Some Assembly Required: The Not-So-Secret Life of a Transgender Teen

Arin Andrews. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4814-1675-7
Born Emerald, Arin remembers trying on his male cousin’s clothes in fourth grade, as well as crafting a “homemade funnel” to urinate standing up. As puberty progresses, Arin wears black sports bras to minimize his chest and feels “betrayed” when his period starts. Arin first thinks he is gay, but things click when he discovers online what it means to be transsexual. Like Katie Hill (whose Rethinking Normal was acquired simultaneously with this book), Arin gets help from an initially reluctant mother, who, scared by his suicide attempt, decides, “I will support you. I can’t lose you.” Around the same time Arin gets a prosthetic penis, starts taking testosterone shots, meets Katie, and realizes, “I’d never felt love this pure or strong before.” Together, they become a media sensation dubbed “America’s First Teen Trans Couple!” Arin is remarkably frank about all aspects of his transition and keeps a casual, conversational tone while discussing everything from surgical options to inner anxieties. This is a brave book that handles complicated and sensitive topics honestly and, at times, with humor. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/21/2014
Release date: 09/30/2014
Prebound-Glued - 272 pages - 978-0-606-37858-1
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4814-1677-1
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-4814-1676-4
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