Charisma’s Turn

A Graphic Novel

From the award-winning author of Pushout, an inspiring graphic novel about what can happen when Black girls are given the opportunity to find their genuine power

“Monique Morris is a personal shero of mine.” —Ayanna Pressley, U.S. congresswoman

Named one of the Young Adult Library Services Association’s 2024 Great Graphic Novels for Teens

Monique Couvson’s trailblazing book Pushout laid the groundwork for understanding how our schools are failing Black girls; her follow-up, Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blues, provided a blueprint for their healing and liberation. Now Couvson invites readers to be inspired by her liberatory imagination with an original narrative told from the perspective of the very girls she has been fighting for years to lift up.

Charisma’s Turn is a graphic novel that follows the dynamic story of Charisma, a Black high school student who is grappling with mounting pressures from home and school. When frustrations with her family intersect with a conflict at school, she reaches a crossroads, facing a choice that could change her future. Featuring vibrantly illustrated art from Amanda Jones and a foreword by poet, artist, and arts educator Susan Arauz Barnes, this book will appeal to teens, parents, educators, librarians, and more. Charisma’s Turn exemplifies how Black girls can be truly empowered to reach their full potential when they have supportive educators and community members in their corner.


“An inspiring story. . . . Couvson’s graphic novel is a positive and modern view on the life of a Black teenage girl who blossoms once she is listened to and supported by family, friends, and teachers.”
School Library Journal
“In this beautifully illustrated graphic novel that will appeal to young and old, Monique Couvson shows us once again how to release the powerful genius of Black girls.”
—Lisa Delpit, MacArthur Fellow and author of “Multiplication Is for White People”: Raising Expectations for Other People’s Children
“Jones’s vividly saturated art recalls Annie Lee’s Black Americana style, smartly complementing the subject matter and addressed literary references. Via a sympathetic protagonist who often feels overlooked, Couvson . . . highlights mature ruminations on how best to support struggling teens.”
Publishers Weekly
Charisma’s Turn is a vividly illustrated graphic novel. . . . The storyline exemplifies the power of supportive educators and community members in cultivating spaces where Black girls’ activism can be nurtured and flourish.”
Rethinking Schools
“[Charisma’s Turn] models the important ways many educators care about and uplift marginalized students who may feel overlooked and undervalued.”
Kirkus Reviews

News and Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Read a review of Charisma’s Turn in Publishers Weekly.

Book Excerpt

Read an excerpt from chapter four of Charisma’s Turn.

Books by Monique Couvson

Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blues
Liberatory Education for Black and Brown Girls

Monique Couvson

Black Stats
African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century

Monique Couvson

The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools

Monique Couvson

Goodreads Reviews