hope for the future

A boy asked his mom to buy him ‘Heartstopper’ in a bookstore. This was her response

A tweet about a boy asking his mom for a Heartstopper book in a bookstore has gone viral for all the best reasons.

British author AJ West posted it yesterday.

“Short story: Just in a bookshop. Boy wants to buy the 2nd #Heartstopper,” tweeted West.

“Mum: Well, what’s it about?

“Boy: (blushes) a bully and two boys who…

“Mum reads the back with a frown. Boy looks at his shoes, scuffing the floor: I read the 1st one.

“Mum: it sounds lovely ok.”

West ended his tweet with crying and loved-up emojis (😭🥰)

Posted yesterday, the tweet has had over 6k likes and prompted a flurry of comments.

Many shared their love and admiration for the Heartstopper books and TV series.

Alice Oseman and AJ West

Written and illustrated by Alice Oseman, Heartstopper first appeared as a webcomic. A graphic novel followed. This has spawned sequels and a hit Netflix show starring Kit Connor and Joe Locke.

Their characters, Nick and Charlie, first appeared in a 2015 novella by Oseman. The first Heartstopper book then appeared in 2019. It has led to four sequels, with a fifth and final installment on the way.

Oseman also adapted the books for TV. The first Netflix series premiered in April 2022, followed by a second season in 2023. A third season is due in October 2024. The stories explore the same-sex relationship between schoolboys Nick and Charlie, and feature a wide cast of LGBTQ+ characters.

AJ West, who is gay, is a former BBC journliast turned author. His first book, The Spirit Engineer, was published in 2021. Hi next book, queer history novel The Betrayal of Thomas True, is out July 4th.

West said he overheard the mom and son at a recent visit to the Castle Bookshop in Ludlow, England.

“I guess the boy was around 9 or 10,” West told INTO when asked for more details.

“Obviously I’ve no idea whether he’ll grow up to like one type of person or another but I just thought it was really heartrending that he so desperately wanted to carry on reading the Heartstopper story and was clearly very shy about it. It made me think of myself when I was that age, struggling to come to terms with how I felt about myself, terrified of what my family might think.”

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