"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

13 November 2014

Rethinking Normal: A Memoir in Transition

Hill, Katie Rain. Rethinking Normal: A Memoir in Transition. Simon & Schuster BFYR, 2014.

Katie Rain Hill is transgender - she was born with a male body, but discovered that she is actually a girl on the inside, and was able to obtain the therapy, hormones, surgery, etc. to make her body match what her brain thought it should. This is Katie's story as told by Katie, who began writing this memoir when she was still in high school. Interestingly enough, Katie's former boyfriend, who is also transgender, also wrote his memoir - Some Assembly Required: The Not-So-Secret Life of a Transgender Teen. For a while Arin and Katie were the poster children for the trans* community. This book is Katie's story in Katie's words.

I am so glad that there is finally a memoir written by a teen about a teen who is transgender. There are many memoirs of adults who are transgender, but it is only now that there are children in our society who are trans*, who identify early enough as trans* to be able to begin transitioning before they are adults. Katie's story is one that will bring hope to other teens and also expand their worldview. My only issue with the book is that several times Katie refers to transgender people as "transgenders," which is actually very offensive to many trans* people. "Transgender" is an adjective, not a noun. Throughout the memoir, Katie's teen voice rings true, and many teens will find this book to be easy to read. Recommended.

Recommended for: teens, adults, those who work with teens,
Red Flags: Katie does discuss her "bottom surgery" in fairly explicit detail, but that part of the book is easy to skip if necessary
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Read-Alikes: Some Assembly Required: The Not-So-Secret Life of a Transgender Teen, Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out

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