Monday, May 21, 2012

On Thursday, I finished Tanita Davis's Happy Families, about a family with a father coming out as transgender; then on Sunday I read an article about a family at the other end, with a small child who is transgender. That story, in the Washington Post, is here; and here's the short blurb I wrote for my Shelfari to help me remember the book so as to suggest it appropriately* to readers:

Ysabel and Justin, twins, have a great family. Each twin pursues a passion -- making glass jewelry and debate team; mom has a catering business and dad's a businessman; they're close to their grandparents, and are active in their church. Then dad comes out as transgender and moves out. Much of the action of the novel happens during the spring break Ys and Justin spend with Dad, going to a therapist and participating in activities with a support group for families with  transgendered person in them. The twins are mad and confused, each in his/her own way -- will the Nicholas family find its way back to happy?
Terrific realistic fiction with conflicts small and meta, teased out at a pace that is slower and thoughtful where it needs to be, and fast in enough places to keep us wondering what's next. Would be fine for a middle schooler who needs/wants to know about a transgender person as there's (almost?) no swearing, no sexual content. Useful appendix explains terms, instructs which terms are offensive. 

*which is the point of my Shelfari, all the time

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