The City Beautiful (Original)

21,000+ Reviews has the highest-rated customer service of any bookstore in the world
Product Details
$19.99  $18.59
Inkyard Press
Publish Date
5.59 X 8.35 X 1.42 inches | 1.05 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate
About the Author
Aden Polydoros is an award-winning author who transitioned from female-to-male when he was 14. After going 'stealth' for over 10 years, he came out as transgender in order to support trans youth and vocalize how transitioning saved his life. His YA gothic fantasy novel, The City Beautiful, won the Sydney Taylor Book Award and was a finalist for the Lambda Award, the National Jewish Book Award, the Cybils Award, the South Carolina Book Award, and the 2022 World Fantasy Award.
Winner of the 2022 Sydney Taylor Book Award for Young Adult

2022 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel finalist

2021 National Jewish Book Award finalist

A Lambda Literary Award finalist

2021 Bram Stoker Award Preliminary Ballot for Young Adult Novels

A New York Public Library Best Book for Teens 2021

"An achingly rendered exploration of queer desire, grief, and the inexorable scars of the past." --Katy Rose Pool, author of There Will Come A Darkness

"Chillingly sinister, warmly familiar, and breathtakingly transportive, The City Beautiful is the haunting, queer Jewish historical thriller of my darkest dreams." --Dahlia Adler, creator of LGBTQreads and editor of That Way Madness Lies

"Like a darkly compelling dream; I dare readers to try to put down this queer triumph of a book where myth, mystery, and death lurk around every corner of the Windy City."--Sarah Glenn Marsh, author of the Reign of the Fallen series

"With stark, poignant prose and an endearing main character, The City Beautiful is an entrancing and chilling tale that deftly analyzes complex themes of identity and assimilation. One-part historical fantasy, one-part gothic thriller, this genre-blending story has something for everyone."--Kalyn Josephson, author of the Storm Crow duology

"Sinister and alluring, The City Beautiful will utterly transport you. With a keen eye for historical details, Polydoros deftly weaves together a gruesome murder mystery, a beautiful romance, and a rich depiction of Jewish life in the 19th century. I absolutely adored Alter, a boy on a quest for closure, love, and belonging in a hostile world."--Allison Saft, author of Down Comes the Night

"Set during the 1893 Chicago World Fair, The City Beautiful is a gripping, fast-paced book that expertly marries thriller and murder mystery. Polydoros is not afraid to tear aside the façade of beauty and civility to confront the darkest aspects of human nature, no holds barred. The resulting book is something truly special."--Sophie Gonzales, author of Only Mostly Devastated

"Readers will become immersed in Alter's world, rooting for his survival, hoping for his reunion with his family, and wishing for him to find the love that he deserves." --Kirkus Reviews

"Polydoros seamlessly blends a murder mystery with Jewish folklore in this haunting historical fantasy.... Readers looking for finely wrought historical fiction with fully realized characters and a thrilling pursuit of justice are sure to be satisfied by Alter's story." --Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

"A gorgeous, disturbing, visceral and mystical experience.... His unflinching and well-rounded depiction of Jewish American and immigrant history makes The City Beautiful a superb addition to the ranks of YA historical fiction." --Bookpage, STARRED REVIEW

"Polydoros doesn't hold back with this heavy, dark, and gritty story that explores the immigrant experience in a unique way. While firmly a historical fiction title, this genre-bending novel is also equal parts thriller and fantasy. Featuring a queer protagonist, it is deeply layered with Jewish myth, immigration, racism, and anti-Semitism.... A wild ride of a queer gothic fantasy that's a must-have for YA fantasy collections." -SLJ, STARRED REVIEW

"The City Beautiful is a triumph, showcasing queer love, illuminating historical events, and guiding readers to an enthralling ending that will leave them satiated yet desirous to return to the world in which they have become immersed." --Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

"Details rich with specificity and research, and its joys tinged with sorrow...makes it all the more moving."

"It is excit­ing to see a sto­ry that draws from the deep well of Jew­ish folk­lore for a dark, super­nat­ur­al twist on the his­tor­i­cal mys­tery plot." --Jewish Book Council