Thursday, March 9, 2017

Book Review: "Some Assembly Required" by Arin Andrews

I remember when this book was published a few years ago.  I was very curious about it, purchased it for our library's collection and promised myself to go back and read it.  Fast forward a bit..  and here I am reading this (finally) so that I can lead the teen book group discussion while our Teen Librarian is enjoying a well-deserved vacation.  I feel bad that this fell off my radar, but I am so glad that I read it!

This is the memoir of Arin Andrews, a transgender teen from Oklahoma.  He was born female, and it was a struggle for him growing up.  He was bullied, he had trouble finding trusted people to talk to regarding the questions he had about his gender identity and sexuality, and he attempted suicide.  He was a student at a Christian school (until they kicked him out because they thought he was a lesbian), and his mother was not very supportive - at first.  Things changed at home for Arin once he came out at transgender and was able to truly talk to his mom about it.

I am really impressed by Arin.  He has had a rough time becoming his true self, but is still able to recognize that he has still had it easier than some.  He did get support from his mother and the rest of his family.  His area has some great community centers and resources to support him.  And he has some really good friends.  Keep in mind - actually, I didn't mention this - but this was published as Arin was graduating High School and entering college.  He's pretty young here.  Sometimes that shows through in the writing, but he is still very impressive.  It is a wonderful thing to have such an open and honest person share his story with the world.  I hope this is available in school libraries and public libraries everywhere, because it really should be.

I can't wait to see what the teens in the book group have to say about this!

Some Assembly Required
by Arin Andrews
Simon & Schuster, 2014
248 pages
Source:  Library


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