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  • A fantastic read

    When they were younger, Joey was the Princess of Baker Street and Eric was the knight, and it was perfectly normal. But as they got older, the kids of Baker Street started to realize there was something different about Joey, something strange about a boy pretending to be a princess, and not all of them liked it. Middle school is a battlefield, and Eric is doing his best to avoid calling attention to himself and his shaky living situation. Unfortunately, Joey doesn’t get the memo and repeatedly shows up to school with painted nails or wearing leggings and a girly scarf. In order to fit in, Eric has no choice but to cut Joey out of his life, but whenever he sees his friends bullying Joey, Eric is wracked with so much guilt that his stomach hurts. As Eric’s home life and Joey’s school life deteriorate, they both are faced with big decisions with life-changing consequences. But will their choices tear them apart or bring them together again? Opinion: I couldn’t put this book down. The narrative was fast-paced and intriguing but still managed to hit on several major issues in both Eric and Joey’s lives. I also liked that the reader was able to see into the home lives of several main characters, including the main bully, showing that everyone is struggling with something. I loved the tie-ins to the past and being able to see how the characters changed from young, care-free children to middle school students scared of not fitting in. I feel like the realization that popularity isn’t as big of a deal as people make it out to be is one lesson every middle and high school student must face as some point, so I could really relate to Eric’s internal struggle between fitting in and standing up for his friend. I also enjoyed that the book depicted a wide variety of reactions to a transgender person and showed that the people who truly love you will accept you no matter what. Overall, this was a fantastic read that I’d recommend to anyone looking for a good coming-of-age story, especially anyone curious about the LGBTQ+ community.

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  • Realistic plot filled with hope and love

    Joey Kinkaid is the princess of Baker Street, and Eric Sinclair is the prince. They have been close friends since they were little, and now the terrors and troubles of middle school are tearing them apart. Joey does not make an easy friend; he comes to school dressed in the fashion of most girls with leggings, lip gloss, and a pink silk scarf. Eric, troubled by his lack of parenting and guidance at home, forces himself under the radar despite his wishes to help Joey so that no one finds out he lives alone. The bullying gets to be too much for Joey and he attempts to stop the suffering he calls a life. Eric, wreaked by this. has trouble finding his inner peace. Will they mend the bond of friendship against the seemingly vast abyss of darkness we call junior high? How does Eric solve his family troubles when they aren't even around? Overall, this is a great book. The plot is realistic and shows the downfalls and potholes of society. It shows our lack of tolerance and sometimes inability to help those who are poor or young mothers raising their children. It is reality mixed with a dose of the fantastic. The kindness and wishes of the characters are imaginative and hopeful. The hero is one who is forced into the position by his past and his conscience, and the bullies are by-products of unoriginality and lack of respect bred in their households and in this world nowadays. In general, it shows the need for better parenting and values integrated into our society as well as the lack of respect and tolerance for others. But the hope and love portrayed, despite overwhelming doses of darkness, are beautiful, courageous, and quite touching.

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