Sep 22, 2017

LISA'S REVIEW of The Pants Project by Cat Clark

I was pleased to see this book in the Middle School age group. It's a good age group for introducing children to differences in others. Not all children in this age group will be open minded enough for this book (nor will their parents), but it would be a welcome sight to see in the local school library for the children who are interested in learning. If the book prevents even 1 act of cruelty, that's a good thing.

I enjoyed reading this book.  All of the characters were well developed and readers have a sense of who each character is, and what their expected behavior, is.  The books portrayal of children in this age range seemed realistic. The friends you can count on, the bullies, the friends you lose along the way. The book is strongly family oriented with a strong, loving family bond.

The story is about a transgender student, who identifies as a boy, starting Middle School and facing a strict , outdated, gender based dress code. The story follows Liv in his struggle of standing up to the school against the outdated dress code. It also shows the problems children face with self-acceptance, gender identity, and bullying by other students. I was glad the author included that Liv had to learn when to let old friends go. Sometimes the person is too hurtful for the friendship to survive. Sometimes your own happiness means more, it should!

The book helps to convey that the important things in life are self-acceptance, self-esteem and not being ashamed of who you are.  It also encourages acceptance of others.

I can't completely encourage openness concerning issues faced by LGBT persons in small town America, the risks remain too great. The day of full awareness and acceptance is not here, but some day...... until that day, this book and others like it do a wonderful job of opening children's eyes to differences, hurtful behaviors and the acts of cruelty committed against peers.

This is an excellent book and it should be available to those children mature enough to read it. I hope to see more books like this coming out in the near future. What is always forced to be hidden, will always be shamed. What is never discussed, will always be feared.

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