All Pen wants is to be the kind of girl she's always been. So why does everyone have a problem with it? They think the way she looks and acts means she's trying to be a boy -- that she should quit trying to be something she's not. If she dresses like a girl, and does what her folks want, it will show respect. If she takes orders and does what her friend Colby wants, it will show her loyalty.
But respect and loyalty, Pen discovers, are empty words. Old-world parents, disintegrating friendships, and strong feelings for other girls drive Pen to see the truth -- that in order to be who she truly wants to be, she'll have to man up.
"The expression man up refers to many things. It suggests that 'real men' take responsibility for their actions. Real men act bravely in the face of adversity. For Pen (short for Penelope), 16, it is a little more complicated than that. She has a difficult time knowing how to man up when she cannot even classify her own gender identity. For her, the LGBTQ lexicon carries too much cultural baggage and too many expectations....There is no sugarcoating in this very real portrayal of an aspect of teen life that many experience." -- Jaclyn Anderson, School Library Journal
|Recommended Age||15 and up|
|Publication Date||Sep 6, 2016|