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The Other Boy

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,590 ratings  ·  322 reviews
A heartfelt and timely middle grade story about a transgender boys journey toward acceptance and empathy. Perfect for fans of George and Gracefully Grayson.

Twelve-year-old Shane Woods is just a regular boy. He loves pitching for his baseball team, working on his graphic novel, and hanging out with his best friend, Josh. But Shane is keeping something private, something
ebook, 240 pages
Published September 20th 2016 by HarperCollins
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Anna I would say starting at 5th grade. That's when I read it. ( Its pretty good. )
Chiluveru 897175 Los angeles, California! sometimes in san fransisco.

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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  1,590 ratings  ·  322 reviews

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catherine ♡
*Thank you to Harper Collins for sending me an ARC of this book. This is my full and honest opinion.*

Actual Rating: 4.25

Meet Shane Woods. He is twelve-years old. He loves playing baseball and drawing his own graphic novel. Oh, and one more thing - he's transgender, something he's kept a secret even from his best friend Josh. But when he's found out, everything comes crashing down, and Shane has to learn how to be strong and love himself in a world that is constantly trying to push him down.

I specifically read this to compare with Lily and Dunkin because I want to find a middle grade/juvenile book that has a strong trans main character who seems like a good voice for trans youth but who also resonates with non-trans people so as to engage empathy. I think this one did better than that one and I definitely enjoyed it more, as a reader, but I'm not sure the mark has yet been hit.

Shane's life is going well. He's a star pitcher on the baseball team, his best friend is awesome, his mom
I struggle with reviewing books like this. On the one hand, I have been searching and searching for a children's/teen book about a trans BOY. I feel like every book for younger readers about a trans character is about a trans girl. So the fact that this book exists at all makes me happy and fills a need.'s...not...that good.

#1: The author isn't trans. It is hard for me to know how authentic the experience is without the author being from within the experience. It SEEMED OK to me, but
3.5 stars
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, middle-grade
Oh man, this book was ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL. Not only did it manage to make me feel a lot of different things, it also taught me something new. I think that kind of reading experiences are always the most rewarding ones.

The Other Boy is a story of 12-year-old Shane. He is on 6th grade, loves baseball and draws a graphic novel about a man called Hogan Fillion (named after his childhood dog Hogan and his favorite actor from Firefly, Nathan Fillion) on his spare time. He has a best friend called
Short  Reviews
Dec 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Finished this book in one sitting.
Review to come.
Mar 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, queer-lit, ya-lit
(I'm transmasc, on T, etc so that's my pov)

I didn't care for this book much. I know I'm not the actual target audience given that I'm 29 and this is intended for kids, but like..I just didn't like it. The author sounds like a really strong ally, but it irritates me that allies still feel like they have the right to tell our stories. I say this on pretty much every book written by a cishet person. Please, write all the queer characters into your books, write queer main characters. I love that.
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't usually write reviews, but a scroll through the comments showed me there weren't a lot of trans folks reviewing this book and I didn't see any reviews from female to male trans folks. Granted, I didn't read every review. I started identifying as male as early as around three or four. This was in the early 70s, so times were very different. I didn't know there was such a thing as being transgendered until I was 15. And then, it was only trans women and generally treated as a curiosity. I ...more
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I gave The Other Boy four stars because of the unique topic. I really liked how the story touched on an important topic that authors usually steer sway from. I think it is really important to know about. I enjoyed reading about what people go through when they live a different lifestyle. M. G. Hennessy shared a powerful message through a character people can relate to socially. Overall, The Other Boy got a four star rating from me.
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ab-arc-8-2016
arc from edelweiss

Summary: A rock-solid issue novel about a male-identified transgender with credible male dialogue and a brisk plot pacing. Will appeal to a wide range of readers, including those with no prior connection to trans* issues.

Review: When readers meet sixth grader Shane Woods, they learn a few important things about him. They learn that hes an ace pitcher, that he has a best friend, Josh, and that his divorced parents act coolly towards each other. He has a major crush on a redhead
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book isnt the perfect transgender narrative, yet its pretty close for a middle grade read. Albeit, Im sure critics will say that Shanes parents were on the extremely supportive side and thats extremely rare, I loved looking through the lens of a preteen in transition because it made me think about how Id support my students in this position.

Shanes struggles seem real: protecting his identity, beginning to date, divorced parents with different opinions, jerkface bullies.

Yet, he has a
Oliver Grin
Jun 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm glad to finally be seeing some stories focused on transboys, and I look forward to the day when the narratives about trans* folks no longer have to be so heteronormative in order to be palatable to non-trans folks. Overall, this was a good book, and I think it could really help someone out who might be in the thick of questioning or transitioning. No, Shane's life wasn't fraught with hardships, but he faced some real (real life) challenges, and it was good to see him overcome those
Rachel León
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, middle-grade
(3.5 stars, rounded up because I love fiction featuring transgender characters in a non-stereotypical way)

This novel certainly has its flaws, but I'm always excited to see middle grade novels featuring transgender kids. I thought the story was good, but there are some definite issues, such as comparing being transgendered with having cerebral palsy. Regardless, it's a pretty good story.
This was a short, sweet and quick read with an important message. I loved it. I loved the writing, the story, the characters,... All of it. Highly recommended!

