February 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio | SLJ Review

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GREGORIO, I.W. None of the Above. 352p. further reading. websites. HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. 000 NOne of the AboveApr. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062335319; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780062335333.
Gr 9 Up–Kristin Lattimer embodies the all-American teenage girl. She’s sporty, well-liked, cool but humble enough to be shocked when elected Homecoming Queen, with two loyal best friends and a loving boyfriend. Even in the wake of her mom’s death from cervical cancer, Kristin’s future is looking pretty bright. Until her first time having sex with Sam goes painfully awry, leading to a doctor’s appointment that reveals she is intersex. Suddenly, Kristin’s life is thrown wildly off-kilter as she struggles with her condition and its impact on her self-esteem, academic life, and most important relationships. The novel is engaging and well paced, with smart young characters. However, their witty banter and sage insights don’t always seem to capture a youthful voice—the novel;s pedagogical intent threatens to overwhelm the natural rhythm of speech, making these 17 and 18 year olds sound like medical mouthpieces from time to time. Gregorio’s helpful author’s note explains that numerous AIS perspectives and sources were consulted in the writing process; it is evident that research was done to give this fictional account realism and nuance. Links and resources about being intersex are provided for further reading. While the text occasionally reads like a fictionalized medical record, this book serves as a useful introduction to the discussion around intersexuality, particularly from a youth viewpoint.–Ashleigh Williams, School Library Journal

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