Saturday, February 12, 2011

Book Review: Be Who You Are! by Jennifer Carr

Once in a while, a new kids book comes along that I just have to pick up. When I read about this book I knew I wanted to review it. Be Who You Are! is a book that clearly explains, in language accessible to its audience (kids), what it is like to be a transgender child and how family and school life can support or sabotage a child's sense of self (and especially self-worth) in this situation.

In this respect, the book is great for adults too. Many parents and teachers are unaware of how to react to a child expressing a desire to be a different gender to the one that they were born into. This book demonstrates how to be supportive and open to where the child may lead you.

The book was written by an activist with a child who has gone through this experience. She has worked with schools and organizations to accept and embrace gender non-conforming children and has even created a playgroup for kids that do not conform to gender norms. This is her first children's book in what I hope becomes a series of supportive titles.

This book should be in classrooms, libraries and on personal bookshelves. While books like "My Princess Boy"are great for kids that do not necessarily have a transgender issue (they may just want to be more expressive in the gender spectrum than we normally allow kids), this book is one of the few that I have seen actually talking about transitioning children and setting up a positive family and school dynamic.

While I have no idea what gender Rowan will identify as when he gets older, I think this book is necessary for him. Whether or not he identifies as transgender or not in his own life, he will share this world with people that do. I am excited to read this story to him, over and over.

Formal Rating:
Title: Be Who You Are!
Author: Jennifer Carr
Publisher: Authorhouse
Price: $20.99 USD 
ISBN: 9978-1-4520-8725-2

Topics Covered: gender, parenting, transgender issues, difference, school, family, siblings

Target Audience: children, parents, teachers
Witch Mom Rating: Three Hats!
 Amazing resource that is among the first of its kind. Help foster understanding of transgender issues for families, especially kids. Spread the word of this book!

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