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Phoenix Goes to School: A Story to Support Transgender and Gender Diverse Children
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Phoenix Goes to School: A Story to Support Transgender and Gender Diverse Children

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  123 ratings  ·  51 reviews
My Mommy tells me I'm perfect and to be brave.

"You know who you are," she says,

"Just be yourself and always listen to your heart."

With those words of encouragement from her Mom, Phoenix is preparing for her first day of school. She is excited but scared of being bullied because of her gender identity and expression. Yet when she arrives at school she finds help and support
ebook, 40 pages
Published July 19th 2018 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  123 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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MissBecka Gee
What a cute and simple way to help children learn, understand and accept transgenderism.
I found the talking points at the end of the story especially wonderful.
Giving ideas for both kids and grown-ups on how to open up a dialogue into likes, dislikes, feelings and help reveal any unanswered questions was a fantastic inclusion!
This is certainly a book I hope everyone picks up and discusses.
Thank you NetGalley and Jessica Kingsley Publishers for this early release copy.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

This was a very short kids' book written (as far as I understood) by a mom together with her transgender daughter, Phoenix, who's seven years old.

It talks about Phoenix's first day of school wearing a dress. Her mom is very supportive and she tells her that she's perfect the way she is, just like the flowers that Phoenix likes so much, all beautiful in their different s
La Coccinelle
This is a short little picture book memoir by 7-year-old Phoenix Finch, written with the help of her mom, Michelle. In it, she talks about the first time she went to school wearing a dress and the emotions surrounding that event.

While I appreciate the book and its premise as an adult reader, I'm not sure if kids are really going to get it. Phoenix does talk about how, when she was born, the doctors told her parents she was a boy. But that's about as deep as the transgender issue gets, and we're
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Melanie Gillman, a queer cartoonist who wrote "As the Crow Flies", was asked by a white, heterosexual man, what the point of reading her LGBTQ comics was for him. At the time, she said, she gave him a pat answer of "well, it is good to read about people that are different than you", but what she really wanted to say was "I'm not writing this for you."

This is how I feel about this book. While it is important for straight cis gendered people to read about transgendered children, this book is reall
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids, lgbtq
This was a great story. Kait has a particular love of pages of illustration where there are a number of the same things and she can choose favourites- she had fav dresses and flowers while reading this. I think Maddie related most to the idea of being nervous to start school.

Certainly this isn’t the first book we’ve read about transgender children, but I thought it was a bonus that Phoenix’s identity is simply stated. Perhaps not all cisgender kids would understand that, but having read a few b
Although the titular conceit is about Phoenix's anxiety about going to school in a dress (as a trans girl), the bulk of the book is just affirmation of her identity as a girl -- so I agree with reviewers who wonder if kids will actually understand why Phoenix is worried about being bullied (though certainly if your kid asks questions while you're reading to them, you can just explain in the moment).

The story is fairly simple -- in part because it's co-authored by the child Phoenix herself.

Paul Decker
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
*I received this book as an eARC from Jessica Kingsley Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

This picture book is a cute, short story about a girl being nervous about how people will react when she wears a dress to school. A young girl and her mother wrote this story together about their own personal experiences. In addition to the story, there are also resources included with the book. There are questions to use to initiate a conversation with children about gender. There ar
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: transgender, lgbtq
Good, easy-to-read and understand picture book about a trans girl. I liked the discussion questions for kids and comments for parents at the end.
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
( 1 ) 15/05/18 - 15/05/18

I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a beautiful little book, as I hoped it would be, and it didn't disappoint at all. The story is told through the mother of a transgender girl using her own words to tell it, which makes it far more valid than anything someone other than trans could have written. Most children fear their first day of school, but children know more than they're given credit for, as I remember well, and when th
I appreciated that Phoenix's storytelling is centered in this picture book. Even though cisgender people often make trans folks' genders the focal point of their identity, it's clear from Phoenix's story that her inner world doesn't revolve solely around her transness. As a trans person, myself, I was heartened by the representation of Phoenix being lovingly received by her school community.

On the other hand, Phoenix and her life do occupy many dominant-cultural spheres. Phoenix is white, she h
A mother and daughter face nonconforming gender identification challenges.
I really liked how this book was written...the words used to describe the subject of transgender. I think this is written beautifully.
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
Phoenix is about to start a new school, but she's worried if the other kids will make fun of her for wearing a dress.

This children's picture book is short and compassionate. The story is told by Phoenix, a trans girl, with help from her mother (the two authors). The text is simplistic but deep in emotions, particularly as Phoenix worries about the other kids bullying her and not accepting her, but she is surprised to find that the other kids treat her exactly like the others, are really nice to
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

This was a beautiful book, just as I had hoped when I requested it on Netgalley. It is about a girl named Phoenix. She is about to start her new school and is extra scared about going to school and wearing one of her pretty dresses. Now I hear you wonder why this is so scary?

Well, Phoenix is not born as a girl, she is actually born as a boy. We know that kids (but also adults) can be cruel, so Phoenix is worried they may bully h
Helen Ishmurzin
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seven-year-old Phoenix was assigned male at birth (AMAB). However, this fact doesn’t stop Phoenix from living life in a way that feels right: as a girl. When the time comes, she has to find the courage to start school wearing one of her favourite dresses. Despite her initial fears of how the other children will react, Phoenix is in for a pleasant surprise.

