Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde
The title of this book comes from this quote: "I guess I mean we all pretty much agree on certain things. Equality and stuff like that. But whenever it turns up missing, people just let it slide. That's why there's such a thing as activism. Sometimes you have to jumpstart the world just to get it to be what even the world admits it should be." I love that the main character wants to be a photo activist using photographs to show what people are like. In the story, Elle, a 15 year old girl is set up to live by herself in an apartment by her mother, when mom's boyfriend does not want a teenager around. In her anger at her mother, Elle shaves off her beautiful hair because all her mother cares about is looks. When she starts school with a buzz cut, Elle is labeled as gay and is befriended by a group of LGBT kids. At first, she is quite concerned because she is not gay and does not want to be perceived as such, but the kids are nice and good friends to her and she learns that people who are different are still people including her neighbor who she has a crush on until she learns that he is a ftm - transgender female in the process of becoming a male. The fact that she has a crush on him and he is ftm totally confuses and concerns her, but she eventually learns that just does not matter and that people are just people and that we should love and accept one another. The story is well-written and compelling and has a fantastic, hopeful message.