The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey
Published September 20, 2016 by HarperCollins
Genres Middle Grade, Fiction, GLBT
Twelve-year-old Shane Woods is just a regular boy. He loves pitching for his baseball team, working on his graphic novel, and hanging out with his best friend, Josh. But Shane is keeping something private, something that might make a difference to his teammates, to Josh, and to his new crush, Madeline. And when a classmate threatens to reveal his secret, Shane’s whole world comes crashing down. It will take a lot of courage for Shane to ignore the hate and show the world that he’s still the same boy he was before. And in the end, those who stand beside him may surprise everyone, including Shane.
I thought this story was very well written and that the character development was excellent. I don’t read many middle-grade books and when I do I usually find them to be lacking the character development I am used to. I must admit, that this is a topic I have not read very much about, nor do I personally know much about. But I do believe that the author did a good job accurately portraying how modern society views and acts towards transgender people. Like I said, I don’t know very much about this topic, but from what I do now, this book seems to fairly accurate. Mind you, this is a story about 12 year old, so it is portraying a younger population. I did enjoy the way the author wrote the story and like most middle grade books I have read, the story and plot are fairly straight forward and the books moves pretty fast. Which I believe is ideal for the younger middle grade readers., although I believe that young adult readers will also enjoy this book as well.
One of the things that made me laugh in this book was the fact that all the kids have cell phones! Maybe I am old but it amazed me that Shane was getting mean texts from classmates and although I of course didn’t like the mean texts he was getting, I was also thinking, “Why does a 12 year old have a cell phone?” I also liked how the author incorporated support groups into Shane’s life and I really, truly hope that there are accessible support groups for children and middle grade children, along with older teenagers, who are dealing with these issues, like there are in the book. Overall I enjoyed this book and the author’s writing style, as well as Shane as a character. Like I said, it is not a topic that I know much about or have read much about, so if I am not correct on saying that the author has portrayed the situation accurately, I apologize. Thank you to HarperCollins for sending me a review copy of this book. Happy reading!