A beautifully written story about a young man’s journey to his true identity. John Bird is a lonely high school student who has always felt different. J.P. is a classmate who has been bullying John since forever. John’s nickname, Ladybird, was given to him by J.P. and John has always hated it. As high school starts, John is befriended by a new girl, Aureus, and that friendship will change his life. Aureus accepts him for who he is and supports him throughout his journey. After high school, the two of them go to the same college where John finally realizes that the reason he has always felt is different is because he would rather be a woman.
This is a story about a friendship, about self-discovery, and about love. I was completely engrossed in John’s story. One of the things I appreciated most is the way the author treated the subject and the characters with dignity and respect. There is no condemnation here of anybody’s lifestyle. I especially appreciated how the author handled the response of John’s parents to his revelation. John was able to give his parents the space and time they needed to wrap their heads around this dramatic change. Overall, this is a great story, about a hard subject that is presented with great care and grace.
Who is this book appropriate for?: Anyone who has an interest in transgender issues would enjoy this one. I also think that this would be a good choice for a reader who would like to gain some understanding of the issue.
What ages is this book appropriate for?: I wouldn’t go younger than a mature teenager with this one due to the adult theme.
Alinefromabook’s recommendation: THUMBS-UP! Issues aside, this is a great story!