I can’t stop reminiscing about my favorite books when working on this themed gift pack series we have going this month.
Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills is so sweet, so endearing, so inventive yet tackles a pretty unconventional subject in the young adult genre. I’m skimming through to refresh my memory of the little details, and I keep getting distracted because I love the main character, Gabe, so much. He was born Liz but has just told everyone he is Gabe. His parents don’t take it too well, his best friend Paige is accepting, and the only place he can be himself is when he broadcasts the program “Beautiful Music for Ugly Children”. This character is like a walking music encyclopedia. I love it.
The book is a lot about acceptance and moving forward, and creating a new life for yourself — but it never feels weighed down by drama and sadness.
There’s a lot of hope buried in there, and I hope you’ll take the time to check it out if you haven’t already.
I’m pretty sure Gabe would get a real kick out of this series. He is definitely someone who appreciates themes! Happy shopping!
1. Handcarved Cassette Stamp: I actually have one of these, and love it. It’s a nice way to personalize notes or give them a fun look. In MNFUC, Gabe loves his music, truly identifies with it + is always taking about his A and B side (since people have yet to discover these two parts of him).
2. All Shook Up Original Broadway Cast Recording: I’m not sure if Gabe would approve of my love of musical theater but he does love Elvis and this is one album I listen to all the time. Cheyenne Jackson (you may know him from 30 Rock) plays the Elvis-like phenom of this jukebox show, and sings most of the tracks. Great for those who love Elvis, and like fun, well-imagined covers.
3. Cookie Radio: Okay this is supposed to be a cookie holder (?) but it pretty much can be used for anything (paperclips, nail polish, etc.). Every night, Gabe is mentored by his neighbor as he talks to people over the airwaves in the dead of night. It’s a place where he can really be himself, and one that keeps him safe. (Until, well… it doesn’t.)
4. Wrecords by Monkey Clock: Gabe would be all over this Brooklyn-based company if he could. Everything they make is from used or broken vinyls. (They currently have a shop in Bryant Park if you are in the area.) Bracelets, iPod covers, necklaces, and more. But I just really like this clock.
5. Kate Spade Live Colorfully Pillow: The “live colorfully” motto totally embodies who Gabe is from his personal life to his love of music. He is such a vibrant person, and I think Kate says it best. Love the pillow but there are also notecards, an iPhone case, and some jewelry pieces that also don the saying.
6. Stay on Track print: Take this as a life lesson or just one that Gabe has to conquer in his professional life, but this print basically says it all. The Joy Goldstein Studio on etsy has a ton of cool prints to check out.
7. Pepsi: Gabe’s drink of choice!
8. I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg: This book is so cute, and captures the romance and pure adorableness that comes out of Gabe’s mouth while he pines away for the unattainable girl. (I have this in my book collection and it always makes me smile.)