Coverart for item
The Resource Freakboy, Kristin Elizabeth Clark

Freakboy, Kristin Elizabeth Clark

Label
Freakboy
Title
Freakboy
Statement of responsibility
Kristin Elizabeth Clark
Title variation
Freak boy
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Told from three viewpoints, seventeen-year-old Brendan, a wrestler, struggles to come to terms with his place on the transgender spectrum while Vanessa, the girl he loves, and Angel, a transgender acquaintance, try to help
Storyline
Tone
Character
Award
  • Rainbow List, 2014.
  • YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2014.
  • YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults: Top Ten, 2014.
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Grades 9-12 When Brendan Chase types “Want to be a girl” into his Mac’s search engine, one word pops up: transsexual. In Clark’s raw, honest debut novel, told in verse, three voices capture a few experiences of teens on the transgender spectrum. Brendan is “not one of those people / who’s always wanted to wear a dress. / Who’s always known / he should have been born female.” Sex with girlfriend Vanessa, although confusing, feels good, and Brendan questions throughout whether or not he’s trans. Fortunately, there’s an angel in his life—literally. Angel, trans without sex-reassignment surgery (“My junk doesn’t dictate who I am”), fights against demons of her own and struggles to reconnect with her younger brother. She’s a volunteer at Willows, a center for queer teens, and eventually introduces Brendan to terms like gender identity, gender attraction, genderqueer, and gender fluid. Meanwhile, the third voice belongs to Vanessa, a girl on the boy’s wrestling team, who can’t understand why her boyfriend, Brendan, is suddenly so distant. Unlike many novels that deal with one transgender character, this movingly explores so many gender identities, from the three main characters (each appears as a different font) to Angel’s roommates. A must-have for library shelves, this will be popular with fans of Ellen Hopkins. Resources and further reading conclude. -- Kelley, Ann (Reviewed 10-15-2013) (Booklist, vol 110, number 4, p58)
  • /* Starred Review */ Debut novelist Clark uses free verse to write a gripping story about a complex topic: the challenges of growing up transgender or genderqueer. Brendan struggles with his occasional desires to be a girl; in her own series of poems, Brendan’s devoted girlfriend, Vanessa, worries about why he is suddenly avoiding her. Meanwhile, transgendered Angel—whom Brendan meets near the teen center where Angel works—reveals her own painful journey; her intense story includes physical abuse and a hospital stay after being beaten up while working as a prostitute. Clark doesn’t stray far from central theme (the back matter includes resources and further reading) as she empathically explores what it can be like to be a transgendered teen (for example, not every transitioning character considers sex-reassignment surgery to be important). The author emphasizes that there are no simple answers for her characters, especially Brendan, who wonders if the transgendered label even fits. At the same time, through Angel, she gives her story a current of hope: “Everyone feels like a freak/ until they make up their mind/ they’re not.” Ages 12–up. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Oct.) --Staff (Reviewed September 16, 2013) (Publishers Weekly, vol 260, issue 37, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ A must-buy that showcases three teen voices in free verse as they experience just a few of the myriad ways people experience gender nonconformity. Brendan is a reluctant wrestler and a dutiful boyfriend. His social life is a minefield, his athlete friends casual with their homophobia. One dreadful day, the wrestling team all dresses as cheerleaders, just a joke--for everyone else. Vanessa is Brendan's girlfriend, a wrestler herself. The only girl on the boys' team, Vanessa defends herself against homophobia at school and a family who tell her, "No boy wants a rough girl." Her love for Brendan is a signpost that she's normal. Angel is an indomitable community college student who's seen her share of the crap life throws at queer kids: beaten and rejected by her father, almost killed by a john. She works at the Willows Teen LGBTQ Center, helping other teens, says she's "blessed to like me / the way I am," and is unbent even by the vandalism Brendan commits in a fit of internalized transphobia. In alternating and distinct sections, these three young adults navigate love, family and society. Angel's position at the LGBTQ center provides narrative justification for the occasional infodump. There are no simple answers, readers learn, but there will always be victories and good people. Though the verse doesn't always shine, it's varied, with concrete poems and duets keeping the voices lively. This gutsy, tripartite poem explores a wider variety of identities--cis-, trans-, genderqueer--than a simple transgender storyline, making it stand out. (Fiction. 12-17)(Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2013)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10232672
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Clark, Kristin Elizabeth
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 9
  • 12
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Schools
  • High schools
  • Family life
  • Novels in verse
  • Novels in verse
  • Transgender people
  • Wrestling
  • Sexual orientation
Target audience
adolescent
Label
Freakboy, Kristin Elizabeth Clark
Instantiates
Publication
Control code
000050385498
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
435 pages
Isbn
9780374324728
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2012050407
System control number
(OCoLC)824119609
Label
Freakboy, Kristin Elizabeth Clark
Publication
Control code
000050385498
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
435 pages
Isbn
9780374324728
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2012050407
System control number
(OCoLC)824119609

Library Locations

    • Lionel Bowen Library and Community CentreBorrow it
      669-673 Anzac Parade, Marouba, NSW, 2035, AU
      -33.938111 151.237977
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