Kobabe at SPX 2022
Scholastic’s graphic novel imprint Graphix will publish the next graphic novel by Gender Queer creator Maia Kobabe. The graphic novel will address some of the same topics as Gender Queer, but in a fictional story appropriate for middle-grade readers.

Kobabe spoke about the book during a panel at Small Press Expo in September 2022, before the publishing deal was struck. “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. It's about a kiddo who is in junior high, 11 when the book starts, 12 by the end of the book, and gets their period and there's the first sex ed classes and some friendship stuff and dating and peer pressure and coming of age and all those good things from the morass that is junior high.”

Gender Queer, which was published in 2019, is one of Oni’s top selling titles. It was the most challenged book of 2021, according to the American Library Association (see “‘Gender Queer’ Was the Most Frequently Challenged Book of 2021”) and is likely to top that list again for 2022. In April, a Virginia politician attempted to have the book declared obscene, but that attempt was declared unconstitutional (see “‘Gender Queer’ Case”).

Oni Press went through major staff reductions in 2022 (see “A Smaller Oni Lion Forge Carries On”), and announced a new CEO in December (see “Hunter Gorinson to Take the Reins at Oni Lion Forge”).

Kobabe is working with Lucky Srikumar on the middle-grade graphic novel, which will be titled Saachi’s Stories, according to Publishers Weekly, which reported that Graphix acquired the story in an auction that ran to six figures. Publication is scheduled for Spring 2025.

The story follows an aspiring author who is navigating the changes that come with middle school, including watching friends pair up and not fitting into the boy/girl gender binary.