These reviews have been copied from the Toronto Public Library’s Website – http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-After Alyx is attacked by the school bully, her mother decides they need a fresh start, and Alyx is ready. Born with ambiguous genitalia, Alyx has lived her life as a boy, but knows that her true identity is a girl. Her parents chose to do nothing when Alyx was a baby, not wanting to choose her identity for her. A move to Wisconsin gives her the opportunity to be her true self, a complicated undertaking. Patti, nicknamed “Pepper” because of her hotheadedness, befriends the young woman and encourages her to join the basketball team but quickly starts bullying the teen. When Alyx’s identity is called into question, her past comes to light and threatens her basketball eligibility. Though the writing sometimes feels stilted and the story not always believable, the protagonist’s feelings and conversations about her identity are poignant. She debates which locker room to use and uses words such as gender fluid, intersex, and genderqueer when she thinks about herself. At her lowest times, she feels neither male nor female or maybe both or like a mutant. Information about doctor’s reports, reconstructive surgery, and the way people have treated her provides a complex look at what Alyx has faced and what is ahead. Though the ending feels too tidy, this is an important addition to the small field of books featuring an intersex character.-Amanda MacGregor, formerly at Apollo High School Library, St. Cloud, MN (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Hermaphrodite. Ambiguously gendered. Freak. Alyx was born with male and female genitalia, and though her parents raised her as a boy, she has always known she’s a girl. The only place she feels comfortable with herself is on the basketball court, but as she points out to her mother, she still needs to pick a Goddamn locker room. As she begins to officially transition to female, the change subjects her to severe bullying. Seeking escape and a fresh start, Alyx and her mother move to Milwaukee, where Alyx lands a spot on the girls’ varsity basketball team, one of only two sophomores to do so. However, when a teammate feels threatened by Alyx’s talent, she begins digging around in Alyx’s past, with disastrous results. Birdsall doesn’t shy away from the complexity of Alyx’s condition, touching on the medical and psychological challenges she faces on top of typical adolescent trials, such as identity and first dates, thereby creating an unconventional character with whom teens can relate to and root for.–Smith, Julia Copyright 2014 Booklist