Rick by Alex Gino

Rick is a 6th grader who has all the classic struggles: adapting to middle school, outgrowing friends, changing family dynamics when his sister heads off to college, and spending time with a grandfather he barely knows. But he also struggles with something else: questioning his sexuality. Gino beautifully writes this very relatable character who gives readers a stable jumping-off point into the world of LGBTQIAP+. With a clear message about inclusivity and acceptance, this book is a must read for students, teachers, and parents alike. It provides the language that adults may not be familiar with and that today’s students are using to express themselves.

This is a book my 7th-grade book club read and really enjoyed. To be clear, they were much more familiar with the terminology than I was. It was a wonderful opportunity for them to talk through ideas in a safe space, and it made them feel more comfortable discussing sensitive topics like sexuality and gender identity. I can say with certainty that we all learned a lot from this book.

Looking for resources to use with this novel? Check out my Rick resources that include thought-provoking discussion questions.

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