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Irene's Picks

Book Cover for Gender Born Ehrensaf, Diane
Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children

Nonfiction
There are so many ways in which young children express themselves, but what about when a child tells you that they would rather be a girl/boy? Boys who wear dresses or rough-and-tumble girls are not new, but the growing acceptance that some children don’t neatly fit into a traditional gender mold is. “Gender-creative” is a term that describes these children, who may experiment with a variety of gender expressions, who may grow up to be transgendered, or who may reject binary gender roles altogether. Although other books exist on the topic — notably The Transgendered Child — this book is essential for parents or educators who would like advice on how to compassionately help gender-nonconforming children. Examples of children and families are a highlight of the book, and illustrate the wide variety of ways in which a child might be gender-creative and how families might help (or hinder) their development of that identity.
Recommended November 2013

 
Book Cover for Gender Born Ehrensaf, Diane
Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children

Fiction
There are so many ways in which young children express themselves, but what about when a child tells you that they would rather be a girl/boy? Boys who wear dresses or rough-and-tumble girls are not new, but the growing acceptance that some children don’t neatly fit into a traditional gender mold is. “Gender-creative” is a term that describes these children, who may experiment with a variety of gender expressions, who may grow up to be transgendered, or who may reject binary gender roles altogether. Although other books exist on the topic — notably The Transgendered Child — this book is essential for parents or educators who would like advice on how to compassionately help gender-nonconforming children. Examples of children and families are a highlight of the book, and illustrate the wide variety of ways in which a child might be gender-creative and how families might help (or hinder) their development of that identity.
Recommended November 2013

 
Book Cover for The Longings of Wayward Girls Brown, Karen
The Longings of Wayward Girls

Fiction
As a child, Sadie and her best friend played a prank on a neighborhood girl who goes missing and is never seen again. Years later, Sadie is living in the same small town, married with a family and mourning the child who died eight months into her most recent pregnancy. When she meets up with an old neighbor and former crush who has returned to town, she embarks on an affair that causes her to reflect on the events of her childhood and the troubled relationship she had with her mother as a girl. Sadie is an incredibly flawed and complex character, who is often difficult to root for but nevertheless someone who you hope will prevail. While Sadie’s memories of the past feel reminiscent of Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye, this novel at heart focuses on the complex relationship between a mother and her children. Sadie simultaneously loves her family and feels tied down by them, misses the child she never got to know while she disregards the two children who are still left, and struggles to come to terms with her own mother’s dark history.
Recommended October 2013