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Double Exposure

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  135 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Nominated for the Lambda Literary Award and the Foreword Reviews' INDIE Book of the Year

First place winner of the Wisconsin Council of Writers' Tofte/Wright Children's Literature Award

Fifteen-year-old Alyx Atlas was raised as a boy, yet she knows something others don’t. She’s a girl. And after her dad dies, it becomes painfully obvious that she must prove it now—to herself
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 11th 2014 by Sky Pony Press (first published October 7th 2014)
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Jan 09, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, lgbt
Alyx is a great character, and I really appreciated that she was so sure about her gender identity in the face of everyone and everything else saying that she was either wrong or ambiguous. Also, when's the last time you read a ya book about girls' basketball?
Liza Wiemer
An extremely important novel about an intersex YA. Alyx is an unforgettable character.

Full review to come. But I highly recommend this sensitive, thoughtful, enlightening novel!
Nathan Burgoine
Apr 01, 2015 Nathan Burgoine rated it really liked it
Shelves: glbt
I was lucky enough to meet Bridget Birdsall this past week at the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival - we were on a YA panel together, alongside Jeffrey Ricker and Greg Herren. I try to do my homework, and read books by authors when I'm going to be speaking with them, and I'm so glad I got pegged for the YA panel - not only was it a fantastic panel, it meant I bumped into this book.

On the basis of character alone, this book was worthwhile. Alyx is the first intersex teen I've ever read, and th
Traci Bold
May 06, 2015 Traci Bold rated it it was amazing
What would you do if you didn't know which sex you belonged to? You have genitalia of both sexes. Are you a freak, an alien?

This is more common than people realize and when kids get older and the parents choose not to decide the babies sex at birth to have the surgery to correct it, kids usually are teased mercilessly or worse bullied to any extremes.

Why hasn't there more literature for kids dealing with this and for kids to understand it?

Bridget Birdsall has created a phenomenal Young Adult bo
Mar 07, 2015 Abby rated it really liked it
A fifteen-year-old born intersex finally gets a chance to live and play ball as the girl she's always known herself to be in contemporary Milwaukee. I highly recommend it for older middle schoolers on up.
Nov 18, 2014 Grady rated it it was amazing
`You gotta make friends, Alyx. Don't be loser loner - it's the only way to survive high school'

Wisconsin author Bridget Birdsall is dyslexic (definition: dyslexia is a learning disorder characterized by difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words). The fact that she is able to write a book so profoundly sensitive and with such agility of technique can be both a result of her coping with that dysfunction and with first hand unders
Double Exposure was really great! Alyx is intersex. She was born with ambiguous genitalia, and her parents decided not to have surgery to assign her a gender as a baby. However, Alyx ended up being raised as a boy, even though she was girl. After her father dies, and she gets beat up for being "queer," her mother moves them across the country for a fresh start. Now, Alyx can finally present herself as the girl that she is and live the life she wants. At least until her gender comes into question ...more
Jul 26, 2015 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome read on so many levels. Writing is skillful, and voice is fresh. I very much enjoyed the touches of humor, especially given the fact that the subject matter is serious and complex.

Fifteen year old Alyx was born intersexed. She has both male and female traits but due to her father's desire for a son Alyx has been raised as a boy thus far. She's had a rough time at school, been bullied and beat up for being different. Mom and Alyx move to Milwaukee to live with family and make
Feb 20, 2015 Julian rated it really liked it
Double Exposure is an outstanding example of contemporary YA fiction. This book should be in high school classrooms across the country. It tackles issues of gender and sexuality through the eyes of a relatable and life-like 16 year old who was born intersex. No book I have read can better convey how contrived our societies gender boundaries are. The book highlights the damaging effects that gender and sexuality related bullying and assault can have on our youth. It also demonstrates how ...more
Sandy Brehl
The core issue here (a teen who was born dual-gendered/hermaphroditic) drives the tension and conflicts, and the surrounding story is so well-written and the characters so well-developed that this book is a winner in any category. Those are the elements that elevate it above being "just" a topical story, earn it a place among the 2014 "BEST BOOKS" titles for anti-bullying, and make Alyx an unforgettable, pronoun-free, character. Every teen struggles with issues of identity, family, peer ...more
Jamie Gregory
Sep 17, 2015 Jamie Gregory rated it really liked it
Great story about girls basketball! The main character struggles with sexual identity and the loss of her father to cancer. Extreme bullying leads the family to move from California to Milwaukee for a fresh start. However, a hot-temepered, talented member of the basketball team uncovers who the main character Alyx was in California, which causes trouble for the team that is headed straight for a state championship. Great read for any teens dealing with these struggles in their own lives. The ...more
Jun 24, 2015 Lydia rated it really liked it
As an intersex teen, Alyx's life has been pretty much hell. After her father's death and yet another beating at the hands of her nemesis, she and her mother move to Wisconsin. There, Alyx will only be known as a girl and not as a boy or undecided -- or so she hopes. When she excels in basketball, her life, however, continues to become nearly as complicated as it was in California.

