There are still very few nonfiction books for trans teens in need of support, and this title helps fill in that gap.

A chatty and informal guide for transgender teenagers and others who want to understand more about those experiences.

The authors cover topics such as coming out, names, gender roles and expression, dysphoria, hormones and surgery, coping with puberty, wellness, interacting with the media, and activism. Spot illustrations and selected comics from Labelle’s Assigned Male series are interspersed throughout. The authors say that they have written a book with all the information they would have liked to have had access to when they were younger—and, loose and conversational, the tone is pulled straight from the internet. It feels like reading think pieces from whatever pop-journalism site is currently trending mixed with a personal transition blog, sometimes reminiscent of LiveJournal from the trans days of yore, and seasoned with earnest Twitter-like affirmations. A sense of vagueness permeates the information; generalized references to modern society and plenty of assumptions of a shared cultural background hamper the larger usefulness of the information. It’s worth noting that the close focus on the British health care system and support networks will only be useful to readers located there, and the authors often neglect to address the ways that disability, race, and other intersections may influence a trans person’s life.

There are still very few nonfiction books for trans teens in need of support, and this title helps fill in that gap. (resources, appendix, glossary) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-78592-341-8

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018


From the Pocket Change Collective series

Small but mighty necessary reading.

A miniature manifesto for radical queer acceptance that weaves together the personal and political.

Eli, a cis gay white Jewish man, uses his own identities and experiences to frame and acknowledge his perspective. In the prologue, Eli compares the global Jewish community to the global queer community, noting, “We don’t always get it right, but the importance of showing up for other Jews has been carved into the DNA of what it means to be Jewish. It is my dream that queer people develop the same ideology—what I like to call a Global Queer Conscience.” He details his own isolating experiences as a queer adolescent in an Orthodox Jewish community and reflects on how he and so many others would have benefitted from a robust and supportive queer community. The rest of the book outlines 10 principles based on the belief that an expectation of mutual care and concern across various other dimensions of identity can be integrated into queer community values. Eli’s prose is clear, straightforward, and powerful. While he makes some choices that may be divisive—for example, using the initialism LGBTQIAA+ which includes “ally”—he always makes clear those are his personal choices and that the language is ever evolving.

Small but mighty necessary reading. (resources) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09368-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020


Though awkward, this adaptation still makes for a hopeful and inspiring story.

This story, an adaptation for young people of the adult memoir The Other Wes Moore (2008), explores the lives of two young African-American men who share the same name and grew up impoverished on the same inner-city streets but wound up taking completely different paths.

Author Moore grew up with a devoted mother and extended family. After receiving poor grades and falling in with a bad crowd, his family pooled their limited finances to send him to Valley Forge Military Academy, where he found positive role models and became a Corps commander and star athlete. After earning an undergraduate degree, Wes attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. When the author read about the conviction of another Wes Moore for armed robbery and killing a police officer, he wanted to find out how two youths growing up at the same time in the same place could take such divergent paths. The author learns that the other Wes never had the extensive family support, the influential mentors or the lucky breaks he enjoyed. Unfortunately, the other Wes Moore is not introduced until over two-thirds of the way through the narrative. The story of the other Wes is heavily truncated and rushed, as is the author's conclusion, in which he argues earnestly and convincingly that young people can overcome the obstacles in their lives when they make the right choices and accept the support of caring adults.

Though awkward, this adaptation still makes for a hopeful and inspiring story. (Memoir. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-74167-5

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: April 24, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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