The Other Boy
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.
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.
A book to read in one sitting