Author: Hennessey, M. G.
A middle grade story about one transgender boy's journey to find acceptance.
|Illustrator:||Monster, Sfe R.|
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 185147
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 12.0 Quiz: 71900
Kirkus Reviews (06/15/16)
School Library Journal (07/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (09/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 07/01/2016 Gr 5–7—For the past three years, Shane, now in sixth grade, has been living with his mom in L.A., where he has good friends and a crush, is a star on the baseball team, and spends his free time working on his sci-fi graphic novel. However, Shane is dealing with issues in his private life that his schoolmates know nothing about: Shane was assigned female at birth, and his dad still acts like Shane is just going through a phase, and refuses to accept Shane's gender identity. When a classmate outs Shane to the entire school, he has a lot more to worry about than baseball regionals. Shane's voice rings true, and the writing is straightforward and accessible. School bullies, issues with parents, first crushes, and sports drama make this title relatable to a broad range of readers. Additionally, it's refreshing to read a story with a young trans character already living life as his true gender and never questioning his identity. While some of the conflict and characterization lack depth and the ending is a little too pat, the book still has wide appeal. The selected pages of Shane's graphic novel, interspersed between chapters, are a fun addition, and readers will enjoy the parallels to Shane's real-life drama. VERDICT A worthwhile addition to middle grade collections, particularly where contemporary realistic stories are in demand.—Jenna Friebel, Deerfield Public Library, IL - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2016 When Shane moved after third grade, he left behind a secret-until the end of second grade, people hadn’t believed that he was really a boy, something he had known since he was three. Now twelve, Shane is ready to start the hormone treatments that will transform the parts of his body that don’t conform to his brain or his heart. When a bully from a rival baseball team finds a picture of Shane from second grade and spreads it around school, Shane’s best friend, Josh, staunchly defends him, assuming the picture was Photoshopped, and this is just the beginning of Shane’s struggle to deal with both bullies and people whose support and attention he’s not sure he wants. With his supportive mother, his loving but emotionally clumsy father, his flamboyant Latino support partner from a PFLAG group, and his mixed set of accepting and bullying classmates, Shane’s story presents something of a composite range of experiences of how people react to someone who is transgender, as well as what the laws are for children in California and what the possibilities for intervention and support look like. More importantly, though, his story walks readers through what it feels like to know from an early age that your body doesn’t align with what you know your gender to be. As a sixth-grader, Shane is positioned just right to surface the problems that come with negotiating best friends and nascent romance as an ordinary preteen boy who just wants to play baseball and video games and get through the day without attracting attention. KC - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 07/01/2016 When Shane, born a girl, switched schools three years ago, things really started to fall into place. Finally, he could be the boy he’s known he was since age 3, without being treated differently. Plus, now that he’s 12, he’s old enough to begin hormone therapy and is nearly giddy at the prospect of the manly chest hairs he’ll get from the testosterone injections. When a school bully shows students an old picture of Shane dressed as a girl, however, rumors fly, and Shane worries he’ll lose everything now that his secret is out. First-time author Hennessey sensitively portrays typical sixth-grade trials (first crushes, embarrassing parents, etc.), compounded by the confusion and prejudice that can accompany transitioning. Although Shane is a victim of some hate, he is the recipient of far more acceptance and support, particularly from his mother, baseball teammates, and support-group “buddy.” Spreads from the sf comic that Shane is drawing preface several chapters, each hinting at upcoming struggles. An honest, encouraging addition to the growing ranks of transgender lit for the middle grades. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.