Freakboy, Kristin Elizabeth Clark’s debut YA novel, at first looks heftier than most, but that is because most of its 427 pages are filled with dramatic and effective white space. Written in verse, this novel about coping with gender identity has a strong story line.
Recommend for readers of novels-in-verse, anyone dealing with or curious about non-conforming gender issues. Readers who love stories with strong mentors will find the relationship with Angel compelling.
Diverse content: The protagonist is gender fluid and confused by a world that insists on everyone choosing a definite gender identity. The mentor Angel is a transwoman who has gone through hard times and now thrives with work she loves and boyfriend her loves her. The protagonist’s girlfriend isn’t particularly girly. (The author, however, is not gender-fluid.)
Study this for: Writing a verse novel in multiple voices. Take a look at the attempt to use font style to indicate that the reading is in a different character. (I may be a little font-blind, because it didn’t help me.)
On Diversity in YA: 5 things Kristin Elizabeth Clark learned while writing Freakboy