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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Funny
The book revolves around Sam, an american boy, whose mother has died. He comes to London to live with his cousin, aunt and uncle. But Sam is trouble, and so his cousin and his cousin's friends set him an imposible initiation task in which he must dress up and pretend to be a girl for the first week of Year 8, but it all gets out of hand.

It's told from the...
Published on 23 Aug 2006 by Joe L

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An unusual subject for teenage fiction
This book is not altogether successful as a comedy, but it does take a slightly uncomfortable premise and make some interesting and thought-provoking points.

The plot describes the events when Sam, an American boy with a very troubled life, comes to live with relatives in England and is compelled to assume the identity of a girl when he starts back at school...
Published on 5 May 2006 by Preacherdoc


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Funny, 23 Aug 2006
By 
Joe L (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: boy2girl (Paperback)
The book revolves around Sam, an american boy, whose mother has died. He comes to London to live with his cousin, aunt and uncle. But Sam is trouble, and so his cousin and his cousin's friends set him an imposible initiation task in which he must dress up and pretend to be a girl for the first week of Year 8, but it all gets out of hand.

It's told from the point of view of the people around Sam but never Sam himself, making for an interesting and balanced perspective. It's undoubtedly a great and funny teen novel even if a tad predictable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Skirting the Issue, 3 April 2014
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This review is from: boy2girl (Paperback)
Entertaining and fun, although some may be confused by the Point of View of the writing - which is never that of the protagonist.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a great book, lovely read, 5 July 2012
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This review is from: boy2girl (Paperback)
even if you are not transgender or interested in trans issues this book is fantastic fun with great humour and is well worth the time spent reading it. great value for money
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An unusual subject for teenage fiction, 5 May 2006
This review is from: boy2girl (Paperback)
This book is not altogether successful as a comedy, but it does take a slightly uncomfortable premise and make some interesting and thought-provoking points.

The plot describes the events when Sam, an American boy with a very troubled life, comes to live with relatives in England and is compelled to assume the identity of a girl when he starts back at school after the holidays. Initially he refuses, but gradually comes to accept, and finally embrace life as a girl. He is helped by already having long blond hair and being short in stature, and is immediately accepted as a girl by all who meet him (although he makes a few mistakes at first). He finds that by being a girl he is able to achieve success and popularity (which elude him as a boy), and in addition finds it easier to express emotion and even to cry openly, all of which makes him happier and more content with his life. The theme of the book appears to be this, that Sam gets on better being a girl than a boy.

Along the way the book touches on many of the turbulent aspects of teenage life and growing up: the impermanence of decisions and feelings; the shifting nature of friendships and loyalties; the appearance of breasts and periods; crushes and infatuations, and the difficulties and embarrassments of school and home life. The treatment of these is quite generic, and there are no particular surprises here, although there are a few genuine moments of humour. The book starts to develop new and interesting ground with its treatment of the relationships between Sam and Zia (an unsuspecting female friend who develops a crush on Sam-the-girl) and between Sam and Mark (an older boy whom all the girls desire, who also develops an attraction to Sam-the-girl). Sam and Mark end up on a date together, although nothing goes to plan.

In keeping with a children's book, however, the denouement is upbeat, and everything ends up being sorted out appropriately.

The narrative style is unusual: the story is told from the points of view of eyewitnesses, talking colloquially in the first person. These are all the surrounding characters: Sam's English cousin, his family, his teachers, the kids at school. We never hear Sam's voice directly. This makes it read much more like a television documentary than a book, but it gives the book an unchallenging tone which makes it easy to read.

Richard O'Brien is quoted as saying that there is nothing in the Rocky Horror Picture Show which could not be seen by an average nine-year-old (I am not sure I agree!). However, I think the same remark is probably true here. Even although there are some elements in this book which seem to echo some fiction written by crossdressers, it contains nothing offensive, and seems careful to shy away from the inevitably uncomfortable areas: e.g. a straight boy dressed as a girl going on a date with another straight boy. In terms of sexual behaviour (including homosexuality), there are other books in teenage fiction which are much more forthright.

So where is this book going? As a simple comedy, it works moderately well (although I just don't find crossdressing as a vehicle for humour all that funny). As a discussion of teenage angst (including developing sexuality), it is again moderately effective, although again there are better books out there.

What sets this book apart are its exploration of the different emotional roles which boys and girls play in opposition to each other, and its largely sympathetic stance towards cross-gender behaviour. This material is fresh and thought-provoking Should your kids be reading it? No problem. Should you encourage them to read it? Not particularly, but be ready for the questions. Should you read it yourself? It's not in the same league as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, so read that instead unless you are particularly drawn to the subject matter.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I was not impressed, 7 Dec 2012
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This review is from: boy2girl (Paperback)
There are far better stories, better written, available for free on the internet. Granted, some trawling through rubbish is necessary, but often worth it. This book is not as good or engrossing as, say, The Tuck Saga by Ellen Hayes, but it isn't bad, and there are some good set-pieces.
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