If You’re a Kid Like Gavin

­HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. Jul. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780063057562.
Gr 3-5–The underlying theme of this true story about teenage trans student Gavin Grimm is that there are choices a kid can and can’t make. Gavin had no choice about the fact that the world saw him as a girl when inside he knew he was a boy. He did have a choice to talk honestly about it. And when he got tired of using the nurse’s bathroom as though he were a sick person, he had no choice but to try and get access to the boys’ bathroom at school. Teachers gossiped and students bullied him, but he spoke out even louder about his rights—before the community, on the news, and in a successful court case brought by the ACLU. The kid-friendly and straightforward narration works with digitally created art that employs firm outlines and a muted palette to communicate Gavin’s embarrassment, loneliness, and evolving courage. Framed throughout with the conditional “if” of the title, the text stumbles only once when it switches to, “Since you’re a kid like Gavin Grimm,” which unnecessarily narrows the audience.
VERDICT All kids should be challenged to think about the message of standing up and fighting for what is right. Here is a worthy discussion-starter on an important topic for all collections.

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