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Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  12,074 ratings  ·  1,584 reviews
Growing up, Liz Prince wasn't a girly girl, dressing in pink tutus or playing pretty princess like the other girls in her neighborhood. But she wasn't exactly one of the guys, either. She was somewhere in between. But with the forces of middle school, high school, parents, friendship, and romance pulling her this way and that, "the middle" wasn't exactly an easy place to b ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Zest Books (first published August 26th 2014)
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Rachel I teach middle school and I chose not to recommend it. I wanted to share this book with a number of students . . . but decided not to. Unapologetic ci…moreI teach middle school and I chose not to recommend it. I wanted to share this book with a number of students . . . but decided not to. Unapologetic cigarette smoking is pervasive. I don't expect the author to lie or sugarcoat her youth, but I wish she had toned it down, or expressed some remorse. There are many things about this book to love. Many middle school students could relate to her exploration of gender roles, and her willingness to be true to self. It could also be a good book for building awareness and empathy in students who do fall into traditional identities of male and female. I was really disappointed by the generic product placement of cigarettes. (less)

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Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Hello! I'm an fairly biased reviewer, because I wrote this book, but I figured I'd throw my 2 cents in anyhow.

I learned a lot from writing this memoir, which is my first full-length narrative graphic novel. It was a challenge to write a book that spans the first 18 years of my life in a way that is succinct, engaging, and entertaining, without being overly redundant or narcissistic (I reserved my narcissism for the glowing review I'm giving myself here). Most importantly though, it was challengi
Emily May
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it

This may be a graphic novel, but it is also one of the most honest, refreshing, detailed and touching memoirs I have ever read. I have one slight complaint and it isn't really a complaint, more of a little suggestion as to how this could have been better - if a couple of the f-bombs had been removed and this became a book we could give to younger kids. Because, damn, in a world of pink glitter for girls and blue guns for boys, younger kids really do need a book like this.

Tomboy is the tale of Li
Whitney Atkinson
I feel like this book waited a little too long to introduce the point/moral, because for the entire book Liz has really unhealthy thoughts and she discusses her hatred of women quite often, but never actually addresses that those thoughts were unhealthy until the last pages of the book. But overall I really really enjoyed this. I thought the narrative was funny and Liz's story is really worth getting to know, and the overall theme of accepting yourself & your gender is really great. ...more
Dave Schaafsma
7/21/17 Reread for my summer YA Graphic Novels class with a focus on girls and women, a memoir for tomboys of all ages (and those that make fun of them, too, I guess). I liked it even more this time around.

10/17/14 Liz Prince writes this memoir from her younger self's point of view, with her Jeffery Brownish artwork to match, which I like so much. I'm here to tell ya that this book is really good, and useful in the world to all those who have issues with their bodies, their gender identities, w
tomboy is an engaging, well-written graphic memoir, ​but it does not examine gender with any depth! i was hoping for more nuance, but it remains a straightforward memoir.

one thing do i appreciate is liz's belated realization about her internalized misogyny. since she grows up feeling different from other girls, she resents femininity and the girls around her. it takes an adult mentor to help her realize that she hates the gender expectations placed on women, not women themselves. but there is so
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Commercial Photography

I was going to say “my apologies for this being long and rambly,” but I’m fairly certain 99.9999% of my reviews have become long and rambly so I’m no longer apologizing ; )

Commercial Photography

Strange little story . . . Tomboy popped up on my library recommendations as an option when I had to go on the waiting list for Gracefully Grayson. Why the library would recommend a book to me that had an even longer waiting list than the one I originally int
Amy Rae

Look, I feel for Liz Prince. Nobody should be bullied, and they especially shouldn't be bullied for the fact that they don't conform to society's expectations of what a man or woman should be. But the message in this book feels shallow to me: there's 237 pages about how being traditionally feminine sucks, and then about three pages where she realizes "wait, maybe there are lots of ways to be a girl, and my way is completely valid," and then it winds down into a happily-ever-after.

There's nev
Debbie "DJ"
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel, memoir
My first graphic novel. While I can't say this is the form I like to read in, it was a compelling look at gender. It has to take a lot of talent to write a memoir in such a way. In fact, this could have been my memoir, as I related to it so much. Liz Prince, while born a girl, does not fit into the typical "girl" stereotypes. Liz is a tomboy, who's first memory is that of hating dresses. She wants to wield a sword, not wear a Tierra. Yet, every Disney movie she sees, shows girls being rescued by ...more
I was at a party this weekend where one of the attendees was talking about this book. He said his 10-year-old daughter had just read it twice in 24 hours. She told him "This book is about me, dad!"
I can't wait to read it.


