May 24, 2015

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Transgender Youths Tell Their Stories in “Beyond Magenta” | Audio Pick

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beyondmagentaKUKLIN, Susan. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out. 4 CDs. 5 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2014. $59.97. ISBN 9781480583634. 1 MP3-CD.
Gr 9 Up–The strength and honesty of six transgender teens stand out as their stories are told by a large cast of outstanding performers, including Nick Podehl, Roxanne Hernandez, Nancy Wu, and Marisol Ramirez. Each tells a complex personal tale of realization, coming out, communication with family and friends, struggles, and triumph through adversity. Each performer speaks in the gender of the person’s current self-identity, which is occasionally confusing, although a main narrator, reading Kuklin’s (No Choirboy) words as she conducted these interviews, provides context for each teen’s story. The teens are voiced in a totally believable way with various regional accents. They tell the stories as flawed but full human beings, and as they talk about bullying, mental health, clinical history, and problems with family and friends, listeners will be inspired by their lives. Unfortunately, neither the photographs from the book nor the interview with Dr. Silva, clinical director of the Health Outreach to Teens (HOTT) program in New York City, are included in the audio format.–Ann Brownson, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston

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