I’m not a prepper. I’m not a survivalist. I’m a realist who plans to survive.
Bex is determined to survive, whatever the crisis, whatever it takes—she knows exactly what to pack, she can shoot any gun, and she’s got plans to drag her family to safety by force, if necessary. So she’s intrigued when she discovers Clearview, a group that takes survival just as seriously as she does. So what if some people think they’re wackos? There’s nothing crazy about being prepared.
But Bex isn’t prepared for meeting Lucy, who complicates all of her careful plans. As secrets at Clearview begin to mount and the pieces of Bex’s life become more difficult to juggle, Bex has to figure out where her loyalties really lie— and what it’ll really take to survive.
Download a Discussion Guide for Radical.
Honors and Awards:
2017 Wisconsin Library Association Outstanding Book
2017-18 Green Mountain Book Award Master List
2017 CCBC Choices
Finalist for the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for the Midwest Region
Praise for Radical:
“In this provocative novel, Kokie (Personal Effects) takes on the controversial subject of gun ownership in America. . . Kokie writes with nuanced sympathy, condemning the government’s heavy-handed tactics and Bex’s tunnel vision, contrasting her need for self-sufficiency with her desire to belong, and examining gender identity and sexual orientation. It’s a complex recipe of volatile ingredients that Kokie uses to deliver an unsettling story that’s both timely and necessary.” — Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
“Readers of all sexual orientations will relate to Bex’s intoxicated blend of nerves and anticipation regarding Lucy. . . Kokie takes her time developing characters and setting the plot in motion, creating a believable lesbian protagonist who wants to belong to a world that doesn’t particularly want her. A hard, cleareyed look at coming of age in a prejudiced world.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Swift pacing pulls the reader deep into multiple plot twists. . . . Kokie’s sympathetic and believably flawed heroine’s firstperson, presenttense narrative offers an intriguing portrait of a philosophy not often explored in teen fiction.” —Booklist
“This is a different kind of dystopia, where the threat to survival comes from an unexpected quarter, and the kickass girl has to save herself instead of a whole world. Give this to readers intrigued by the complex psychology of girls who don’t fit the traditional molds.”
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Readers are sure to be drawn in by Bex’s unusual perspective and her heartwrenching, timely story.” —Horn Book
Essays, Guest Posts & Interviews:
“Fringe Character,” Our Lives Magazine, September, 2016 (pdf page 12 of 36)
Release Day Interview at LGBTQreads.com
“All Happy Families Are Alike: E. M. Kokie talks family dynamics in YA” yainterrobang.com
“Hands-On Research & Getting Out of Your Character’s Way,” Cynsations
“Hands-On Research: How a Gun Shy Writer Pulled the Trigger For a Novel” at https://crimefictionbook.com/