In said review, karen states that the reader 's enjoyment of this ook in question migh come after the acknowledgement of how important the work is because it 's filling a gap that desperately needs representation ( to grossly and ineloquently paraphrase) I 've been sitting on this review for months because of hat very conundrum.
I believe his is an indispensabl work because it addresses topics generally not discussed in middle grade/juvenile books.
he irst centers on Lily who wants to start hormone therapy before puberty kicks up the testosterone, making hair grow on her face, making her testicles drop, changing her voice, etc.
He 's orried his son is going to be eased and bullied for wanting to hav boy, which I will discuss further later on.The other main topic centers on Norbert, coined " Dunkin' " by Lily when they first meet, and his tribulations with moving to new school while simultaneously dealing with his bipolar disorder.Those are pretty intense things to xamine and this isn ’ t a YA boo so the language is impler and the deas are more encompassing, yet concrete, because there ’ s never a lot of room for the nuance you might find in books for younge readers.
Thi focus should have staye on these two big issues being experienced by these two kids in order to give each topic as in-depth an examination as possible.
Eventually, new-kid-Norbert is ignoring the undisclosed thing that happened to his mother and watching his other slowly heal from said undisclosed thing.
hese side issues, while real-to-life, distract from the two main issues, downplaying them not only for the characters but for reader, as well.It ’ s been a quarter of a year since I finished book and I realize I read the notes at the beginnin of tory but I ’ m so sure I remember them correctly.
This thing about Lily being a irl is that she defines herself in terms of stereotypical girl behavior in that she loves she ’ s thi girl because she likes pretty things, she wishes to wear resses, and she doesn ’ t like the thought of growing hair “ down there. ” ( Is that to say a grown woman does n't have hair " down there "?
Why does n't kid know that?) There ’ s the whole discussion going on about how transgender women may potentially be working against the progress of feminism because, s often and especially in the media, transgender women choose to espouse stereotypical feminine attributes- the makeup and hair, the heels and feminine dress, the hip sway and smiles- and are, likewis, retro-defining womanhood because they ’ re showing that if you become a ma, you check those boxes and then you ’ re accepted as a oman, which, yeah, it makes sense.
There are plenty of everyday transwomen who wear jeans and t-shirts or hipster-wear or the same sorts of things I wear, who don ’ t giggle and wiggle when they walk, who don ’ t wear look-at-my-feminineness makeup, who aren ’ t working in traditional female occupations, who aren ’ t advancing the stereotype but that ’ s certainly the example we see in his memoi.
Readers get the former example, the girly example, the message that says if you identify as female, you manifest that identity in a certain and specific way, namely dresses and lipstick, crying a lot, backing down from fights, demure behavior brought about by the stifling of emotions, and thinking boys might be cute.
S because this isn ’ t a YA ovel, the father couldn ’ t have been more specific in his worries, couldn ’ t bring up any of the news stories in which transteens are killed by classmates, couldn ’ t vocalize why he as no worrie that his kid might be treated poorly by peers.
Presentl, gain, I don ’ t have kids so maybe it doesn ’ t quite work his way, but I was urprised that neither of the parents seemed interested in giving their child tools to combat potential bullying situations.
I mean, I suppose no parent tells their kid “ Don ’ t hit unless someone else hits you first ” anymore and that ’ s probably backward thinking anyway.
I had wanted to see better support for Lily which could translate into support for readers who are attempting to hide the help they do n't have in their own lives.While the author does not expec to have first-hand experience with trans children, she does have a child with bipolar disorder and has experienced the effects of medications, the many doctors visits, the fears, and the moments of triumph that come with parenting a child with a mood disorder and she used that knowledge as the base for Norbert ’ s tory.
How are kids supposed to identify with someone like them if they do n't conside what that character is going through?