I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Rick by Alex Gino
Published by Scholastic Press on April 21, 2020
Genres: Children's, Contemporary, Fiction
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From the award-winning author of George, the story of a boy named Rick who needs to explore his own identity apart from his jerk of a best friend.
Rick's never questioned much. He's gone along with his best friend Jeff even when Jeff's acted like a bully and a jerk. He's let his father joke with him about which hot girls he might want to date even though that kind of talk always makes him uncomfortable. And he hasn't given his own identity much thought, because everyone else around him seemed to have figured it out.
But now Rick's gotten to middle school, and new doors are opening. One of them leads to the school's Rainbow Spectrum club, where kids of many genders and identities congregate, including Melissa, the girl who sits in front of Rick in class and seems to have her life together. Rick wants his own life to be that ... understood. Even if it means breaking some old friendships and making some new ones.
As they did in their groundbreaking novel George, in Rick, award-winning author Alex Gino explores what it means to search for your own place in the world ... and all the steps you and the people around you need to take in order to get where you need to be.
Rick was a sweet story that was told in such a gentle way that you don’t even question the direction the book is taking you in. I hadn’t read George prior to this, but I have now sorted that by adding it to my TBR!
I love the idea of the Rainbow Spectrum. No subject was taboo. And no question too small. Even the teacher had a thing or two to learn and just accepted that it was part of the course. Rick also explores the idea of toxic friendships. And how people can change as they grow older and want different things. And that it is okay to accept that the person you once were is gone.
This is a simple book that I would definitely recommend to a younger reader. Light and bright Rick explores questions a reader may have without being a lecture. Acceptance and learning is key to this story. For me the book ended far too quickly and I felt like there was a lot more to be explored. Hopefully that will come from one of the other kids from the Rainbow Spectrum? Or even Jeff himself?
Reading about Rick, was like watching someone blossom. Rick isn’t fully there yet, but you cannot help but feel that friendship, joy and even love (in one form or another) is just around the corner for him.