Author: Gino, Alex
Eleven-year-old Rick Ramsey has generally gone along with everybody, just not making waves, even though he is increasingly uncomfortable with his father's jokes about girls, and his best friend's explicit talk about sex; but now in middle school he discovers the Rainbow Spectrum club, where kids of many genders and identities can express themselves--and maybe among them he can find new friends and discover his own identity, which may just be to opt out of sex altogether.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.10
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 508885
Kirkus Reviews (01/01/20)
School Library Journal (+) (02/01/20)
Booklist (+) (02/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2020 Gr 3–7—In Gino's companion novel to George, readers meet Rick Ramsey. Rick usually goes along with what his best friend Jeff wants to do. Rick also loves when Jeff approves of his choices and ideas. They just started sixth grade together and Rick is prepared for Jeff to make fun of other kids at school or stare at girls and make suggestive comments about them. On the first day, Rick befriends Melissa Mitchell, who he recognizes from elementary school. He also remembers Jeff bullied Melissa for years. Rick's parents repeatedly ask him about cute girls or boys, which makes him uncomfortable. He wishes his older sister Diane was around to eat popcorn and watch TV with—she wouldn't ask him about girls or boys. Neither does Grandpa Ray, who Rick doesn't know well. After spending consistent time together, he and Grandpa Ray become close. Unexpectedly, Rick finds he can be his true self with his grandpa. In addition to spending time with Grandpa Ray, Rick starts attending meetings at his school's Rainbow Spectrum club. He develops a better knowledge and understanding of his asexual identity, and what kind of friendships he truly needs and deserves. VERDICT An enlightening and important novel about a young person's experience with asexuality. A required purchase for middle grade collections.—Jess Gafkowitz, Brooklyn Public Library - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/01/2020 *Starred Review* Eleven-year-old sixth-grader Rick’s best friend ever is Jeff, who, let’s face it, is a bit of a jerk. Aside from being a troublemaker, Jeff objectifies girls, one of them being a new girl, Melissa. At least Rick thinks she’s new, until he realizes that he has known her since she was the protagonist of Gino’s first novel, George (2015). “I’m a girl,” she tells Rick, “a transgender girl.” Rick realizes he isn’t sure what he is, though. Is he gay? He doesn’t like boys that way, but then, he doesn’t like girls that way either. Thinking it might help him decide, he attends a meeting of the Rainbow Spectrum, a club for LGBTQIAP+ rights. He keeps this a secret from Jeff, of course. Meanwhile, Rick begins spending time with his grandfather, who, it turns out, has a secret of his own. Grandpa Ray tells him that Jeff is, indeed, a jerk, and then Jeff does something that proves it. Will that end his friendship with Rick? And what is Grandpa Ray’s secret? Gino handles the answers deftly and manages their material about children’s identities beautifully. Like George (2015), this is an important, innovative, well-plotted book that invites a large readership. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.