FICTION

Rick

Scholastic. Apr. 2020. 240p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781338048100.
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Gr 3-7–In Gino’s companion novel to George, readers meet Rick Ramsey. Rick usually goes along with what his best friend Jeff wants to do. Rick also loves when Jeff approves of his choices and ideas. They just started sixth grade together and Rick is prepared for Jeff to make fun of other kids at school or stare at girls and make suggestive comments about them. On the first day, Rick befriends Melissa Mitchell, who he recognizes from elementary school. He also remembers Jeff bullied Melissa for years. Rick’s parents repeatedly ask him about cute girls or boys, which makes him uncomfortable. He wishes his older sister Diane was around to eat popcorn and watch TV with—she wouldn’t ask him about girls or boys. Neither does Grandpa Ray, who Rick doesn’t know well. After spending consistent time together, he and Grandpa Ray become close. Unexpectedly, Rick finds he can be his true self with his grandpa. In addition to spending time with Grandpa Ray, Rick starts attending meetings at his school’s Rainbow Spectrum club. He develops a better knowledge and understanding of his asexual identity, and what kind of friendships he truly needs and deserves.
VERDICT An enlightening and important novel about a young person’s experience with asexuality. A required purchase for middle grade collections.

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