The Greatest Superpower

Capstone. Feb. 2021. 352p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781684462780.
Gr 4-8–Jorge Fuerte’s world spirals when his parents announce they are divorcing and that his father is transgender. While 13-year-old Jorge earnestly navigates myriad emotions, his twin brother, Cesar, shuts their father out completely. As if his family life isn’t complicated enough, Jorge falls head over heels for the new girl, Zoey, as he works on a comic competition with his two best friends. Jorge keeps his father’s identity a secret from those closest to him, a decision that will cause significant trouble before the book’s ultimately happy conclusion. This work begins somewhat abruptly but finds its stride after a summer break montage; the bulk of the narrative is well paced and engaging. Readers may be disappointed, however, that only two of the three competition-based plot threads are resolved. While some readers might find the text a bit didactic, overall this tale provides representation and context for for kids of transgender parents, readers exploring their own gender identities, or tweens wishing to better understand themselves. Jorge is light-skinned, like their mother, and Cesar is darker complected like their father. Sanchez deftly weaves commentary on race, specifically in regards to Latinos, and inequality into his larger narrative.
VERDICT There is a lot to love here, and the hopeful, honest representation of a transgender parent is essential for all library collections.

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