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This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

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This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

The Walsh-Adams family has their hands full. Rosie is a doctor at the local ER, Penn is writing a novel and together they are raising four boys and another child is on the way. Rosie is (not so secretly) hoping this next one will finally be a girl. The whole family is overjoyed when a perfect little boy named Claude joins their clan. Claude is precocious and precious, unlike the rough and tumble brood already under their roof. When Claude announces at age three that he wants to be a girl the family doesn’t think much of it, it could be a phase, so they go shopping and buy him dresses. After a little time goes by they realize that Claude is much happier as a girl. After an incident in Wisconsin regarding Claude, now Poppy, the family ups and moves to Washington state. Upon arrival they all make the mostly unconscious decision to let Poppy be Poppy and keep what’s in her pants a secret. But can a family of seven keep a secret like this? And another question, should they?

This is a story that looks at the life of a child who doesn’t feel comfortable in their skin and how difficult it is as a child to describe what you’re feeling a lot of the time. Is Poppy transgender? Does she want to fully become female? Or, as her brothers think of her, is she simply a girl with boy parts? And at ten years old can you know yourself enough to answer all these questions? The struggle of the parents, wanting to have a happy child however that can happen, is the part that really spoke to me. I felt for Rosie and Penn and their choices on Poppy’s behalf and how there didn’t seem to be a right or wrong answer for all the questions they kept asking themselves. These parents love all their children, and each other, and have the best intentions to bring happiness to the lives of each member of their family. The author’s daughter was born male and is now eight and I’m sure she’s asking a lot of the questions of herself that her fictional parents talk about late into the night. Written in a light hearted comic style, but with a lot of heart and seriousness, this was a great family story I think anyone would enjoy.

By | 2017-05-03T19:45:36+00:00 April 14th, 2017|SCLSNJ Recommended Reads|
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