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Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States

04 April 2012

Jumpstart the World

Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde is the story of a young girl on her own.

Elle is moving into her first fifteen. Her mother's boyfriend made her choose between him and Elle, and now Elle is being moving out. Her mother did allow Elle to stop at the Department of Animal Services to rescue a cat to take with her.

On the way into the building for the first time, Elle meets her neighbor Frank. He seem like a really nice guy. When the chance to meet on the fire escape enjoying the evening, Frank invites Elle over for dinner with he and Molly. Elle soon has a crush on Frank and tries not to like Molly because of it. But they are both very nice and it is impossible not to like them both.

When Elle finds out that Frank is trans, she kinda flips out - not because Frank has transitioned from female to male, but because she is not sure if liking him makes her gay. Luckily, Elle has make a small group of friends at her new school who can help her talk through her feelings - even if the conversations are not easy or smooth.

Hyde has captured the feel of being a teen - the being unsure of yourself and your place in the world - with a lovable but tough character. She has then put that character into a situation that makes the book a must read for all people. While our society is getting more tolerant of our GLBT members, trans people are probably the most often discriminated against. This is a great book that teaches us something while we enjoy a great story.

Hyde, Catherine Ryan. (2010). Jumpstart the World. New York: Alfred. A. Knopf.

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