I know Bridget and must give kudos to her work. It is outstanding and worthy of the awards for which it has nominated
Valerie Biel
Mar 04, 2015 Valerie Biel rated it it was amazing
Bridget Birdsall does an excellent job presenting the issue of gender identity through a wonderfully told story. We are rooting for Alyx from the beginning as she struggles to find her place in a new school and on a new basketball team. All the typical teen troubles are heightened by Alyx's journey to be herself. (Avoiding spoilers here!) And for basketball fans--the game play-by-play is awesome!
Feb 17, 2016 Bonnie rated it it was amazing
Loved this, couldn't put it down. It's so much fun to read a book set in a familiar place. Explores what it means to be intersexed in a way that normalizes and gives respect to those who are born intersexed.
Mar 02, 2016 Wisteriouswoman rated it liked it
Alyx is a sweet character that has to find her way in the world. The teenage years can be particularly difficult for kids that don't fit a standard mold especially if they aren't accepted as part of a group. Fortunately, Alyx finds her place in the new school by joining the basketball team. That is a good lesson for other kids--do something you love and play to your strengths. There is no 'I' in the word team. The girls have to work together in order to win. It is hard work with lots of conflict ...more
Sally Kruger
"Aren't we all queer? Different? Odd? Peculiar? Strange? Freaky? Weird? Losers in our own way?" It may have taken the first fifteen years of her life, but Alyx Atlas is coming to terms with who, or some may say, what she is.

Born intersexed, Alyx has both male and female genitalia. This rare condition was explained to her parents by the doctor who suggested that surgery could be performed immediately to preserve her female organs and eliminate the male organs. It was the decision made by most par
Sep 06, 2016 Journey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-lgbt
i tried to find reviews of this book by intersex people but couldn't--if anyone knows of any please share! that said, Alyx feels authentic as a character, and Double Exposure presents a situation where her parents knew forcing a surgery on an infant was wrong, but that their decision to leave her genitalia ambiguous still had an impact on her, and they could not and did not raise her as gender neutral--they raised her as a boy. and when she's old enough, she realizes she does not want that. i th ...more
Aug 24, 2015 Marti rated it really liked it
Shelves: maybes
Alyx and her mom have just moved cross-country to make a fresh start after Alyx's dad passed away from cancer. But it's not just sad memories they're running from - Alyx was born intersex (formerly referred to as a hermaphrodite) and spent the last fifteen years being raised as a boy. Can she convince everyone in her new school and more importantly, her new basketball team, that she's really one of them or will they find out the truth?

This is an important story and pretty well done. I'm not a sp
S. Acevedo
Sep 25, 2015 S. Acevedo rated it really liked it
An intersexed teen (having both male and female sexual organs) leaves his bullying high school across the country to start fresh as a girl in a Wisconsin high school. Her lifelong interest in basketball helps her make friends and eventually keeps her sane when her past inevitably roars into the present.

This is not normally the sort of thing I’d read, and maybe that’s exactly why it’s good to change habits once in a while. It’s good to expand your world. Double Exposure‘s story was engaging, the
This book was about an intersex kid who spends the first part of her childhood as a boy, but who moves due to bullying and becomes a girl.
I've never read a book about this subject before, so it was pretty cool. I just wasn't sure how the main antagonist, Pepper, contacted Alyx's friend from her past, Dylan, who was basically isolated from civilization in Ecuador, and why Dylan answered Pepper but not Alyx's emails. I'm pretty sure Pepper found out about Alyx being intersex through Dylan.
Dec 06, 2014 Anna rated it liked it
The pros: Wisconsin author (who overcame dyslexia to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a writer), Milwaukee setting, and the only teen fiction novel I can recall about a teen born intersex (anyone know of any others, I'd love to hear about them!). The cons: the characters, empathetic though they were, didn't quite capture my emotion as much as I would've liked them too + the overall writing style failed to reel me in. .
Jul 09, 2015 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: teen
The fact that there’s a book about an intersex teenager is notable and important. It seems like Alyx's actions and feelings are appropriate for someone in her situation. Lots of basketball action. I liked Alyx’s extended family, especially Uncle Grizzly, and her home and neighborhood’s descriptions – they seemed real and also unique.
While the writing was good, this dragged for me. There wasn’t really much plot to keep the book moving forward.

May 03, 2015 Chris rated it really liked it
I always enjoy reading books by local authors, although I do spend too much time wondering about geographical stuff-like when authors change the names of places-where were they really referring to? Overall, this was a good book about an important subject. My only criticisms would be that I didn't find the writing style to be all that strong, and the villians were perhaps a little too heavily drawn.
May 09, 2016 Rusty rated it liked it
This is a good book for a kid struggling with gender identity, but other than that it is just another sports story. Take out the transgenderism and it is just another book about a kid trying to fit in and make it on the basketball team. Nothing surprising, nothing really new. Not super but not bad, either.
There aren't many young adult novels out there that share the intersex experience. I found this to be a compelling book. Alyx has gone through some tough situations, but is trying to figure out who she is and stay true to herself.

Alyx believes her father wanted a boy and so raised her that way, but she has had issues with that. Now she is getting the chance to be herself.
Dec 29, 2014 Dm rated it really liked it
I dreaded picking this book up because I was afraid it would be an all out tear jerker, but I am so glad I did. Very quick read, some sad parts but other happy ones. wish it had touched on a few more things but overall very good.
Alicia Weaver
May 15, 2016 Alicia Weaver rated it really liked it
A really good read about a topic often overlooked, child born intersex. I enjoyed the book very much, until the end. Endings always cause me heartburn. The typically piss me off if they feel too rushed, are too happy, or too unrealistic. This one was all three.
Jul 18, 2016 Anne rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, sports, lgbt, 2016
Would probably be 3.5 stars except I think it is so important to represent intersex teens in YA literature. Also good sports/basketball story-line. Important addition to middle and high school collections.
Mar 25, 2016 Caryn rated it it was ok
I loved the idea behind this story, but I think it fell kind of flat. It could have been so much more than it was. The characters didn't really stand out and nothing really resolved itself. In hindsight, I do realize that I was not the intended audience.
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