Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Teen Tuesday

The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey (HarperColins Childrens hardcover, 20 September 2016).


When twelve-year-old Shane Woods' parents divorced, he and his mother moved from San Francisco to the Los Angeles area. He still misses his dad, but his life is pretty good:  he's the star pitcher for his baseball team, the graphic novel he's working on is coming along nicely, and Madeline Duncan seems to like him!

When his mother tells him that he has to miss the championship game to go to San Francisco, he's not as upset as he should be, even though his best friend Josh keeps harping on it, saying Shane can visit his father anytime.

But the real  reason that  Shane isn't upset about going to is that he and his mother are going to see Dr. Anne, the specialist who is helping him deal with his body dysphoria, mainly to discuss whether it's time for him to start testosterone injections.  

Yes, Shane was born with the physical characteristics of a female, though he can't remember ever feeling like a girl.  His body still looks like a girl's, and he's terrified that someone in his new school will find out.  

When he accidentally mentions the name of the school he went to in San Francisco, and the class bully says he knows someone there, Shane knows it's only a matter of time before his secret is revealed.

M.G. Hennessey has written a sensitive and thoughtful book about a transgender boy in middle school.  The story is even more powerful for being written in the first person from Shane's viewpoint.  Interspersed with the narrative are excerpts from Shane's graphic novel.  
This is a realistic and emotional story that deserves a spot in all libraries.

FTC Full Disclosure:  Many thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy of this book.

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