NONFICTION

A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns

BONGIOVANNI, Archie & . illus. by Archie Bongiovanni. 64p. Oni/Limerence. Jun. 2018. pap. $7.99. ISBN 9781620104996.
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OrangeReviewStarGr 7 Up—Genderqueer writer and illustrator Bongiovanni and cisgender writer Jimerson, longtime friends, present this educational comic guide to gender-neutral pronouns. Speaking to each other and directly addressing readers, they emphasize the importance of inclusive and respectful language. Bongiovanni brings the perspective of their lived experience, and Jimerson serves as a thoughtful ally and role-plays as someone unfamiliar with gender-neutral pronouns. Together, they offer examples and explanations of pronoun usage and discuss misgendering (using the wrong pronouns, assuming gender, and relying on faulty visual shortcuts based on a gender binary). They also model potential conversations, such as how to ask what pronouns others use. The repeated references to creating inclusive work spaces give this guide more of an adult-oriented focus; still, teens will get a lot out of it. Featuring whimsical, lively illustrations, this clear, well-organized, conversational guide also covers dealing with mistakes. A section called "For Folks Identifying with Alternative Pronouns" offers advice on coming out as nonbinary.
VERDICT A great, simple look at the importance of using correct pronouns; extremely accessible to those for whom gender-neutral language is a new concept.

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