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Jacob's Room to Choose
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Jacob's Room to Choose

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  193 ratings  ·  64 reviews
2020 ALA Rainbow Book List Selection

2020 NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People Selection

The beloved lead character from Jacob's New Dress is back in an encouraging story about gender expression. When Jacob goes to the boys' bathroom he is chased out because the boys think he looks like a girl because of the way he is dressed. His classmate, Sophie,
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Magination Press
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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"Two boys were at the sinks.
They stared at Jacob standing in the doorway.
Jacob knew what that look meant.
He turned and ran out."

This is a companion book to Jacob's New Dress by the same authors, parents of Sam. This is the first part of their authors' note.

"When our son Sam was in kindergarten, he had waist-length blond hair and a gentle smile. His favorite outfit was a pink dress. Everyone who met him assumed he was a girl, and he didn’t mind.

Sam’s interests were a mix of traditional 'gir
La Coccinelle
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, children, netgalley
This is actually the second book about Jacob, the first being Jacob's New Dress (which I haven't read). Jacob's Room to Choose, however, stands on its own as a sweet story of gender-nonconforming kids and their fight to pee in peace.

When Jacob (who wears a dress) and his friend Sophie (who wears pants) try to go to the bathroom, they're immediately chased out by kids who think they don't belong there (even though Jacob has tried to use the boys' bathroom and Sophie the girls'; they can't win!).
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-kid-lit
This sequel to Jacob's New Dress centers around the problems Jacob and his friend Sophie have when they use the restroom at school. Since Jacob loves to wear dresses, the boys chase him out of their bathroom. The same thing happens to Sophie in the girls' restroom because she is wearing shorts rather than a dress; the girls tell her she has to use the boys' restroom.

Luckily, they have an awesome teacher who wants all the students to feel safe at school. She leads the class in an activity about m
*thank you to Netgalley, Sarah and Ian Hoffman and Magination Press for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review*

4 stars.

A great book for all children to read. This would do well in schools to help children understand that not everyone is the same or within the traditional fit for one gender or another. I liked the illustrations and the colours were nice and colourful which is great for attracting little ones eyes.

Rod Brown
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
A muddled story with art that didn't always seem in sync with the words just left me confused as to the point. We're on the same side in the end, but I can't get behind or maybe just can't follow how the logic is presented here.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book is ridiculous as possible! Two kids that didn't recognize themselves from the logo on toilets doors decide that it isn't right and toilets doors should be more inclusive. Seriously? How have we become so stupid and crazy about simple thing as a specie! They are toilets doors, their logo is their to prevent uncomfortable situation, they are use because men have urinal and women don't because they can do it up... We don't have to get mad about it and instead of being serious and reasonab ...more
Alicia Bayer
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a simple picture book about two children, Sophie and Jacob, who aren't able to use the school bathrooms because they fear for their safety because of being gender non-conforming. Their teacher helps the kids in their class see that the pictures on the doors (girl with long hair and a dress, boy with short hair and shorts) don't match up with many of the kids, not just Jacob and Sophie. Some of the boys have long hair, some of the girls are wearing pants or shorts, etc. The kids make sign ...more
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
One shouldn't shame children because they don't fit into the box you think they should. Children need to feel comfortable in their bodies, and if you make it hard for them to feel comfortable doing a simple thing as peeing, then the child is going to try not to pee at school.

In fact, that is what Jacob says, that he rarely uses the bathroom at school.

So the teacher feels this is a "teaching moment" and has the kids think about how they can make the bathrooms all inclusive, and they come up with
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jacob's Room to Choose is a lovely children's book. It is bright, short and shows the exact lessons we want for all the children in our lives. Sarah and Ian Hoffman created some clear characters, support and encouragement in story with the happy conclusions we want in our stories. In a world where kids are often faced with adult problems, this book gives solutions at a child's level. I encourage it for anyone with small children in their lives.
Sara Cook
Aug 01, 2019 rated it liked it
A picture book that addresses the limitations to "boys" and "girls" as the only options for gender choices, especially in the bathroom. It was slightly confusing to my 11 yo and I at first but we figured it out after reading the back story.
Nancy Kotkin
A children's picture book about gender nonconformity and bathroom use. The book doesn't do an adequate job of defining the problem. It's not clear which child is which, and that is very important to this story. Jacob doesn't get chased out of the bathroom; he leaves voluntarily before the other children have a chance to say anything or react to him. And readers have no idea what happens to Sophie in the bathroom, though Jacob (who wasn't in that bathroom) claims, "They said she had to use the bo ...more
Feb 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: children, trans
Kind of hurts my heart to read because I'm so exhausted with bathrooms being a site of discourse, but I'm sure it will be important to some child or classroom. A little awkwardly done, as well - you kind of have to know who Jacob is from the author's previous book.
Amanda Williams
Aug 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I get the message they are trying to portray but it was done very awkwardly. The book ended very anti-climatic. A helpful book for people in similar situations.
Stephanie Bange
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Magination Press knocks it out of the park with this book about gender non-conformity.

When Jacob (who likes to wear dresses) and Sophie (who likes to wear pants and a shirt) are chased out of the boys' and girls' bathrooms (respectively) because of the way they are dressed, their teacher helps the class work through this problem.

Another wonderful, enlightening story about Jacob (of Jacob's New Dress fame) brings forward our biases based on what we see. Our society is quick to put people in boxes
Apr 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I received a complimentary copy.

