"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

01 November 2016

Lily & Dunkin

Gephart, Donna. Lily and Dunkin. 2016.

Lily (nee Tim) is a girl. Her mother and sister both accept her as a girl, but her dad just can't get over the fact that she was named Tim and proclaimed a boy when she was born. He won't let her dress as a girl outside of the house, and worst of all, he won't sign the papers allowing Lily to receive hormone blockers so she won't go through male puberty. Meanwhile, Dunkin (ne Norbert) moves into the neighborhood and befriends Lily. Dunkin and his mom have moved in with Dunkin's grandma because Dunkin's dad and Dunkin both struggle with bipolar disorder. Dunkin is accepted by the basketball guys at his school because he's tall, but he doesn't really play basketball, that is, until he chooses not to take his antipsychotic medication. Will Lily and Dunkin be able to embrace their true selves?

This book packs quite a punch for a book aimed at tweens. Lily is teased at school constantly, regardless of whether she presents in a more feminine or a more masculine way. Dunkin hears voices in his head and makes a series of poor decisions when he stops taking his medicine. I loved the strong characterization in this novel, Lily's best friend and Dunkin's grandmother in particular. My library will definitely have this book on the shelf because all children deserve both windows and mirrors.

Recommended for: tweens, teens
Red Flags: Lily is teased at school and often called a fa%; Dunkin self-medicates with caffeine and donuts and at one point must be hospitalized because of his choice not to take his medication; Lily is cornered in the boys' locker room at school (she is still being socialized as male even though she has told her parents that she is transgender) and some bullies pull down her pants and underwear to see her genitals.
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Read-Alikes: Cameron and the Girls, George, The Pants Project, Gracefully Grayson

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