creator of The Breakaways
"The characters felt real and complex, and even though the things they want don't always align neatly, they find ways to fit together and learn from each other. Brownstone is a super sweet story about muddling along, making an effort, pushing through the awkwardness, and letting things be messy and uncomfortable until they're not anymore." — Molly Brooks, author of Sanity & Tallulah