Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Review - I'm Not a Girl

I'm Not a Girl: A Transgender Story
by Maddox Lyons & Jessica Verdi
illustrated by Dana Simpson
Date: 2020
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book non-fiction
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

Based on a true transgender identity journey, the picture book I'm Not a Girl is an empowering story from writers Maddox Lyons and Jessica Verdi about a boy who is determined to be himself, illustrated by Dana Simpson.

Nobody seems to understand that Hannah is not a girl.

His parents ask why he won't wear the cute outfits they pick out. His friend thinks he must be a tomboy. His teacher insists he should be proud to be a girl.

But a birthday wish, a new word, and a stroke of courage might be just what Hannah needs to finally show the world who he really is.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I've read very few books about transgender kids. I'm Not a Girl is based on the transgender identity journey of 12-year-old Maddox Lyons. It skilfully shows Hannah's emotional reactions to trying to navigate between how the world sees him and how he sees himself.

The story is clear and simple, and offers a main character that other transgender kids will be able to relate to. Illustrated by Dana Simpson of Phoebe and Her Unicorn fame (who is a transgender woman herself), this book would be a useful, reassuring tool for kids who are just starting out on their own journey to live as they truly are.

The notes at the back add some interest (there's a great list of transgender figures in recent history, for example) and help the reader understand a bit about the background of the story. There's also a nice bibliography with resources for kids and parents.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 5/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.5 out of 5

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