Review to come. Probably.
Rebecca Crunden
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt-fiction
And the reality is that life sucks?

Not always. She sat back down and crossed her legs. You got to take the bad with the good, you know? It's all about figuring out what your choices are, and trying to make the right ones. The ones that don't hurt people.

I devoured this book in one sitting. The main character, Shane, is so lovable and relatable. We share a love of Firefly and I loved the references!

And I ADORED Josh, the best friend, Alejandra, the new friend, and Shane's mum. She was wonderful
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
I noticed that media covering trans characters usually stick to trans women so I am so happy to be able to read a story about a trans boy in middle school. This book was well written and Shane was a very likeable character. I also appreciated the end note from the author noting that everyone's journey is different and this is just one example.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
this is what books are meant for. To have empathy and begin to understand the perspective of other people.
The Other Boy is geared for 6th and 7th graders. it is the story of a transgender boy dealing with middle school boy issues. It has interesting characters and shows what support looks like.
it is a great addition to my classroom library!
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really liked the plot of this book and how it told about struggles of transgender people.
Ben Ace
I loved this book! It's not often that I find a book with a transgender main character that I have very little criticism of. Shane is a typical sixth-grader preoccupied with baseball and trying to talk to his crush, Madeline. When a classmate finds out that Shane is transgender, he threatens to tell the whole school, which would shatter Shane's image among his peers who may not understand that being trans doesn't make him any less of a boy. It's a book of ups and downs that highlights the ...more
Jenni Frencham
Hennessy, M.G. The Other Boy. HarperCollins, 2016.

Shane loves baseball, drawing and writing his own graphic novel, and spending time with his best friend, Josh. Shane hasnt told anyone at his school that he is transgender, but when a classmate finds out Shanes secret and spreads it to the rest of the school, Shane has to deal with the consequences in his friendships and especially with his crush.

A middle grade novel in the vein of George and Gracefully Grayson, this book features a middle
Shannon (Mrsreadsbooks)
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Twelve-year-old Shane Woods is just a regular boy. He loves pitching for his baseball team, working on his graphic novel, and hanging out with his best friend, Josh. But Shane is keeping something private, something that might make a difference to his teammates, to Josh, and to his new crush, Madeline. And when a classmate threatens to reveal his secret, Shanes whole world comes crashing down. It will take a lot of courage for Shane to ignore the hate and show the world that hes still the same ...more
Hillary Whittington
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book, and had a hard time putting it down once I started reading it. As the parent of a transgender child, there were so many relatable and enlightening aspects of this book. It prepared me for for what the future may hold, and gave me a different perspective in many ways. There are so many challenges throughout the teenager years, and I am hoping this book will allow others to have more empathy and love for the extra hurdles transgender kids face. In a perfect world, ...more
Saloni Howard-sarin
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A book meant to create understanding and compassion. A quick read - I read it in one day. In some ways it left me wanting more but the then you realize the story is complete. A timely topic - my understanding of trans topics is being increased with every story and this was no exception. The characters were very real and you could identify with each and every one, even the dad who is having a difficult time processing it but clearly cares about the child. Before the book, I had found myself ...more
Joy Kirr
When it comes to books with a transgender main character, Ive only read GEORGE, GRACEFULLY GRAYSON, and this one. This is the first for me where the main character - Shane (6th grader) - was born a girl, but is a boy inside (and is working on becoming one on the outside, as well). I liked the real problems he encounters and the friends he finds, keeps, and loses. It seemed pretty realistic, with hope at the end. ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Some of us are beginning to understand more of what transgender people go through. However, I still believe people do not really know. This book is is a good beginning and place to start, moving towards greater understanding and recognizing that we can no longer have two genders. People need to be able to be themselves. I do hope this book will help children and teens.
Nov 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: queer
Disappointingly, this one's definitely got some major problems.
Ben Truong
The Other Boy is a standalone middle-grade novel written by M.G. Hennessey. It stars a transgender preteen named Shane Woods a boy who happens to be born as a girl, he has been living as a boy for most of his life, but things comes to a turn when his secret is threaten to be revealed.

As far as his best friend, classmates, and baseball teammates know, Shane Woods is a typical boy. Shane feels that way, too, but it's not the whole story. He takes hormone blockers to prevent the onset of female
Lexi Gibson
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So many five star books recently and Im so happy to add this wonderful book to that list.

Ive been feeling really inclined to pick up kid books recently and oh wow was it the right call. Theres such a beautiful combination of simplicity and heavy story in these books and worth every second of reading.

I fell in love with this book from the first page. Its truthful and emotional and connecting, and honestly a big screw you to transphobic individuals who want to stop someone from being who they
Molly Cady
Aug 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I want to echo what others have said that cis writers can and should write trans characters, but should not write about transness.

I'm not comfortable with a cis writer writing a trans story, however realistic it may be, that heaps so much misery on its main character. It's not a cis writer's story to tell. Especially not like this.

This book suffers from the burden of sole representation. I hate to condemn it at all because we have almost no books about trans kids, especially trans boys.

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