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list price: $12.95
edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover
category: Children's Fiction
published: Aug 2016
ISBN:9781554989065
publisher: Groundwood Books Ltd

A Boy Named Queen

by Sara Cassidy

tagged: friendship, peer pressure, self-esteem & self-reliance
Description

Evelyn is both aghast and fascinated when a new boy comes to grade five and tells everyone his name is Queen. Queen wears shiny gym shorts and wants to organize a chess/environment club. His father plays weird loud music and has tattoos.

How will the class react? How will Evelyn?

Evelyn is an only child with a strict routine and an even stricter mother. And yet in her quiet way she notices things. She takes particular notice of this boy named Queen. The way the bullies don’t seem to faze him. The way he seems to live by his own rules. When it turns out that they take the same route home from school, Evelyn and Queen become friends, almost against Evelyn’s better judgment. She even finds Queen irritating at times. Why doesn’t he just shut up and stop attracting so much attention to himself?

Yet he is the most interesting person she has ever met. So when she receives a last-minute invitation to his birthday party, she knows she must somehow persuade her mother to let her go, even if it means ignoring the No Gifts request and shopping for what her mother considers to be an appropriate gift, appropriately wrapped with “boy” wrapping paper.

Her visit to Queen’s house opens Evelyn’s eyes to a whole new world, including an unconventional goody bag (leftover potato latkes wrapped in waxed paper and a pair of barely used red sneakers). And when it comes time for her to take something to school for Hype and Share, Evelyn suddenly looks at her chosen offering — her mother’s antique cream jug — and sees new and marvelous possibilities.

About the Author

Sara Cassidy

SARA CASSIDY teaches creative writing at Camosun College and is the director of the Victoria Writers Festival. She has published two previous novels for teens as well as dozens of newspaper and magazine articles and short stories. She lives in Victoria, BC, with her family.

www.saracassidywriter.com

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
8 to 11
Grade:
3 to 6
Reading age:
8 to 11
Awards
  • Short-listed, Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Awards
  • Short-listed, Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Short-listed, Diamond Willow Award
  • Commended, Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices List
  • Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award
  • Commended, Quill & Quire Reviewer Pick
  • Commended, CBC Best Books of 2016
Editorial Reviews

Cassidy's novella is a little gem … a lovely book with which to begin the school year, not only for the message of tolerance it conveys, but also for the beautiful language in which it has been delivered.

— Canadian Children's Book News

This is a book of gentle nudges that could open some minds as well as some possibility for discussion.

— The Bulleting of the Center for Children's Books

A small, eloquent book with a powerful message.

— Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW

Cassidy does a lovely job of letting the lessons of embracing individuality, confidence, acceptance, and tolerance clearly and cleverly reveal themselves in this short but punchy novel.

— Quill & Quire

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Librarian review

A Boy Named Queen

Queen, a fifth grade student, defies the bullies at his school with his radical acceptance of himself and his gender-fluid identity. In spite of those who wish to punish Queen for his joyful defiance of the gender binary, Queen bravely embraces his identity, in a story about resiliency and tolerance. The short novel will help young readers build understanding of gender fluidity and acceptance.

Source: Association of Canadian Publishers. Diversity Collection Selection 2017.

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