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Review: Gender Blender book Nelson
Gender Blender book Blake Nelson
Gender
Teenage boy and girl swap bodies and have to deal with each others problems. you can look it up with google.
From: guest , 159 months, post #1
When two sixth graders magically change bodies after bumping their heads together, the results are traumatic for them but hilarious for readers-especially those who have wondered what it would feel like to be a member of the opposite sex. After Tom and Emma realize they've undergone a gender switch, it takes them awhile to get used to their new skins. Besides having to adjust to the smaller, lighter frame of a female gymnast, Tom has to learn how to eat a civilized dinner with Emma's straight-laced family, juggle endless activities, deal with backbiting girlfriends, and put on and take off a bra. Emma, now a gangly, big-footed boy, must also conform to a new way of life, pitching baseballs instead of doing flips, coping with a pesky younger brother and rough-housing with guys whose idea of fun is throwing dirt clods and racing downhill in a shopping cart. Throughout the novel, Nelson (Rock Star, Superstar) demonstrates his keen understanding of peer pressure and gender stereotyping. In one exchange, Tom (in Emma's body) says, "If I can't get dirty, then you can't cry," to which Emma (as Tom) replies, "I'll cry if I have to. This isn't exactly easy, you know." Showing equal sensitivity to both sexes, the author provides honest, humorous answers to questions youngsters are often too embarrassed to ask: What does it mean to get a boner? What is it like to get your period? Can boys and girls really be friends?

From: guest (anonymous cj) , 158 months, post #2
No one else has reviewed this so I finally gave in and got a copy.

I had hoped it would be a realistic description of what would happen if such a body swap occurred but I should have known better. It all too often presents cliched situations typical in most body swap stories.

It is reasonably well written otherwise, but much like other preteen-teen novels like 'freaky friday' and 'changing places' it almost goes out of it's way to avoid the physical changes, relying instead on old reliable stereotypes like the boy playing baseball and the girl doing gymnastics, with the switchee now doing the 'opposite' gender sports and activities. I had hoped for more realism from the book's description.

This is not to say that it doesn't have moments. The characters are better written than the two aforementioned novels. the girl learns why her friend became less friendly to her after his mother became a single mom, leaving him without a father in the home. He, meanwhile, learns a lot about female friendship when he gets her first period and her female classmates help him take care of it and fetch the nice sex ed teacher to give him more advice etc. (The period is barely mentioned again after the girl complains that she missed that special moment, another flaw in the story. Did it only bother him for a few minutes??? Apparently. The author didn't even use the word blood when writing about it if I recall correctly, with the boy finding a stain on his underwear.) But there is also another flaw in the book. It seems highly unlikely that the girls would rally around 'her' first period with lots of support. A few might, of course, but more than a few would probably tease her/him and taunt her/him. And she pitches so well in his male body after living in it for just a few days, getting him a starting position in the school baseball team. How likely is that???

There are also a few apparently minor continuity problems. At first he says no to wearing bras, and she tells him that's not a problem knowing how petite (and flat) her chest is. Then he apparently puts one on without it being more than a line in the story. But pages later, in the girl's gym dressing area, he suddenly can't get his bra off, not only hard to believe since he must have already done so putting one on after the shower, but he wasn't even going to wear one in the first place. When did he change his mind, and why? We are not told.

The author only brought it up to have a girl he liked offer to help him undo the bra, but instead tightening the bra even more, taunting him because she like his normal body and felt that 'she' was getting too close to her potential boyfriend. She was the only girl to appear to be an unlikeable character for the most part, both one dimensional, and predictable. The author almost made that character a better read by having her stuff her bra despite being more developed than most of the other girls to impress boys, but even the way it was discovered seemed slightly anticlimactic.

The author teases us with potential discovery situations several times, but then goes out of the way to make them mild and even bland, like the boy taking a shower and starting to strip in front of the mirror like a girl in a movie might, only to have 'her' older sister demand that 'she' get out of the shower in five minutes just before he finished taking off her shirt, forcing the boy to rush through the shower and barely notice his swiftly stripped, feminine body.

To sum up, it wasn't worth the $10 I got it for at amazon.com, but if it comes out as a paperback later, you might want to get it if you are a fan of body swaps and/or gender changes. More than 1/2 of the book does offer such a scenario.


From: DB Cooper , 158 months, post #3
I finally read this. Not a bad little book, but it mainly focused on the mental/social side of things, rather than the physical. You're not going to find a book for young teens that describes a the boy feeling his new breasts or the girl peeing standing up (at least in detail). It would just be too adult. For what it's worth, the book was well written.

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