Book cover: Beyond Magentaby Susan Kuklin
Candlewick Press, 2014.
182 pages
Grades 9 and up

Beyond Magenta is a collection of stories of transgender teens, who share their joys and struggles and reveal how they want to be viewed by others.

Through interviews, readers are exposed to many different backgrounds and experiences within the transgender youth community, from teens who identify as male or female, to those who identify as neither, to a teen who is intersex.

Readers will gain a clearer picture of the complexities of navigating gender, identity, and social mores — as well as of the challenges that even the most well-supported transgender teens face, such as harassment from both young people and adults.

Some photos are included, but just as telling are the absence of photos from a young adult who is “not ready for people to see me.”

Kuklin’s hope is that “once we get to know individuals who may be different from ourselves, it is less likely we will be wary of them.”

The book also offers useful definitions and resources.

Beyond Magenta is a reminder of the importance of accepting others and of removing barriers that prevent people from becoming their authentic selves.

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