"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

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

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