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PW Reviews 2014 July #3
Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal
SLJ Reviews 2014 September
[Page 165]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Reviews 2014 October #1
It was a story the media found irresistible: two transgender teens—Katie Rain Hill, an MTF transgender, and Arin Andrews, an FTM transgender—from small Oklahoma towns met against all odds and fell in love. Excited by the opportunity to raise the visibility of transgender issues, the two felt that their life stories could provide inspiration. As a consequence, they have now written their respective memoirs—or cowritten, since, in their acknowledgments, both thank their cowriters. This is Arin’s story. By the time the media discovered them, their intense love relationship had already become tenuous. Many things contributed to the demise of their affair: Katie’s gender reassignment surgery (paid for by an anonymous donor) and their ages (Katie went off to college, while Arin, two years younger, remained in high school). Katie then began seeing other boys without Arin’s knowledge, and, well, it’s a sad story and one that has, to a certain degree, been massaged. It would be interesting to have more information about the fact-fiction divide. Still, this is an invaluable title that puts empathetic human faces on a condition that otherwise might be presented as coldly clinical. For an expanded exploration of the two teens’ books, including a look at Katie’s memoir, Rethinking Normal, please see Michael Cart’s feature “Transgender Teens and Romance.”
Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Voice of Youth Advocates Reviews
VOYA Reviews 2014 October
The pictures that open the early chapters show a friendly, pretty girl smiling open-heartedly at the camera. But in easy, conversational style, Andrews recounts his persistent childhood discomfort with girlish pink accessories and his preference for being a tomboy. While his mother pins bows in his hair and enters him in child beauty pageants, Andrews winces at the “painted harlequin” he sees in the mirror. At thirteen, friendship with a fellow dance student who identifies first as bisexual, then as lesbian, leads to neighborhood gossip, and his mother’s fury. His Christian school expels Andrews after he questions its unbending condemnations of homosexuality. He considers suicide. Andrews realistically traces his mother’s journey from fury to reluctant acceptance to full support, finally achieved when a family therapist describes the Native American tradition of “two-spirit” people, incredibly wise healers Transgender “assembly” for Andrews has so far included testosterone treatment and “top surgery.” The book provides practical information on gender transitioning, directing readers to web sources for more details. Emotional “assembly” is rockier. An intense romance with Katie Hill, a fellow Oklahoman transgender teen, attracts international media attention. Two years later, Katie goes off to college and devastates Andrews by cheating on him. Haunted by the 1999 movie Boys Don’t Cry, Andrews promises himself to do everything he can to help transgender teens and to educate others. Teens will feel for him, root for him, and learn a lot about the costs and complexities of gender transition.—Katherine Noone Photos. Biblio. Further Reading. 4Q 4P J S
Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.