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Cover of The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg
February 2019
Arthur A. Levine Books

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The Music of What Happens

Bill Konigsberg

Max: Chill. Sports. Video games. Gay and not a big deal, not to him, not to his mom, not to his buddies. And a secret: An encounter with an older kid that makes it hard to breathe, one that he doesn't want to think about, ever.

Jordan: The opposite of chill. Poetry. His "wives" and the Chandler Mall. Never been kissed and searching for Mr. Right, who probably won't like him anyway. And a secret: A spiraling out of control mother, and the knowledge that he's the only one who can keep the family from falling apart.

Throw in a rickety, 1980s-era food truck called Coq Au Vinny. Add in prickly pears, cloud eggs and a murky idea of what's considered locally sourced and organic. Place it all in Mesa, Arizona, in June, where the temp regularly hits 114. And top it off with a touch of undeniable chemistry between utter opposites.

Over the course of one summer, two boys will have to face their biggest fears and decide what they're willing to risk— to get the thing they want the most.


Bill Konigsberg, a former sportswriter, holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Arizona State University, which he earned in 2005.

Praise for this book

"Konigsberg demonstrates once again why he is one of the major voices in LGBTQ literature."

Booklist, starred review

"Give to fans of Benjamin Alire Saenz's 'Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe' and Laurie Halse Anderson's 'Speak.' A first purchase for public and high school libraries."

School Library Journal, starred review