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Transister: Raising Twins in a Gender-Bending World
Kate Brookes
Brookes’s debut memoir gives an honest, sometimes heart-wrenching, often heart-warming account of her family’s journey through the transition of one of her twin sons becoming the girl he knew she was meant to be. His entire life, Gideon’s parents knew he wanted to be a girl. He loved Barbies, princesses, and pink, all his friends were girls and he loved styling their hair, and as soon as he could, started wearing his mom’s clothes around the house. Meanwhile, his twin brother, Jacob, was all about sports and worried that his brother wasn’t “normal.” But when Gideon was eight years old and told his mom he thought he was a “transister," he and his entire family began the transition of Gideon becoming Gabriella.

An experience that few have been through to be able to share, Brookes holds nothing back, telling her daughter’s story from birth to nine years old. Not only does she shine a light on how difficult it was for Gabriella to be Gideon, and clear it was that she wasn’t meant to be a boy, Brookes gives equal time to the struggles the rest of the family went through; being honest about her and her husband’s fears, all while being loving, supportive parents, and especially how painful it was for Gabriella’s twin brother. Jacob makes it clear he’s going through the transition too, but not by choice.

Brookes teaches readers details they likely wouldn’t know without having gone through it themselves, while also creating a captivating story that pulls them in. She explains the process they went through from helping Gideon become Gabriella, the counselors she was taken to, the separate counselors for her parents and for her twin brother, meetings with schools, and how they slowly introduced the world to Gabriella. Every personal story shared is shown beautifully through the eyes of each person involved, leaving readers with important information while falling in love with this sweet family.

Takeaway: A mother’s moving memoir of a twin son becoming a daughter.

Comparable Titles: Amy Ellis Nutt’s Becoming Nicole, Lori Duron’s Raising My Rainbow.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: B+
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A-