English / Australia

Alex as well

Brugman, Alyssa (text)
Melbourne: The Text Publishing Company,
2013. – 223 p.
ISBN 978-1-922079-23-7

Intersexuality | Identity | Family | Bullying | Coming-of-age novel

Since the publication of her first young adult novel, ≫Finding Grace≪, in 2001, Alyssa Brugman has delivered a number of thought-provoking books for children and teenagers. Her latest offering is no exception.

In an engaging tale, told from two different points of view, it tackles the topics of intersexuality, bullying, and search for one’s identity. The novel’s main protagonist, fourteen-year-old Alex, has been raised as a boy but always felt that something wasn’t right. When she suddenly announces to her parents that she is a girl, her egocentric mother suffers a nervous breakdown. Alex stops taking her hormone medication, enrols in a new school, and secretly decides to have her gender legally reassigned; all the while her mother seeks help on a blog and desperately tries everything to steer life back to ≫normal≪. The girl relates her side of the story in a witty, sarcastic voice that draws readers in and reveals that she is struggling with a lot of emotional pain. (Age: 14+)