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Rick by Alex Gino - Review

Friday, November 20, 2020

Where did I get it? I bought it a couple of months ago from Round Table Books. They are great and I highly recommend them - DM them on Twitter for any children's or YA books you might want. They're really helpful and I like supporting a small bookshop. 

What's it about? It's set in the same universe as George, and in fact Melissa herself is a character in this book! I was pleased to see her back! Rick is about to start middle school, and he's not really sure about who he is. Everyone talks about liking girls or liking boys, but Rick doesn't feel that way. At middle school, he hears about the Rainbow Spectrum Club, and he decides to go along to ask some questions.

The only problem is Jeff, his best friend. Jeff is a bully and a jerk - he's the person who bullied Melissa before, and he doesn't stop now he's at middle school, despite the warnings from his mum. Rick doesn't like what Jeff does, but Jeff is somewhat of a good friend to him. Isn't he? 

Maybe Rick doesn't need friends like Jeff. Maybe he's coming into himself and forging a new path for who he is. 

Rick also starts to get close to his Grandpa Ray, and discovers things about his grandpa that he didn't know before. 

This is an almost perfect middle grade novel. I loved Rick, I loved the plethora of kids in the Rainbow Spectrum Club, I loved how they talked to each other and how respectful they were. I loved that there are difficult parts to the book, but the reader never feels threatened or too sad. I just loved it, I raced through it. 

What age range is it for? Ten and onwards. Every difficult concept is explained in easy terms, but a parent could possibly do some research too for further questions and discussion. 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Of course! Including Rick himself! There's a whole spectrum. 

There's also a whole discussion about the acronym LGBTQIAP+, and whether a different one should be used. Now, I am an older queer so I tend to use LGBTQ+, but maybe I need to expand my labelling on this blog. I absolutely DO include EVERY ONE who is not straight or not cisgender. I do not tolerate trans exclusionary people on this blog, I ought to be very clear about that. 

Are any main characters people of colour? Not main characters I don't think, but there are people who are not white in the book. 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No. 

Is there any sex stuff? No. 

Are drugs mentioned or used? No 

Is there any talk of death? No, I don't think so? 

Are there swear words? No. 


What criticisms do I have? Almost none! I loved this book a lot. I loved Rick and wanted him to succeed. 

Would I recommend the book? Yes absolutely 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? I wanted something quick as a reward for getting through Iris & Ruby


What do I think of the cover? It's so cute! We understand immediately what it's about, and it fits with George. 


What other books is it like? It's like George, but it reminded me of Wonder, too (which I read before this blog)

How many stars? Five out of five! 


Where is the book going now? I am keeping it for sure!

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