Friday, June 2, 2017

Book Review :: Finding Nevo by Nevo Zisin

Finding Nevo - by Nevo Zisin

"Meet Nevo: girl, boy, he, she, him, her, they, them, daughter, son, teacher, student, friend, gay, bi, lesbian, trans, homo, Jew, dyke, masculine, feminine, androgynous, queer. Nevo was not born in the wrong body. Nevo just wants everyone to catch up with all that Nevo is. Personal, political and passionate, Finding Nevo is an autobiography about gender and everything that comes with it."

I was pretty excited to see this title in Walker's new release list.  While it wasn't a perfect read, this is for sure a book I will enthusiastically recommend this to all the teens in my life.

There's never been a more important time for LGBTQIA+ (a couple of those acronyms are new-to-me, though helpfully explained in the book) to have a voice in publishing, so big props to Walker Books for providing a platform for Nevo.  With so many opposing, negative voices getting way too much airspace, #fistbump to Nevo and Walker for getting a positive message through.

As a parent I've always advocated for breaking down the gender divide, though as Nevo rightly points out, so much has become intrinsic to how we perceive gender 'differences'.  I know I'm still getting it way wrong some of the time.  Big picture, there is so much work to do, but specifically, in terms of my own family, I just want my kids to know that I have their back 100%, however they identify themselves.  I would be glad for them to read Nevo's story, once they begin navigating the adolescent years.  For themselves, and for their peers and for everyone.  I do so hope I'm raising kind humans 😢🙏.

I'm gonna level with you, I didn't find this an especially well-written text.  It has such a strong and important message, the conveyance of which I think lets it down, to a degree.  I also I tended to skip through some of the 'educational' passages (ideas I've encountered elsewhere, already).  However, I think the relevance of the content outweighs my irritation with the narration.  I'm glad I read it, for the fresh perspective it offered.

I can see that Finding Nevo will become an important resource for young people.  I'd imagine especially so for YA living in isolated communities - kids without nearly enough access to LGBTQIA+ support networks.  No doubt Finding Nevo will provide a life-line for some of these precious young people.  I hope that school libraries will consider adding this to their collection (I'm donating my copy to ours), in the hopes that it falls in just the right hands.

Finding Nevo is in stores now.

Review copy kindly provided by Walker Books

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