Cover: The Beauty of Us by Farzana Doctor, ECW Press

The Beauty of Us

Doctor, Farzana

  • September 1984, Thornton College private school.

    After 15-year-old Zahabiya’s father remarries, she can’t wait to leave home and convinces him to send her away to boarding school. But will she fit in? She joins a clique of smart students but isn’t sure if she measures up or how to read the mixed messages from a guy she’s crushing on.

    Seventeen-year-old Leesa has been at Thornton since middle school after her parents’ messy divorce. She’s been climbing the school’s social ladder with equal measures of meanness and manipulation. She’s also guarding a big secret that she has to work overtime to keep from her friends.

    Fresh out of university, this is Nahla’s first real teaching job, and she’s drowning. She has her distractions though: the flirty art teacher and a cryptic notebook left behind by her deceased predecessor, Mademoiselle Leblanc.

    Zahabiya and her friends — all racialized girls and victims of Leesa’s bullying — uncover Leesa’s secret. But can they help Leesa? Nahla, too, is embroiled in her own mystery, assisted by Mademoiselle Leblanc’s ghost. Each is indelibly changed by what they learn.

    Masterfully crafted, The Beauty of Us is a gripping novel about surviving hardship, the power of friendship, and growing up.

    Available September 17, 2024. PRE-ORDER NOW!

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  • Farzana Doctor is a Tkaronto-based author, activist, and psychotherapist. She has written four critically acclaimed novels, a poetry collection, and a self-care workbook for helpers and activists. Doctor received the prestigious Freedom to Read Award in 2023, and in 2020, Seven was chosen as an Amnesty International Book Club’s Reader’s Choice Pick.

    The Beauty of Us is her first YA novel. Learn more at

  • Published: September 2024

    ISBN: 9781770417694

    Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.

    Pages: 304

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“This novel’s quiet genius lies in how it reminds us that we are all always recovering and starting over; this is a story for everyone. A moving and seriously empathetic novel, as faceted as a jewel.” — Thea Lim, author of An Ocean of Minutes

“Undeniably cinematic.” — Catherine Hernandez, author and screenwriter of Scarborough the book and film

“Tightly plotted and vibrant, The Beauty of Us is an important exploration and condemnation of the abuses and dangers faced in teenage girlhood and third-culture experiences.” — SJ Sindu, author of The Goth House Experiment