NONFICTION

Gender Identity: Beyond Pronouns and Bathrooms

Nomad. (Inquire and Investigate). Apr. 2019. 128p. chron. glossary. index. resources. Tr $22.95. ISBN 9781619307568; pap. $17.95. ISBN 9781619307599.
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Gr 7-10–Cook seeks to answer the question of what gender identity is and introduce readers to the people and places of the LGBTQ movement. The format includes color blocks, images, and comics. Additionally, reader comprehension is aided through discussion starters and research questions at the end of each chapter. Throughout the pages, there are sidebars with vocabulary, QR codes to primary sources, and extra tidbits of useful information. Cook places an emphasis on inquiry from page one, by explaining primary sources and source notes. Sadly, that emphasis does not continue throughout the book. While information regarding the history of the LGBTQ community is supplemented with sources, many factual statements regarding the scientific understanding of sex and gender are offered with no sources or studies. For example, in a section describing the practice of assigning gender, Cook writes, “We now know, however, that physical sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation are independent of one another.” However, she never explains how we know this information. Also troubling is the list of sources at the back of the book that fails to include proper citations, only URLs. Many of the sites included on the list would not pass muster for a scholarly paper.
VERDICT While Gender Identity attempts to explore the history and experiences of transgender and nonbinary people, this text falls short as a well-rounded source for student research assignments

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