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Reviewed by:
  • Tomboy by Liz Prince
  • April Spisak
Prince, Liz Tomboy; written and illus. by Liz Prince. Zest, 2014 255p ISBN 978-1-936976-55-3 $15.99     R Gr. 7-12

This graphic memoir focuses on gender identity and the ways in which young Liz, from early childhood, resisted her girl label even while struggling constantly to understand what it was that actually made her female. The book begins with Liz as a very young child and continues through adolescence, in a series of related vignettes. One of the most important insights—hard won after over a decade of searching for something about herself to love—that Liz gains is that gender can be identified on one’s own terms: girl doesn’t have to equal cheerleader. This recognition at least sets her on a path where she can look back with more equanimity on her own life, and with more grace for other girls whom she had mostly dismissed. The illustrations, deceptively simple black and white line drawings, mainly reflect the text, though there are moments when the grimace/scowl on Liz’s face is (amusingly) absent in her verbal response. The comic book–style panels and the clear speech bubbles make the format accessible to all of the autobiography and GLTBQ readers who may not read many graphic novels but should absolutely see what Liz has to say. [End Page 171]



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