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You're Welcome, Universe

af Whitney Gardner

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2511280,778 (3.88)4
A vibrant, edgy, fresh new YA voice for fans of More Happy Than Notand Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda,packed with interior graffiti. 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. Told with wit and grit by debut author Whitney Gardner, who also provides gorgeous interior illustrations of Julia's graffiti tags, You're Welcome, Universe introduces audiences to a one-of-a-kind protagonist who is unabashedly herself no matter what life throws in her way.… (mere)
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After getting kicked out of her all deaf high school, Julia ends up in a tagging war with another grafitti artist. Julia's plans are to just be invisible and practice her art. Invisibility is hard when there is someone in class signing every word spoken. She reluctantly makes friends with a "hearie" who learns to sign and speak to her. Both girls have issues, but if they can figure out what real friendship means to them, together they would make a good pair. I really liked this book and it's focus on street art and female friendships.

The writing was so descriptive. "I spot a red leaf here and there, pilot lights to the season." (p. 8)
And my favorite "librarianish" quote: "I want to tell her you don't read anything on Google itself, but whatever." (p. 182) ( )
  readingbeader | Oct 29, 2020 |
I read this book through the lens of considering myself part of a street-art community, through the admittedly non-permanent medium of yarn-bombing. I appreciated the detail and nuance that went into the protagonist, Julia, assembling supplies, preparing stencils, and applying her art.

One area where I struggled to connect with the main character's viewpoint was that when another artist modified her piece, she considered it in terms of being "shown up," of the other artist declaring "war" on her. Another character, YP, even asks Julia, "Why does it have to be war?"

You're Welcome, Universe was a 2018 recipient of the Schneider Family Book Award, which honors an author or illustrator "for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience." I've long followed this award, as a person on the autism spectrum. The emphasis on art made this book, in particular, one that I especially wanted to read. ( )
  Cynthia_Parkhill | Nov 24, 2018 |
Very interesting and different book told from the perspective of a deaf graffiti artist called "here" who in real life is a 17 year old student called Julia. The book begins with Julia being expelled from deaf school for painting over a piece of graffiti that calls her best friend " a slut". It turns out that her friend is actually the one that dobs her in - basically to save her own skin. Julia must try to then do her final year at a "normal" hearing school where she knows no-one and has the added stigma of a sign interpreter with her for nearly every class. She has also been banned by her lesbian parents from doing ANY art at all, but when a vacancy pops up in an advanced class she takes it.
The only girl who befriends Julia is YP (short for Yoga Pants that she wears all the time - in fact we only learn her real name towards the end of the book) who tries to learn sign and encourage Julia to be "Here" again. But when Julia does a tiny piece of art near the school, someone sprays a skeleton over her original design. Has she stepped on someone else's turf? Is this a graffiti war? Who is it? The cute boy at her part time job, the school bully, her art teacher ? Who is constantly changing her art?
For older readers due to illegal activity, swearing ...esp the F word and casual reference to having sex with an ex-boyfriend. BUT it is so engaging, different and the illustrations inside really help you understand what is happening. There is a weird bit where apparently YP and Here spring Banksy (of all people) doing so art and chase him...I think the author could have left this bit out....but apart from that it is great book about friendship and trust. Highly recommended for older readers. PS It also puts you very squarely in the shoes of a deaf person. ( )
  nicsreads | Aug 6, 2018 |
This was a bit of a lit down for me. I LOVED that we get to see a Deaf main character who's a woman of color (Julia's Indian American). I loved the inclusion of street art culture and the artwork that's included in the novel. I loved seeing Julia's experiences as a Deaf person and her love for Dead culture. Unfortunately, I didn't like much else about Julia - I actually found her to be pretty unlikable and I didn't relate to her her throughout the story. None of the other character were particularly compelling either, and as a character driven reader this was more of a personal issue that other's won't necessarily have a problem with. I just had too many small grips that compounded and left me wanting more. ( )
  LifeofaLiteraryNerd | Apr 27, 2018 |
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A vibrant, edgy, fresh new YA voice for fans of More Happy Than Notand Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda,packed with interior graffiti. 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. Told with wit and grit by debut author Whitney Gardner, who also provides gorgeous interior illustrations of Julia's graffiti tags, You're Welcome, Universe introduces audiences to a one-of-a-kind protagonist who is unabashedly herself no matter what life throws in her way.

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