January 11, 2016
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Books

We’re delighted to announce that First Second will be publishing Dan Santat’s upcoming graphic novel You Bad Son.


You Bad Son is a YA graphic novel based on Dan’s experience growing up as an only child in a Thai American family. The story centers on his decision to go to art school over pursuing a career in medicine, and what his family is faced with when his mother is diagnosed with cancer.​

“Writing You Bad Son has been an experience of personal healing by looking back at my life and reexamining the struggles I went through as a teenager going through the awkward years of high school. Throughout the writing process I’ve gained a better understanding of how certain people and events, be it positive or negative, has shaped me into the person I am today. This is not a story about being an Asian-American teen, but rather, it is a story about the moment as a child when you realize that your parents are not perfect people and the awkward transition of trusting yourself in making your own decisions and learning by making your own mistakes, which is a theme I feel many teens can relate to,” says Dan Santat

“Dan has often talked about his childhood and the challenges he faced when he decided against the plans his parents had set for him in order to follow his dream of going to art school. Given that teens are faced with similarly pivotal decisions, like college, major, and future career, Dan’s personal experiences seemed like a natural fit for a young adult graphic novel, particularly one for the First Second list,” says Connie Hsu, the project’s editor.


Dan Santat is the author and illustrator of the 2015 Randolph Caldecott Medal recipient, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend. His other books include the graphic novel Sidekicks and the picture books Guild of Geniuses and Are We There Yet? Dan is also the illustrator of more than 30 books, including the Ricky Ricotta series with Dav Pilkey, Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz, and Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds. He graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and lives in Southern California with his wife, two sons, and a menagerie of pets.

You Bad Son will be in stores in 2018.  It’s going to be amazing!

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