Everything Sad is Untrue
Although Shane Woods was born with a girls body, he realized by the time he was three that he was really a boy. He has a very supportive mom and an excellent doctor who are both helping him to adjust to living in a world that is nowhere near as accepting as he'd like it to be.
In the author's note at the end of the story, Hennessey says "This is first and foremost a story of hope overcoming hate. Love overcoming fear. Trust, empathy, and understanding overcoming all the forces that are sometimes rallied against them. I firmly believe that if we embrace these beliefs, the world becomes a better place for all of us."
I think that's why I liked The Other Boy so much. It really was a hopeful story.
In the acknowledgements Hennessey says, "There a saying that you can't hate someone whose story you know" and I've always always believed that to be true. Once you know a person... really know them... you realize that you have much more in common then you initially believed and it's easy to emphasize and impossible to dislike them.
A book like The Other Boy is an overdue and welcome addition to classroom shelves. Hopefully, in reading about Shane's painful experiences as a transgender teen being bullied, it might help develop love, understanding and compassion among readers who hadn't thought much about the transgender community.
Middle School former Teacher Librarian - then MYP math and science. Update... VERY recently retired! Still adjusting that I'm not just on summer vacation!!!
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