Posts Tagged ‘High School’

Curl Up & Read: Symptoms of Being Human

Posted on April 1st, 2016 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff


Title: Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

Read by: Anna, a Teen Central Librarian

Summary: Riley Cavanaugh is attending a new school, has debilitating anxiety and a congressman father running for re-election, and hasn’t come out yet. To anyone. Riley is gender fluid, which means some days Riley identifies as a boy and some days Riley identifies as a girl. With all of this going on, how on earth is Riley supposed to blend in, make friends, come out, and survive high school?

Genre/sub-genre: LGBTQ contemporary fiction

Series/Standalone: Standalone

Length: 335 pages

Personal thoughts: 

“People are complicated. And messy. Seems too convenient that we’d all fit inside some multiple-choice question.” – Riley Cavanaugh

This book is long overdue, because until now, stories about gender fluid people have been non-existent. Real and relatable, Symptoms of Being Human is a great look into what it means to be different in a way most people aren’t used to. No pronouns are used for Riley in the book, yet the author’s writing makes it feel very natural, not forced. Preferred pronouns (of which there are a lot of options) aren’t even mentioned by Riley’s therapist and transgender support group, which felt odd to me. Yet the lack of pronouns does serve as a reminder of just how binary society considers gender, and how much we gender everything without even thinking about it.

Riley’s story is very character driven. Riley’s parents are realistic, fully-developed and caring adults, just trying to do the best they can without knowing Riley’s secret. While there were a few minor friends I wanted to know more about, I loved Riley’s two friends from school. Solo and Bec were as well rounded, quirky, and engaging as Riley and they stood out as cool people I’d want to be friends with if I could.

This is a powerful and inspirational story that won’t let you go. I highly recommend this title for anyone who may identify as gender fluid and those who want to know what it means to be gender fluid. That said, I also highly recommend this title for those people who enjoy contemporary teen fiction and are just looking for a good read. Read on!



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Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow this book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.


*”Curl Up & Read” posts book reviews by Anna, one of the Teen Librarians at Teen Central, on the first Friday of every month.

Teen TV

Posted on October 13th, 2009 by admin in Events, News

The TEEN TV season premier and reception is happening tomorrow, Wednesday, October 14th at at English High School, 144 McBride Street, in Jamaica Plain at 5 PM. Come view three new episodes that will soon start airing on Boston’s local access cable channels, Comcast 23 and RCN 83.

Teen TV is a summer intensive media literacy and media production workshop that is part of HOME‘s Media Lab Partner-ship with public schools that includes Brighton High School, English High School, and the Social Justice Academy. The Teen TV television show is written, filmed, produced and edited by Boston area teens, and airs on local cable stations an online at blip.tv.

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