Susanita (bardhlul) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Book 36 - Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills

Read Harder Challenge Task #12: Read a book by or about a person that identifies as transgender

"This is Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, on community radio 90.3, KZUK. I'm Gabe. Welcome to my show."

My birth name is Elizabeth, but I'm a guy. Gabe. My parents think I've gone crazy and the rest of the world is happy to agree with them, but I know I'm right. I've been a boy my whole life.

When you think about it, I'm like a record. Elizabeth is my A side, the song everybody knows, and Gabe is my B side--not heard as often, but just as good.

It's time to let my B side play.

On balance I really enjoyed this book. There were a few issues that seemed to resolve a little too quickly, but for the most part I found it charming and sweet. I particularly liked the radio show and the older DJ who's an unofficial mentor to the main character.

It's in part a "typical" teenager coming-of-age story, as Gabe/Elizabeth navigates high school graduation and career plans, unexpected romantic feelings for a friend, and parents who just don't understand. At the same time, the main character is also dealing with the very real concern about where and how to use the bathroom and other issues that have never really crossed my mind as a cis-gender person. Be advised there is some violence.
Tags: glbt, young adult

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