Read it, loved it.
Give it to kids who are into Raina Telgemeier, Roller Girl, Jimmy Gownley and El Deafo*, and are ready for more mature themes and content. You know how Victoria Jamieson shows her character working through identity and relationship issues? Here, Prince
Well, this was underwhelming and surprisingly unnuanced. I think readers who are being introduced to the concept of oppressive gender norms (ie, lots of straight cis dudes and some striaght cis women, some young people) could get a lot out of this, but for me it just couldn't hold my attention. It is written for a YA audience, after all, so this kind of makes sense, although that doesn't really give teens enough credit, I think. The denouement, where she realizes that conflating girls with weakn ...more
Deborah Markus
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The short review:


Slightly more detail:

How do I love thee, Liz Prince? Let me count the ways:

Your drawing is deeply appealing – the kind of deceptively casual-looking art that clearly takes a lot of thought.

Your writing flows with seemingly effortless ease.

Your dialogue is utterly authentic.

Your story includes all kinds of wonderful detail, but never meanders.

You let me know that I wasn't the only one who grew up with that creepy "Bloody Mary in the
First Second Books
I read TOMBOY and adored it. It's a very smart and immediate portrait of adolescence - a book I wish I had had when I was 14. ...more
Jenna (still emerging from hiatus but still reading…!)
(Note: This book came out in 2014, already surprisingly long ago, and was originally reviewed in 2015…even since then, we’ve come a long way! Where has time gone?!?)

There are so many great graphic memoirs lately. This one is not my favorite in terms of illustration style; it looks more like a old-school zine than anything else, which is still not a bad thing. But, it is a good one terms of mission and message. It provides young readers a good introduction to thinking critically about gender role
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, comics
What does it mean to be a girl, or a young woman? What's feminine? And what value does that ideal of femininity have?

That's really what Tomboy is about. Society tells girls that there's only one way to be a girl- and that girlishness is inherently worth less than boyishness. Liz Prince internalized those messages and took them very seriously. And since she didn't fit the images of "girl" that she saw around her, and since she bought that being a boy was better than being a girl... Well, you can
Jan Philipzig
I have to admit that I was not all that keen on reading this graphic novel, and I probably would not have bothered if it wasn't for all the praise it has received here at GR. While I am all for tearing down gender norms, I was worried that a story devoted specifically to this topic and targeted primarily at younger readers would necessarily be a little simplistic and predictable, possibly preachy. And in part, that is indeed the case, as the story - from an adult perspective, at least - occasion ...more
Sue Moro
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Tomboy is a graphic memoir written by Liz Prince, an autobiographical cartoonist, about her life growing up as a tomboy. She describes her total hatred of wearing girl's clothes, particularly dresses, and then goes on to defining what a tomboy is and what her life has been like being one.

Through her wonderful cartoons she shows how she struggled to find her place in a society that expected people to follow specific "rules of gender". She resented the fact that boys were allowed more options tha
Sep 19, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021, hoopla
Liz Prince's memoir about growing up a tomboy. The difficulties of wanting to play with the boys and not being accepted by either gender, the bullying, the learning to grow into your own skin and accept yourself. The story follows her from childhood through high school and is a little too thorough. At 256 pages, it was just too long and some of the stories grew a sameness to them. The book is filled with funny self-deprecating humor. The art was pretty simple and Prince needs to learn how to dra ...more
Because I recently read An Age of License: A Travelogue and In Real Life, Goodreads has been hinting that I would probably like Tomboy.
Fate conspired to test that theory when this book came across my desk today.
Because Goodreads doesn't quite understand the content in reviews, it didn't understand that maybe I wouldn't like Tomboy based upon what I said about those other two books.
In this case, I am happy that GR doesn't have artificial intelligence yet because it was right - I enjoyed this boo
Mar 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: zinester-books
I really enjoyed and related to this book. A couple quick thoughts/comments:

-There is one really brutal/scary potentially triggering scene that seems like it might result in a sexual assault (it doesn't, but keep this in mind when you recommend it to folks).
-The moral of the story is great: girls can be however they want to be. Being boyish doesn't make you not a girl.
-That said, I kind of wish Liz had addressed that for some of us who feel like boys, learning that we're boyish girls isn't enoug
Yakult Boy
Aug 31, 2018 rated it did not like it
Not an enjoyable read. Especially as a queer reader.

