Gender identity Beyond pronouns and bathrooms

Maria Cook

Book - 2019

"An informative and project-filled book for middle graders to explore the meaning and history behind LGBTQ rights movements, including biographies of key figures in gender and gay/lesbian history, the context behind today's transgender "bathroom wars" and dozens of activities and research ideas for perspectives and further learning."

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Inquire and investigate.
Instructional and educational works
Illustrated works
Young adult nonfiction
White River Junction, VT : Nomad Press [2019]
Physical Description
ix, 118 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 112-114) and index.
Main Author
Maria Cook (author)
Other Authors
Alexis Cornell (illustrator)
  • Timeline
  • Important people
  • Introduction: What is gender identity?
  • Early gender pioneers
  • The birth of a movement
  • Challenges and changes
  • Violence and progress in the 1990s
  • A new century of connection
  • Gender identity in popular media
  • The "new" revolution.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Covering a broader time period than the name suggests, the Inquire & Investigate Social Issues of the Twentieth Century series (4 titles) offers facts, historical perspective, and useful suggestions for young people studying key issues in America today. The writers encourage further study and thoughtful consideration of their books' subjects, which have all seen shifts in political rhetoric and public perception over time. Besides presenting each topic, they challenge readers to engage in critical thinking and consider questions from various people's points of view. The illustrations include many photos as well as cartoons. The books' large format accommodates a good deal of information in the very readable main texts, while side margins carry related pictures, vocabulary features, and brief introductions to noteworthy figures and events. Gender Identity provides a chronological narrative, providing the history of relevant issues, individuals' stories, lawsuits, and social changes over the last century. Well organized information and practical help for students researching significant social issues. Grades 7-10. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

This addition to the Inquire & Investigate series provides an interactive exploration of gender identity, gendered societal expectations, and LGBTQ rights. Sections explore gender expression in media and place changing views within the broader context of social history. They also name significant events, figures, and legislation pivotal to the LGBTQ movement from the 1930s onward. Cornell's comic panels feature characters expressing affirming perspectives on gender identity, while Cook provides vocabulary relating to expression, questions for readers to consider, and suggestions for further investigation. A thought-provoking resource. Ages 12–15. (Apr.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 7–10—Cook seeks to answer the question of what gender identity is and introduce readers to the people and places of the LGBTQ movement. The format includes color blocks, images, and comics. Additionally, reader comprehension is aided through discussion starters and research questions at the end of each chapter. Throughout the pages, there are sidebars with vocabulary, QR codes to primary sources, and extra tidbits of useful information. Cook places an emphasis on inquiry from page one, by explaining primary sources and source notes. Sadly, that emphasis does not continue throughout the book. While information regarding the history of the LGBTQ community is supplemented with sources, many factual statements regarding the scientific understanding of sex and gender are offered with no sources or studies. For example, in a section describing the practice of assigning gender, Cook writes, "We now know, however, that physical sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation are independent of one another." However, she never explains how we know this information. Also troubling is the list of sources at the back of the book that fails to include proper citations, only URLs. Many of the sites included on the list would not pass muster for a scholarly paper. VERDICT While Gender Identity attempts to explore the history and experiences of transgender and nonbinary people, this text falls short as a well-rounded source for student research assignments.—Cathy DeCampli, Haddonfield Public Library NJ Copyright 2019 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

An informative and project-filled book for middle graders to explore the meaning and history behind LGBTQ rights movements, including biographies of key figures in gender and gay/lesbian history, the context behind today’s transgender “bathroom wars” and dozens of activities and research ideas for perspectives and further learning. What does it mean to think of gender as being a range instead of being simply male or female? In Gender Identity: Beyond Pronouns and Bathrooms, middle school readers unpack the cultural significance of gender identity in the United States and around the world. Written using #ownvoices and with editors trained in the sensitivities of today’s gender discussions, the book is filled with interesting facts, primary sources, a range of text features, and more to engage readers. Highlights include: • Introductions to concepts crucial to understanding the basics of gender identity, including how gender identity differs from physical sex and sexual orientation, the importance of gender-specific and gender-neutral pronouns, and more• Short biographies of gender activists and other important public figures throughout the text, filled with personal stories to help readers form social-emotional connections to the subject – including Renee Richards, Chaz Bono, and gender rights pioneers Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, plus early transgender individuals including Lili Elbe and Christine Jorgensen.• In-depth information on famous gay/lesbian rights protests and movements, detailing the cultural and legal struggles for gay rights and gender acceptance, from the Compton Cafeteria riots to the Stonewall Riots to the Transgender Day of Remembrance, and more.Sidebars throughout on how books and popular TV shows and movies helped expand gay/lesbian awareness and rights, from 1970s shows such as The Jeffersons to the contemporary show Meet Polkadot.Projects and activities encourage teens to form their own, well-informed opinions on the many facets of gender perspectives and issues.Gender Identity is part of a set of four books called Inquire & Investigate Social Issues of the Twenty-First Century, which explores the social challenges that have faced our world in the past and that continue to drive us to do better in the future. Other titles in this set are Feminism, Immigration Nation, and Race Relations.About the series and Nomad PressNomad Press books in the Inquire & Investigate series integrate content with participation, encouraging readers to engage in student-directed learning as opposed to teacher-guided instruction. This student-centered approach provides readers with the tools they need to become inquiry-based learners. Combining content with inquiry-based projects stimulates learning and makes it active and alive. As informational texts, our books provide key ideas and details from which readers can make their own inferences. Nomad’s unique approach simultaneously grounds kids in factual knowledge while allowing them the space to be curious, creative, and critical thinkers. All books are leveled for Guided Reading level and Lexile, and meet Common Core State Standards and National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies. All titles are available in paperback, hardcover, and ebook formats.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

What does gender identity mean to you? In Gender Identity: Beyond Pronouns and Bathrooms, middle and high schoolers explore the spectrum of the LGBTQ movement through the lenses of history, media, and culture, with a particular focus on transgender rights and the rights of gender-variant people. Through essential questions, primary sources, and investigative projects, readers develop a comprehensive understanding of the history of the struggle for equal rights for all genders.