04 March 2014
Clark, Kristin. Freakboy. Farrar, Straus & Giroux BFYR, 2013.
Freakboy is a novel in verse, telling the story of three different people: Brendan, a teen guy who sometimes thinks he would be more comfortable as a girl; his girlfriend, Vanessa, who is the only girl on their school's wrestling team; and Angel, a transwoman who is "paying it forward" by volunteering at a center for LGBTQ+ teens. This story is mostly Brendan's as he comes to terms with who he is, but Vanessa and Angel have important roles, too.
I know that the "novel in verse" aspect of this book will appeal to my students, many of whom love all things Ellen Hopkins. I am glad that this book doesn't tell the stereotypical "I've always known I was in the wrong body" trans story, but allows for fluidity in a person's gender identity and expression. This book was clear without being explicit or graphic, realistic while still maintaining hope, and obviously a quick read due to the free verse style. If it's not on your library's shelves yet, get it.
Recommended for: tweens, teens, fans of Ellen Hopkins or, as my students say, "books about kids with lots of problems"
Red Flags: some minor violence, mentions of prostitution - nothing graphic
Overall Rating; 5/5 stars