You're Welcome, Universe (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Julia is aiming to be recognized in the NYC graffiti scene, so her artwork needs careful planning, stealth and speed. Being deaf makes it even riskier when your art is seen as illegal.
A grand artistic gesture in support of her best friend puts her on the wrong foot with her moms, her friends, and her school(s). I loved this book for its spot-on illustrations (check out the clever chapter headers!) and its smart portrayal of a teen in the d/Deaf community.
— From You're Welcome, Universe, by Whitney Gardner


A vibrant, edgy, fresh new YA voice for fans of More Happy Than Not and 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.

" A] spectacular debut...a moving, beautifully written contemporary novel full of quirky art and complicated friendships...this book is a gift to be thankful for."--BookRiot

About the Author

WHITNEY GARDNER played her ukulele in an episode of Portlandia, danced the rumba with Bill Nye the Science Guy in a New York swing-dance club, and experimented with LARPing in college. She lives with her husband, Roger, and their incredibly cool pugs, Gouda and Fig, in Portland, Oregon. Find her online at and follow her at @HeyWhitney.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780399551413
ISBN-10: 0399551417
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 7th, 2017
Pages: 304
Language: English