Review by Maya Russell, Secondary Student
Gino. A. (2020). Scholastic Press.
Award-winning author Alex Gino explores what it means to search for your own place in the world and the importance of having good people around you.

Written by award-winning author Alex Gino, ‘Rick’ is an engaging novel about a young boy struggling to find his identity. Along his journey, he makes new connections and has some big realizations regarding the company he keeps. 

I do not doubt that any LGBTQIA+ youth would relate to this story. I say this because the author has written the main character’s story so that it correlates with other LGBTQIA+ youth experiences. I also think it teaches the reader a lesson about the company we keep. And how our relationships can change very quickly.  An example of this would be when Rick has to end a friendship as that person no longer respects Rick as a person because his values have changed. 

While I read the book, I found myself connecting with the main character through similar experiences. For example, when one of Rick’s family members suggests he is too young to have figured out who he is, I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach as the same situation has happened to me involving a family member. 

I do think that parts of the book were slightly predictable, but this wasn’t anything that would stop me from reading the book again. I also think the ending was satisfactory and left me with a smile on my face. 

Overall, I would recommend this book to any young person who doesn’t quite know why they are yet.

Disclaimer: Please note these reviews are not intended as endorsements or recommendations from the Mental Health Foundation. This feature introduces resources that may be useful for individuals with an interest in bullying prevention, mental health and wellbeing topics.

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