The book is mostly exhausting and frustrating to read because of how relentlessly sexist the main character is. She thinks women suck and boys rule because media shows men in a variety of roles while women are helpless princesses. By the end of the book we look at the bigger picture to see how society controls the narrative on what a woman should and shouldn't be. It's just such a painful read to get to that point because by then it doesn't fee
Stuti Rai
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Tomboy has been a recurring word throughout my childhood at school and occasionally, I hear it these days in connection with myself for reasons I cannot discern.

I think it's a stupid term. I think it's a stupid classification and quantification and label but the world doesn't seem to agree. I think it forces down restrictions even/especially upon wayward souls who don't conform to traditional roles. I think a lot and my history teacher says I shouldn't. Course, he also says that that's what my
There has been rather a lot of attention to the particular problems of transgender children lately: news accounts of parents being supportive and being so violently opposed to their child's identity that suicide becomes the only option.

Prince's story is set at the edge of those: as a girl she hated wearing skirts or dresses with the fiery passion of a billion suns going supernova. Although she didn't want to dress like a girl, or adopt obvious clues to femininity like long hair, she wasn't a boy
I wish this existed when I was a kid. It's not preachy or anything, it's just the story of Luz Prince's childhood as a tomboy. Kids made fun of her but it isn't about bullying. Important people in her life accepted her as is but it's not about that either. It's about getting to play Ghostbusters with the next door neighbor and baseball with her brother and carry around a Popple AND a leather briefcase because it's fun and it's who she is and that's that. ...more
Elizabeth A
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a girl who disliked dresses and often had shorts on underneath (who wants everyone to see your underwear when you do a cartwheel or hang upside down, am I right?), actively disliked anything pink, was not into dolls, and was your classic tomboy (oh how I hate that word), I would have loved this book as a kid. I so wanted to be a boy, and it took me many years to realize that what I really wanted was not to change genders, but to change gender roles and expectations. Yes, we've come a long way ...more
Mar 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015
An obnoxious, heavy-handed, poorly written graphic novel that never trusts the reader to understand anything without loads of exposition. The whole comic read like editorial cartoons that use arrows and spell everything out for the reader. I was looking for a thoughtful graphic novel that explored gender identity, but I didn't find it here. ...more
Anne Jordan-Baker
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I would give this ten stars if I could, five from me and five from my 12-year-old daughter, who said after reading almost all of it on one sitting, "that's my life." Life changing for her to read about someone so like herself and in a book so artfully written and drawn. ...more
Iris P
Tomboy A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince
Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir

Tomboy is a witty, funny and thought-provoking graphic memoir written and illustrated by Liz Prince.

From the time she was a toddler, Liz knew she wasn't a "girly-girl" and as soon as she was able to, she let her parents know that dresses and other conventional forms of girl's apparel were not acceptable to her. Liz was not interested in dolls, tiaras or anything else little girls were supposed to be into. She's definitely more comfortable in "boys clothes", loved comi
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: format-gn
I really wish I'd had this book when I was younger and for that reason I cannot recommend it highly enough for girls or boys who don't feel like they fit in. Even at 27 I still feel a weird disconnect from expectations for my gender. I love sports and videogames and have never had much interest in traditionally "female" areas like fashion or make-up. That's not to say that I now judge girls who do like them, just that that was never me. In the past, the expectations of others made me have a viol ...more
while i liked the art and the storytelling was good, i didn't really connect to the characters enough to actually feel anything. ...more
Mesho 👾
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was so beautiful. I wish I could've read it when I was a kid . This made so sense. Liz was me as a kid and still me as an adult trying to conform to society and gender stereotypes for what a girl should look and behave like . It was tomboy magic . ...more
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Play Book Tag: Tomboy / Liz Prince. 4 stars 1 6 Nov 21, 2021 02:38PM  
2022 Reading Chal...: PEB 30 books 2019 25 53 Jun 26, 2019 09:58AM  
Play Book Tag: Tomboy by Liz Prince - 3 stars 4 12 Mar 27, 2016 05:33AM  
2015 Hub Reading ...: Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir 2 14 Jun 03, 2015 10:11AM  

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I have been a comic artist and a self-publisher since I was in high school in the mid-90's. In 2005 my book Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed? was published by Top Shelf Productions; it won an Ignatz Award for Outstanding Debut. Top Shelf has since published two more of my autobio comic collections, Delayed Replays in 2008, and Alone Forever earlier this year. In September my first full leng ...more

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