Growing Up Trans: In Our Own Words

Orca. Aug. 2021. 176p. ed. by Herriot, Lindsay & Kate Fry, eds. pap. $24.95. ISBN 9781459831377.
Gr 6 Up–A vibrant collection of essays, poems, art, and stories from trans teens, this book serves stereotype-busting diverse perspectives that are sure to resonate with many. Each piece feels authentically young, and it’s clear that the kids who submitted work (as a part of a workshop led by trans mentors and facilitated by editors Herriot and Fry) felt comfortable in sharing some of their deepest-held thoughts and feelings. Each section centers a particular topic like “childhood” or “families,” and is organized much like a scrapbook with art, poetry, and essays gathered in a visually appealing way. The end of each section also includes guiding questions and a list of recommended reads, making this book a valuable resource for schools and Gender-Sexuality Alliances. While it’s possible that the youthful tone and realistic use of slang may date this collection within a few years, one hopes that the editors will continue this work and produce further collections. The teens featured appear to come from diverse experiences and backgrounds, but race is not specifically mentioned.
VERDICT A useful conversation-starter for young teens exploring the gender spectrum and for the adults in their lives, this is a recommended purchase for teen nonfiction shelves.

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