Aug 27, 2013

Early Word: FreakBoy

Freak Boy

Kristin Elizabeth Clark

PD: 10.22.13 by Farrar Straus Giroux (MacMillan)

I love reading acknowledgments. They offer a rare glimpse into the view of the author. The author of FreakBoy shared a very special acknowledgment to fellow author, Ellen Hopkins- ..."who, when I went to her, wringing my hands and whining to her that she  needed to write something for gender-variant kids, listened patiently, then said, 'No, this is a story you need to write yourself.' " I'm so glad you did. My hat's off to you, Kristin Elizabeth Clark, because this is a PHENOMENAL story!

This summary is what caught my eye:

From the outside, Brendan Chase seems to have it pretty easy. He’s a star wrestler, a video game aficionado, and a loving boyfriend to his seemingly perfect match, Vanessa. But on the inside, Brendan struggles to understand why his body feels so wrong—why he sometimes fantasizes having long hair, soft skin, and gentle curves. Is there even a name for guys like him? Guys who sometimes want to be girls? Or is Brendan just a freak?

And this part intrigued me:

In razor-sharp verse, Kristin Clark folds three narratives into one powerful story: Brendan trying to understand his sexual identity, Vanessa fighting to keep her and Brendan’s relationship alive, and Angel struggling to confront her demons

 I am no stranger to books written in verse. Some free verse books written from different perspectives often introduced too many characters with too little character development which made the book really difficult to follow. I was a little skeptical of this book for that reason.

Freakboy is AMAZING!! Written from three different perspectives, the author writes as though the reader can easily see the world through each character's eyes. The ability of a book to act as a gateway into another world where a person can experience someone else's life for a little bit and shut out the outside world has always been the reason reading is my all time favorite pastime. For transgendered teens, or anyone really, who is living in a world where they can't be their true selves, reading offers a way to see new avenues of possibility. There is hope beyond their current circumstance. This book is that light in the dark.

Bottom Line: Read this!

Let your freak flag fly! We acknowledge you!

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