Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 13 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
- Reading age: 12 to 18
Dante thinks high school is an earthly version of hell. She hates her new home in the suburbs, her best friend has moved away, her homeroom teacher mocks her and her mother is making her attend a social skills group for teenage girls. When a stranger shows up at school and hands Dante a flyer that reads: Woof, woof. You are not a dog. Why are you going to obedience school?, Dante thinks she's found a soul mate. Someone who understands. Someone else who wants to make real changes in the world. But there are all kinds of ways of bringing about change...and some are more dangerous than others.
About the author
Robin Stevenson is the award-winning author of more than 25 books for kids and teens, including the board book Pride Colors, the picture book Ghost’s Journey: A Refugee Story and the nonfiction books Kid Activists and Pride: The Celebration and the Struggle. The first edition of her nonfiction book Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community (2016) won a Stonewall Honor and was shortlisted for numerous other awards. Robin lives in Victoria, British Columbia, where she attends Pride celebrations with her family every year, but always leaves her dog safely at home.
- Short-listed, BC Book Prize - Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize nominee
- Commended, Rainbow List
- Commended, Resource Links "The Year's Best"
Excerpt: Inferno (by (author) Robin Stevenson)
Sitting at my desk is torture. I wonder what circle of hell this is and what I did to deserve it. Mr. Lawson drones on and on. I have restless legs. My knee bounces up and down like crazy, like there's too much energy inside me and stray sparks are shooting off everywhere, twitching my muscles. I feel bored and restless and impatient. I want something to happen.
"Stevenson's writing is sharp and her plot tidy and briskly paced, making for a quick, engaging read. Even her integration of the tough themes of relationship abuse and the alienation of queer teens is seamless—not to mention free of heavy-handed lessons."
Quill & Quire
"If you are a librarian serving teenagers, you should have this book in your collection. It seems so many good books about gay themes are about boys—this has a wonderful female lead. Dante is strong, smart, and has integrity."
Elisabeth Abarbanel, Librarian, Los Angeles
"[Stevenson] does a terrific job, capturing the impossibly large emotion and the power that propels teenage girls...This is skillful writing featuring a strong female protagonist. A good story well told."
"Stevenson creates a compelling portrait of autonomy vs. conformity...Dante's sexuality is refreshingly not a problem, just a fact of life. Readers will recognize themselves and many of their peers in Stevenson's complex, likeable characters."
"An exceptional book that captures the angst and ennui of the teenager that just does not fit well into any group...A well written novel that had me gripped to the final page. Highly recommended."
"The clear and thoughtful discussions between characters make the plot meaningful and intriguing...A fantastic read for teenagers or adults. Inferno is an inspiring book that motivates readers to stand up for what they believe in, take risks, and dream big."
What If? Magazine
"Teens will identify with the plot which is full of rebellion and reaction to the "Life is not fair!" mantra that the characters convey through actions and events."
Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group
Other titles by Robin Stevenson
True Tales of Childhood from Inventors and Trailblazers
The Celebration and the Struggle
A Refugee Story
My Body My Choice
The Fight for Abortion Rights
LGBTQ2 Writers on Coming Out and Into Canada