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The Boy I Am

The Boy I Am

K. L. Kettle
Stripes Publishing
ISBN: 9781788951227

A brilliant YA debut from Kathryn Kettle kicks off the new year with a powerful, speculative novel. Jude, the protagonist, is a teen trapped in a world where women hold all the power and his future, along with his 'brothers', depends on a successful auction.

However, Jude is entangled in a plot to change both the gender and power balance in his world. In an increasingly tense read, the author builds up both an intriguing plot and compassion for the main character. It is a gripping and detailed narrative so required my full concentration as the story unfolded. This was not difficult as 'The Boy I Am' is a page turner.

The addition of the author's letter explaining her motivation to write this story and her feminist views were fascinating. I will be including it in the book when I add it to the school library stock to enrich the reader's understanding of what inspires a writer to write.

This book would be a recommended read for upper school students who enjoy science fiction, fantasy and dystopian fiction, offering a thought-provoking story where gender stereotypes are challenged. It would be particularly useful as an example of gender politics and issues of equality in power-based societies.

384 pages / Ages 14+ / Reviewed by Ruth Cornish, school librarian


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