Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Nonfiction, Memoir, Diverse Literature
Published: September 2nd, 2014 by Zest Books
Paperback, 256 pages
How I Got This Book: Checked it out from the library
Why I Picked It Up?: As soon as I saw it in the review catalog, I knew I wanted to read this! 🙂
Book Jacket Blurb: “Growing up, Liz Prince wasn’t a girly girl, dressing in pink tutus or playing pretty princess like the other girls in her neighborhood. But she wasn’t exactly one of the guys, either. She was somewhere in between. But with the forces of middle school, high school, parents, friendship, and romance pulling her this way and that, “the middle” wasn’t exactly an easy place to be.”
In her first full-length graphic memoir, Prince tells the world exactly what it is like to grow up a true tomboy. From early childhood, Liz swore off all things “girlie”‒doll houses, dresses, and fairy tales‒in favor of her dad’s old shirts, baseball caps, and GhostBuster action figures. In this cartoon-style graphic memoir, Liz walks us through growing up a true tomboy and how her identity caused miscommunications and misunderstandings with her peers, teachers, and family.
This memoir is so honest and raw and real, but it is told in a light-hearted way. This is such a personal story that I think readers will connect with in ways that they didn’t expect. This is such a universal story on so many levels, even beyond the “tomboy” factor. This is a story about growing up and learning that who you are is perfectly okay to be.
Tomboy brings up a very important conversation about gender expression and gender identity, and Liz’s story is a testament to what it means to feel comfortable in one’s own skin. Readers will identify with Liz and empathize with what she went through as a child because she was different from the norm. Gender expression does not equal gender identity, and gender identity does not equal gender expression. And that is what this memoir addresses. Liz was constantly mistaken for a boy, even though she was very much a girl. And that confused her, because while she knew who she was, other people did not. And how many of us have felt that way in our lives? All of us. How many teens are going through that same confusion? Probably all of them.
This graphic novel is an important work that will reach out to many readers who may be confused or afraid of their own identities, and this story will give power and a voice to those who may feel they don’t have either. Likewise, it will make readers question society’s definition of gender characteristics and expression. An important graphic novel to have in any Young Adult collection. So read it for yourself, and then put it in your library!
My Bookshelf Rating:
A Top Shelf Book!
This is such an important memoir. Liz’s story is a testament to what it means to feel comfortable in your own skin. It makes you rethink everything you know and understand about gender expression and identity. The graphics are lovely, making the story really engaging. I read this in one sitting and enjoyed every second of it!
For Middle School and High School Libraries!
Love and Chocolate Pie,