The Other Boy

The Other Boy
Age Range
8+
Release Date
September 20, 2016
ISBN
978-0062427663
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A beautifully heartfelt story about one boy’s journey toward acceptance. A book that Jill Soloway, the award-winning creator of Transparent, called “a terrific read for all ages” and Ami Polonsky, author of Gracefully Grayson, called “an emotionally complex and achingly real read.”

Twelve-year-old Shane Woods is just a regular boy. He loves pitching for his baseball team, working on his graphic novel, and hanging out with his best friend, Josh. But Shane is keeping something private, something that might make a difference to his friends and teammates, even Josh. And when a classmate threatens to reveal his secret, Shane’s whole world comes crashing down. It will take a lot of courage for Shane to ignore the hate and show the world that he’s still the same boy he was before. And in the end, those who stand beside him may surprise everyone, including Shane.

Editor review

1 review
Beautiful and Important
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Shane Woods is focused on baseball, writing and illustrating a graphic novel, and balancing time between his best friend and his new maybe-girlfriend. He’s a typical twelve-year-old boy in most ways, but when one of the other kids at his school learns something that Shane has been trying to keep private, the safe life Shane has loved since moving to LA from San Francisco is threatened.

M. G. Hennessey has written an engrossing and enlightening story of a twelve-year-old boy who is trying to navigate the normal difficulties of sixth grade compounded by his efforts to keep his gender unquestioned.

Shane lives with his mother in LA, and she’s unquestionably supportive, while his father in San Francisco is loving but bewildered by his transgender son, and he still obviously holds out hope that his little girl will someday return. The other adults in Shane’s life are also largely supportive—albeit awkward and uncomfortable at times—and THE OTHER BOY is realistic without being gritty and sweet and hopeful without being saccharine.

I loved this book. I started it before cooking dinner, I read it while cooking dinner, I took a bit of a break to eat dinner and be social with the family, and then I finished it after dinner. And I’m tempted to start reading it again right now rather than start a new book.

I hope that there will be more books like THE OTHER BOY written so that trans kids have protagonists with whom they can identify, and so that their friends and family have an easy way to explore and learn a bit about some of the experiences—both good and bad—of transgender youth.

My thanks to the publisher for a advanced copy of the book in exchange for my unbiased review.
Good Points
A complex story handled simply and beautifully

A book to read in one sitting
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