As a homeschool mom and even though I am open minded. Well I think so. The book made me uncomfortable and I actually did not want to read it to my kids. I know this is going to open some doors for discussion and I know the world is going crazy with all these new things that are very real to some people. I do not not feel safe with another person of any gender in the bathroom when I am using it no matter where I am. The book takes something that could benefit adult
Raven Black
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Needed book for the issue of non-conforming children and the public rest room.
Kirsti Call
Oct 06, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is important--yet I found it somewhat confusing...
Towards the end of library time, Mrs. Reeves asks the class if anyone needs to go to the bathroom before they head back to class. Jacob and Sophie raise their hands. The next page shows Jacob, wearing a dress, standing in front of a door with a pictograph of a person wearing pants. Sophie, wearing pants, is standing in front of a pictograph of a person wearing a dress.

They stopped outside of the bathroom doors.

“Do you think it’s okay?” asked Sophie.

“I don’t know” said Jacob.

Dear readers, it was
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jacob’s Room to Choose (2019), by Sarah Hoffman and Ian Hoffman, reintroduces readers to Jacob, the protagonist of their 2014 children’s picture book Jacob’s New Dress.

In Jacob’s New Dress the protagonist shares his desire to wear a dress with his parents. They take a little convincing but are quite supportive; in fact, Jacob’s mom helps him sew a dress. Jacob does deal with bullying when he wears his new dress to school, but his best friend Sophie, a supportive girl who reappears in Jacob’s Roo
Lacie Ortiz
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One day, Jacob and his friend Sophie go to use the bathroom while at school. When they end up going to the bathroom, Jacob is standing in front of a bathroom door with a girl figure on it and Sophie is standing in front of a bathroom door with a boy figure on it. Once they go in, Jacob and Sophie were looked at differently and both chased out of the bathroom because they were mistaken for the wrong gender. Jacob and Sophie end up talking to their teacher about their concern who creates a small i ...more
Yessica Cancino
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I would give the book, Jacob’s Room to Choose, a 5. The story starts with Jacob and Sophie having to use the restroom when they were in school. Sophie is a little boy that likes to wear dresses and has long hair. Jacob is a little girl that likes to dress like a "boy" and has short hair. When they enter the bathrooms, their classmates get startled and confused because they think that Jacobs is a girl entering the boys’ bathroom and Sophie is a little boy that is walking into the girl’s bathroom. ...more
Craig Wiesner
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"I have to pee, so let me be!" Jacob and Sophie need to use the bathroom before they leave the library and go back to class. The problem is, the other kids don't think Jacob and Sophie belong in the bathroom they each choose to go into. When their teacher learns about their dilemma, she decides to make it a learning experience for the entire class and to change the bathroom rules.

This is a great book about breaking away from the binary, boy/girl, and recognizing that children don't all fit into
Rayeann Hatfield
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I personally really enjoyed reading this book. I think its important for students to gain awarness on topics like this. I can see how this book could be a contiversal topic but, I still persoanlly think should be read. This book is about a boy named Jacob and a girl named Sophie. Jacob and Sophie need to use the bathroom after the library. Jacob is wearing a dress and Sophie is wearing a button downed shirt and khakis. They both feel uncomfortable when they enter the bathrooms. They then decide ...more
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to pick up an advance preview copy of this at ALA Midwinter. I was excited that there is a picture book coming out that discusses bathroom access and this one manages to discuss the problem while being super kid-friendly and developmentally appropriate (I have been pleased with most Magination Press titles on these two fronts- the American Psychological Association is doing a pretty good job with this). I especially liked how it was structured- it started at a very personal le ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Jacob’s Room to Choose by Sarah and Ian Hoffman, illustrated by Chris Case. PICTURE BOOK. Magination Press, MAY 2019. $18. 9781433830730



Jacob and Sophie need to use the bathroom at school, but the older kids chase them out because they each don’t look like the picture on the door. When they explain to their teacher, she and the kids in the class talk it through and then come up with a solution.

So many, many people nee
joyce w. laudon
Aug 14, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is part of the series that is sponsored by the American Psychological Association. It was written by the parents of a gender non-conforming child who have first hand experience with the topic being addressed here.

The book tells the story of Jacob and Sophie along with their many classmates and wise teacher/librarian. It presents the dilemma that the two friends face when they need to use the restroom at school. With the help of a sensitive adult, the students move away from stereotypes
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Firstly, I am very thrilled to see more stories being published and told such as this one, not only for parents and educators to read but also for children to consume. I thought this story and Jacob's journey of himself and his class becoming more inclusive regarding gender was real, in the sense that, I'm sure other nongender conforming individuals may have experienced, especially young children in this category. I feel that the author created a story that was not only about accepting but learn ...more
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jacob's Room to Choose by Sarah Hoffman teaches children an important lesson on inclusion and diversity through the lives of Jacob and Sophie, two kindergartners who are treated poorly because of how they look. Their teacher, Ms. Reeves, uses a creative example to demonstrate the fluidity of gender. This book introduces children to the concept of gender nonconformity in a simple way, and addresses the outdated practice of letting a sign tell us to use a bathroom we’re not comfortable in. I’m alw ...more
A very sweet story about a gender-nonconforming child named Jacob who just wants to use the bathroom in peace! I loved how the teacher encouraged the children to create their own bathroom signs to replace the traditional girls and boys ones.

The authors include a note at the end, explaining that they are the parents of a gender nonconforming child; the affection and understanding for their child radiate warmly from the story.
In Kindergarten, a teacher and friends help a boy who wears a dress feel accepted and all of the students to recognize that none of them is exactly like the pictures on "boys" or "girls" room.
The story Talks about gender nonconformity at a very simple level as the children all draw new signs to show that a restroom can be used by people who need to pee. An authors' note at the end talks about nontraditional children.
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