This true story, co-authored by Phoenix herself and her mother, Michelle, has an uplifting message about being be true to yourself in a world
Maegan Coddington
Phoenix Goes to School is a biography written by the mother of a strong, beautiful, brave, young girl who is transgender. She is nervous to start school because she is scared of being bullied because of how she dresses. Her mom encourages her to be herself and with her help she goes to school. When she gets there she's greeted by kind students and teachers who are there to support her. When asked by children if she is a girl she responds, with excitement, "Yes! And I don't mind you asking."

A. Luna
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This children’s book was written by Michelle Finch, the mother of Pheonix, a real-life young girl who just so happens to be transgender. As the title suggests, it is a tale about this dress-loving child, 7 years-old, and how she battles the anxieties of going to school for the first time.

This picture book is cutely illustrated, and I believe that it should be read to every child, gender-nonconforming or not. It teaches a valuable lesson about kindness and acceptance. This story is important beca
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of Phoenix, a little girl who is nervous about going to school. Phoenix was born a baby boy but has always known she is really a girl. She does all the things that young children do - she plays drums, races cars, draws, dances, builds towers and loves flowers. "I like to sparkle and shine in the sun." And she does. She is worried about going to school, being bullied or not making friends. Her mother reminds her she is perfect the way she is. Luckily, her first day of school isn ...more
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
‘Just be yourself and listen to your heart.’

Michelle and Phoenix Finch live in California’s Bay Area – Phoenix is 7 and Michelle is a working mom as well as an active member of the Parents of Transgender Kids community in Marin County. She trains parents and faculty at Phoenix’s school on gender diversity. This is their first book and it is beautifully illustrated by British artist Sharon Davey.

Opening this sensitive and heartwarming story Phoenix states ‘When I was born, the doctor told my par
Shelby Wasey
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it

I received an ARC copy of this book from the Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The book follows a young transgender child on her first day at school. I read this book with a 7 year old tutee who is encouraged to learn about different lives and experiences. The language in the book was easy to read and it was very easy for a 7 year old to follow. The pages were beautifully illustrated in a cartoony fashion with a lot of colour. However, I would say that the highlight of th
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A strange subject which I have difficulty to understand. This book is «based» or inspired by a real person so I just want to be careful and respectful in it, because this person probably have a hard life with all that and doesn't want to had to it or be disrespectful in any way. I just think it's strange to think that a person think that is gender is not the right one at a very young age. I think that gender identity is in construction for a while in your life and that just accepting the fact th ...more
Jenni Frencham
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Finch, Michelle. Phoenix Goes to School. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2018.

Phoenix is going to school for the first time, and she is wearing a dress. She is nervous about the way her classmates will react to her since she is transgender, but she need not have worried. She has support from her family, her teacher, and her new friends.

This is a cute book to introduce young children to the concept of gender diversity. Co-written by a transgender child and her parent, this book is appropriate for it
ella ☆ any pronouns
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: transgender children
**I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

The current publication date for Phoenix Goes to School: A Story to Support Transgender and Gender Diverse Children is July 19, 2018

4.5 stars

I believe that we need more diverse reads for children, and this one did not disappoint. Not only was it very cute, and I also enjoyed the fact that it was written by Michelle Finch and her daughter, Phoenix Finch, together, but it also holds an important messag
Jamie  Cayley
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, lgbtq, trans, own-voices
Phoenix goes to school is a really short and cute book about a trans girl who is scared of what people will think of her in school and being bullied by older students. I loved the story and the fact that it’s based on an actual trans kid’s experience and I thought the way being trans is explained both in the story and on the back in a for grownups version were really good, definitely recommend this for any fellow children book lovers and it’s definitely going on the top of the list of books I re ...more
2018 Summer, NetGalley ARC:

Thank you to Michelle Finch, Phoenix Finch, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, and NetGalley for this advanced copy of “Phoenix Goes to School: A Story to Support Transgender and Gender Diverse Children” for an honest review.

I had to jump at this book as soon as I saw it. I am so glad kids books like this are beginning to come into existence, so that children (as well as parents!) will start seeing support for these situations and choices as soon as children are very small
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was sent this book in advance from net galley and I was not disappointed. This book is easy to read and very beautifully drawn. Phoenix is a girl who was born a boy she does a lot of things like draw and play. She's scared on her first day of school that older kids will make fun of her but when she gets there she makes friends with Mia and the other kids in her class. She ends up having fun me isn't bullied.

I found this book easy to read and great for parents and kids to learn about trans and
Juliana Lee
Not so much a story as a lesson on acceptance of children who identify as a gender other than the one they were born with. Phoenix was born a boy, but he knew all along that he was a girl. He sometimes wears traditional girl clothes and enjoys traditional girl activities. On the first day of school, Phoenix is afraid that he will not be accepted as a girl. However he had a great first day and made lots of new friends. The story is told in first person eliminating the need for male or female pron ...more
Jessica McAllister
I think it's great that we are getting more diverse books for kids. This is a sometimes difficult and confusing topic to talk with kids about but I always felt kids are smarter and more understanding than we give them credit for. I think this could be a good intro for kids about the topic of transgender identity. It would be great to get more own voices reviews.
I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Moriah Conant
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Phoenix Goes to School" is highly necessary for children who do not identify with a typical binary gender. This book is affirming for children who struggle with anxiety about the ways that other people will perceive their gender.
Bonus: it is also a great informational tool for children and adults to learn more about the transgender and nonbinary population.

I received an advance read copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely and simple story about a transgender child’s first day at school. She worries that people won’t like her dress, or won’t like her. She has fears just like every child. A great introduction for school kids, and those younger about who people are, and that everyone is special. I really like that this is a true story and the girls picture is in the end. It helps the reader to know that everything is okay.
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