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Are You a Friend of Dorothy?

The True Story of an Imaginary Woman and the Real People She Helped

Illustrated by Levi Hastings

About The Book

From Newbery Honor and Stonewall Book Award–winning author Kyle Lukoff and celebrated picture book illustrator Levi Hastings comes a picture book about how people found community in a time when they had to keep their true selves secret.

“Are you a friend of Dorothy?”

In a time when the LGBTQ+ community was forced to hide in the shadows, a woman named Dorothy helped her people find each other in the dark and celebrate themselves in the light.

But who was Dorothy? Was she from the neighborhood, someone’s wife, mother, or sister? Was she that clever writer, who threw parties where there were no rules about who you could and couldn’t dance with? Or was she a girl from Kansas, who dreamed of leaving her black-and-white, small-town life and finding a vibrant, colorful world that loved her?

Dorothy might have been all these things—because Dorothy, as known by the post-WWII queer community, wasn’t real. Still, she helped a community find connection and care amidst adversity.

About The Author

Kyle Lukoff writes books for kids and other people. Before becoming a full-time writer, Kyle worked at five bookstores, in four libraries, for three schools, as two genders, through one intersection: people and books. Find him on Twitter @KyleLukoff, Instagram @KyleLukoffWrites, and his website at

About The Illustrator

Photo courtesy of the illustrator

Levi Hastings is the illustrator of Mayor Pete: The Story of Pete Buttigieg by Rob Sanders, Are You a Friend of Dorothy? by Kyle Lukoff, and The Spirit of Springer by Amanda Abler, about which The New York Times raved, “This beautiful book tells a suspenseful, heartrending true story.” Levi lives in Seattle with his husband. Learn more at

Why We Love It

“I just love how this is a story about finding community, friendship, and love during fraught, dark times when LGBTQ+ people were forced to hide themselves to keep themselves safe. Kyle’s words and Levi’s art beautifully capture the joy we’re capable of finding amidst adversity. In a time when history seems to be repeating itself in the present-day, it’s imperative we keep the hope, warmth, and celebration alive with stories like these.”

—Celia L., Executive Editor, on Are You a Friend of Dorothy?

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (April 29, 2025)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781665931670
  • Ages: 4 - 8

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