Me: What is the title of the book you’ve just read?
Me: Why did you choose this book?
Vera: I wanted to read this because the cover was pretty...but also because I wanted to read it for fun. I really liked reading George, and Rick is by the same author, so I decided to read it.
Me: What is the book about?
Vera: Rick is about a boy named Rick and their best friend Jeff. Jeff is a bully though. Rick starts middle school and joins the Rainbow Spectrum Club. And Rick starts to visit his grandpa Ray every Sunday and finds out that they both like the same show — Rogue Space. Rick starts to see how other people can be and how they don’t care about what other people do or say — especially jerks like Jeff. I mean this in a...confidence way. That Rick is working on being confident enough to not care about what other people say or think about him.
Me: Is that something you think about?
Vera: Well, if someone says something mean, I ignore it.
Me: What are you most confident about?
Vera: (does a rat face) I don’t know. I feel confident when I’m baking because I love it and I know how to do it very well. And some of the recipes I know like the back of my hand.
Me: Who are the main characters in the book?
Rick: goes by he-him. is figuring out if he is ace or not. is in the rainbow spectrum club.
Jeff: goes by he-him. Treats girls bad. Is a bully. Mellisa: goes by she-her. Is transgender. Is Rick's friend. Is in the Rainbow spectrum club.
Grandpa Ray: is a Rogue Space fan. Owns all of the Smithfield specials.
Me: Do you recommend this book? Vera: Yes. I do because it’s a great book to read and yah. Anyone can read this book. If they don’t know anything about LGBTQIAP+ community, they might want read Julian is a Mermaid or that guide to gender we got (A Quick and Easy Guide to Queer and Trans Identities).
Me: It seems like you know a lot about gender identity. Do you think kids today see and experience gender differently in general?
Vera: I have many different friends. Ones who go by they/them pronouns and she/her or he/him and some who are in the middle. I have friends who literally like everyone and aren’t worried about what gender they are.
Me: Do you think about your own gender?
Vera: I’m a girl. Yah. That’s how I want to be and feel.
Me: What would you say to a parent who is afraid to talk about gender or who is anxious for their kid to read this book?
Vera: First, read some parenting books. Good parenting means talking about these things. If your child goes into the world and doesn’t know about this until they’re 27? Not good.
I guess a book could kind of help you figure out who you are, what you want to be or need to be as a person. But a book like this makes you think. I mean, you won’t be persuaded to be someone you aren’t. If you read the book because you might have a certain identity, it’s always good for research. Books are way better than just looking on the internet. The internet has all kinds of weird things. It’s better to read books about stuff because they actually have right information. They have editors.
Me: Unlike in your other book reviews or interviews, I noticed that you didn’t use the word “poop” this time. Why is that?
Vera: Because there’s nothing bad about this book. Boom, baby.
Vera’s List of Recommendations
(completely created by her with no help from me)
If you like this book you might like:
Julians a Mermaid
Stella Brings the Family
Pink is for Boys
And Tango Makes Three
I am Jazz
Middle school age
You Don’t Know Everything Jilly P!
Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World
The prince and the Dressmaker
Princess Princess Ever After
Being Jazz My Life as a Transgender Teen
The Art of Being Normal
Lara Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me
Boy Meet Boy