Amnesty International BookClub discussion

For Today I Am a Boy
This topic is about For Today I Am a Boy
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July and August 2016- For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu

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message 1: by Amnesty (last edited Jul 26, 2016 05:02AM) (new) - added it

Amnesty Bookclub | 225 comments Mod
Selected by guest reader, Bif Naked, For Today I Am a Boy is be described as "darkly funny [and] emotionally acute".

Before you even started, what did the title tell you about the story?

The discussion guide is here! Check out some background material, an action about Greece and more discussion questions here:

http://www.amnestybookclub.ca/wp-cont...

Enjoy and share!


Swantje (swan4) | 9 comments I just finished reading the book. It's great. I liked the ending.


message 3: by Amnesty (last edited Jul 10, 2016 10:43AM) (new) - added it

Amnesty Bookclub | 225 comments Mod
Swantje wrote: "I just finished reading the book. It's great. I liked the ending."

I'm glad you liked it. Did you also think it was darkly funny, as described before, or was Peter's loneliness, isolation or, maybe, rage at his situation too strong?


message 4: by Jason (new)

Jason | 1 comments Pick my library copy up tomorrow. Intrigued to read this, and thrilled to be a part of this Book Club. I will try to be a diligent member. Cheers!


message 5: by Amnesty (new) - added it

Amnesty Bookclub | 225 comments Mod
Jason wrote: "Pick my library copy up tomorrow. Intrigued to read this, and thrilled to be a part of this Book Club. I will try to be a diligent member. Cheers!"

Welcome! The discussion guide should be released soon and I'll post it to the first message at the top of this thread.


message 6: by Amnesty (last edited Aug 22, 2016 10:29PM) (new) - added it

Amnesty Bookclub | 225 comments Mod
Amnesty wrote: "Swantje wrote: "I just finished reading the book. It's great. I liked the ending."

Swantje wrote: "I just finished reading the book. It's great. I liked the ending."

I noticed in the discussion guide that guest reader Bif Naked says: "I just wanted him to be happy. I hoped that he would be able to accept himself and feel no self-doubt, unworthiness, or self-hatred." Did you think the ending you liked accomplished this?



lenny | 1 comments recently finished reading this book and found it very hard to put down. ))

but i feel a little torn --- while the voice fu gives to peter is unique, interesting and empathetic, i found it almost predictable that peter's father is 'overly-masculine', the mother submissive, peter's childhood memories of boys terrifying, etc. peter's siblings have very unusual lives as well... so i almost didn't want all these other stories to be side-by-side with peter's story, as it's almost a stereotype that someone whose gender identity isn't conforming to what's "acceptable" comes from somehow unusual circumstances, or has a traumatic childhood --- like it almost feeds into this idea that someone is gay/trans/somehow different because of how their parents (badly) raised them, or some other incorrect assumptions...

that being said, i do not know if this is a fair interpretation, and i don't think this was the intention. however, this thought kept coming up as i was reading and is what keeps me from loving this book outright, full-heartedly. )))


Erika | 4 comments I felt this was an interesting look into the life of a trans-individual and wonder how accurate it is. I didn't feel that Peter's father's acknowledgement if Peter being "different" was true - I would have expected him to always deny any difference. I loved the story but found the ending too abrupt. I felt it could have been 50-100 pages longer. How did Peter finally become confident enough to be Audrey?


message 9: by Catherine (new)

Catherine | 1 comments Erika wrote: "I felt this was an interesting look into the life of a trans-individual and wonder how accurate it is. I didn't feel that Peter's father's acknowledgement if Peter being "different" was true - I wo..."

I hadn't considered a longer ending, but your comment makes me reflect. Considering all Peter goes through it would certainly have been nice to witness those big moments of change with the sisters.


message 10: by Swantje (last edited Aug 13, 2016 04:24PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Swantje (swan4) | 9 comments It is actually never explicitly said that Peter is transsexual, I think, which I found interesting. I seem to remember that he mentioned an unusually (for a boy) small penis. So I was guessing that he was an intersex person. I was surprised that he never tried to find out more. Trying to make his parents, especially his father, happy prevented that, I think.

Maybe if his parents had different views and hadn't stifled the interactions with his sisters when they were young, he could have had a relationship with his sisters like he did at the end of the book way earlier in life and life would have been less difficult.


message 11: by Amnesty (last edited Aug 23, 2016 10:23AM) (new) - added it

Amnesty Bookclub | 225 comments Mod
What perspectives do Peter's struggles give you on LBGTI people currently living in other places in the world?

For example, page 9 of the discussion guide has the background and action on rights in Greece.


message 12: by Amnesty (new) - added it

Amnesty Bookclub | 225 comments Mod
On a different note, does anyone have any thoughts about the opening scene that takes place in the butcher, for Arlene's birth?

Is it about the stories we tell ourselves? Tell each other? Tell the people around us? In the discussion guide, Kim Fu describes it as "duplicity"- is that how you would describe it?


Maggie the Muskoka Library Mouse (mcurry1990) I read this novel earlier this year for my local library's Canada 150 challenge. It had been on my radar for a long time, because I had read a blurb about it in a magazine and it caught my interest. I found the book to be a good read, but a little hard at times, I felt awful for Peter, trying so hard to figure out where to fit in. I agree with Erika that the ending was rather abrupt, and could have wound down a little more gradually.


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