Happy, happy book birthday today to one of my new favorite books – You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner. I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of this book, and I devoured it. It’s so incredibly good; beautifully written and illustrated, thoughtfully plotted, and executed to perfection.
So go out right now and pick up a copy of your very own!
But first, Whitney stopped by the blog today for a fun and quick flash Q&A to celebrate the release of You’re Welcome, Universe. Be sure to keep reading for more details about the book!
Sour gummies by the pound.
Pen or pencil?
Pen for writing, pencil for drawing.
Art project & you can only use one color: what color would it be?
Beach or the mountains?
First ASL sign/word you learned?
Name 5 things that are always on your desk/in your writing/creating space?
Pens, Post-it notes, the current project notebook, coffee mugs, eraser dust.
We’re at a coffee shop: what are you drinking?
Dirty chai, iced.
Favorite piece of clothing?
Book you’d like to read “for the first time” again?
Still Life With Woodpecker, by Tom Robbins
If you could put your artwork anywhere in the world: where would it be?
In true You’re Welcome, Universe fashion, I snuck up a piece of my own art onto a wall at the MoMA 9 years ago. I’ll take that small victory.
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.
Whitney Gardner is an author, illustrator, and coffee addict. Originally from New York, she studied design and worked as an art teacher and school librarian before moving to Portland, Oregon, where she lives by a bridge with her husband and two pugs. In the rare moment Whitney isn’t writing or drawing, she’s likely to be reading comics, knitting, and tending her garden or apiary. YOU’RE WELCOME, UNIVERSE, her debut novel, has been selected as an American Booksellers Association Indies Introduce Pick. Visit her at heywhitney.com.