Several Massachusetts Libraries Pushing Book About Transgender Child

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Several Massachusetts public libraries are recommending a book for children that tells the story of a young girl who thinks she’s a boy.

The book, titled Jack (Not Jackie), which Amazon advertises for children ages 4 through 8, describes an older sister’s reactions to her younger sister’s attempt to transform into a boy with the support of her parents. The 30-page book was originally published by Simon & Schuster in May 2009.

The book’s author, Erica Silverman, a librarian, writes at the back of the book that “research shows that children start identifying with and expressing their gender identity as early as two years old.”

NewBostonPost has found the book recommended at public libraries in Salem, Melrose, and Watertown.

The libraries have gathered books celebrating LGBT themes on special lists for children.

Spokesmen for the libraries could not immediately be reached for comment.

A summary of Jack (Not Jackie) is below:


The book begins with the younger sister’s birth, whose name is Jackie. But as the older sister (named Susan) tries to get Jackie to participate in girly things like dress-up, Jackie persists in doing more boyish things, such as running, playing in the mud, wearing a cape, and putting on dinosaur bandaids.

On Jackie’s birthday, she breaks into tears after receiving a dress. “That’s okay,” the mother says. “She can wear whatever feels right.” Jackie then puts on her father’s vest and hat.

Sometime later, the family goes shopping for clothing. Jackie immediately goes for the boys section, picking out shorts, a shirt, and a tie. The dialogue between Susan and her mother is below.


Susan:  But ties are for boys!

Mother:  We wear what feels right. Remember?

Susan:  But it’s wrong!

Mother:  Not wrong, Susu. Just different.


The next day, when the family goes to the park, Jackie plays in the sandbox with another boy. Before they go to leave, the other boy calls her “Jack.” Susan tries to interject, “but your name is …” But Jackie covers her ears, sticks out her tongue, and shouts for her to stop.

Things finally come to a head during “haircut day,” when Jackie has her hair cut short to look like a boy’s.


Susan: Stop, Mama, stop! Now Jackie looks like a boy.

Jackie: I am a boy!

Mother: Well, Jackie’s been trying to tell us that for a long time.


— A few pages later —


Jackie: Please call me … Jack.

Susan: But Jackie, you’re my sister.

Jackie: No, Susu, I’m your brother.

Susan: I don’t want a brother! I want my sister back!


Both children then burst into tears. After some time to think, Susan decides it’s fine that Jackie thinks she’s a girl, and they play games together, with Jackie wearing her cape, tie, shorts, and pants.


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