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2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Books

Caitlin Jenner, Al Pacino, and A Boy Like Me by Jennie Wood

The phrase “gender dysphoria’ is becoming more well known these days and that’s a good thing. Plainly said, gender dsyphoria is the feeling that you don’t belong in the body you’re in. That’s how transgendered people feel. I wish more transgendered people could take the attitude of Al Pacino:

A Boy Like Me by Jennie Wood

“Everything Aint for Everybody”

I devoured A Boy Like Me by Jennie Brown in one night. I couldn’t put it down! Our protagonist was born a girl but didn’t feel or act like a girl. To make the situation even worse, her mother didn’t accept her and she liked girls. Many people in Katherine’s (called Peyton) life tried to label her. In fact, she thought she was a freak.  As you see our character struggle through the book, your heart hurts for her.  You know her life is going to be hard and you want to help but what can you do?

I’m scared for Peyton and I can imagine there are plenty of real Peyton’s who share her struggle.  If people minded their own business then there wouldn’t be kids who consider suicide or self harm because of the pain ignorant people inflict on them.  I wonder how Caitlin Jenner, Chaz Bono, or Laverne Cox would feel if society was more accepting of them at an earlier age?  Maybe they wouldn’t have struggled for as long as they did.

A Boy Like Me is good insight into the life of a transgendered person. It’s not an easy ride for anyone involved.

Wait a minute, I take that back.

It can be easy.

Just love your loved one.

They’re gonna need it.

Remember:

Everything ain’t for Everybody.

This book contains a brief sex scene but I think is otherwise appropriate for older teens. The insight into the life of a transgendered teen is invaluable.  Also qualifies for the Diversity Challenge!

 

 

By Pam

My passion is advocating for diversity in children's and YA literature.