Rebecca McCormick. Powered by Blogger.

Jamie by L D Lapinski - Review

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

I had been hearing about this book on Twitter for ages and knew I had to pre order it. I did so through Rhyme and Reason books who are a children's bookshop in Sheffield, because I like to support indie bookshops and they're just the absolute best people in there. It arrived in early April so on Good Friday Lee and I headed over to pick it up and get ourselves some brunch while we were out. When I went in to pick up the book I ended up buying three other books at the same time, oops. I have way too many books really. 

So Jamie is a non binary child who is in their last year of primary school. They live with their parents and their older brother Olly, who is gay. They have two best friends, Ash and Daisy. They are enjoying school until the two headteachers from the only two secondary schools in the area come to visit. That's when Jamie realises that they can either choose Such and Such Academy for Boys, or Such and Such Academy for Girls. 

But Jamie is neither a boy nor a girl. Where can they go to school? The headteachers and Jamie's own headteacher tells them they can choose, but that means ticking one box or another. Choosing one box or another. Jamie isn't prepared to do either, but isn't sure what they can do about it. 

The book is a fantastic middle grade book, perfect for 10-12 year olds in my opinion but really good for anyone older than that age too. Interspersed in the narrative are definitions of many terms like gender, pride, lgbtq+ etc, all explained in a very succint and accessible way. I also really liked that the reader NEVER knows what gender Jamie was assigned at birth. It absolutely does not matter, and when Jamie is asked at one point they stand up for themself and refuse to answer. I love this, it's a brilliant way to write a book and it makes the reader meet Jamie on their terms, with their own gender. 

I am giving this five out of five and can I say I sort of hope there's a sequel?!

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