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Golden Boy
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  • Published in USA  May 2013
    352 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Mary R. (San Jose, CA) (01/14/13)

Golden Boy – Not a Typical Coming of Age Story
Golden Boy is definitely not a typical coming of age story. This complicated story revolves around Max, who is an intersex teenager. He is both male and female. The story asks questions like what does it mean to be male or female? When does no mean no? What kind of betrayals can be forgiven? This story is told from the viewpoint of many different characters in the book and we see through their eyes how Max's story unfolds. The best part about this book is that the ending is satisfying and real.
Carole V. (West Linn, Oregon) (01/13/13)

Buzz worthy
The book starts out with a horrible, unthinkable thing happening- to Max, an intersex teenager. I was a little concerned that it was going to be a 'sensational' book. Rather, it was very well written, very believable, and thoughtful. Oh, the secrets we keep.......and the damage they do. Read this book; I think it's going to be one of the most talked about books of the year.
sentmark (01/12/13)

Rarity of subject mirrored writing focus
Abigail developed interesting characters and had me hooked within the first 120 pages, but not right out of the box. The rawness of the subject made it hard to keep reading, until it didn't any more. I credit this to the author, but I can not explain how exactly. Most of the inner dialogue was appealing. Minor irritations, for me, were the continual awkward reminders of some character facts, and the phenomenal ending which did not fit the rest of the book. I am looking forward to her next.
Catharine L. (Petoskey) (01/10/13)

An unusual story
I was hooked in the first three pages with Daniel's (age 9 4/5's) description of his older brother Max. The story is told from the viewpoint of 6 different characters. It is a coming of age and family in crisis situation.... I didn't rate it a 5 because the discussions about the XX/XY sex chromosomes were too long. The story, however, is fascinating and the characters very real.
Barbara G. (Lisle, IL) (01/09/13)

A Golden Tale
Abigail Tarttelin tackles with compassion the unlikely tale of an intersex individual who identifies as a male, but could be either. We are introduced to Max, the high school Golden Boy who hides a terrible secret. This book would appeal to anyone interested in questions of sexuality and acceptance, but told from multiple viewpoints as each character has his or her own section.
Patricia S. (New Canaan, CT) (01/08/13)

Choices and Controls
The novel, alternating between the voices of the 6 main characters, brings more depth to the story, enabling us to this view this story of choices and controls quite intimately. That the author is only 25 and can write about such sensitive matter so maturely led me to re-read the novel--and I loved it even more the second time.
This would make an excellent book club discussion, bearing in mind the suitability of its sensitive nature. As a nurse and a mother, I say KUDOS to Abigail Tarttelin! It's a rare book that comes along that stirs me as much as GOLDEN BOY did. I look forward to her next book.
Marta M. (Santa Ana, CA) (01/08/13)

Golden book
Told from different perspectives, this book is golden in many ways. Max is a popular high school boy. He is captain of his football league, girls are drawn to him, he gets good grades, and he is kind even to his annoying little brother. But Max has a secret, he is intersex. He is exactly half and half. The story goes deeply into his and his family's feelings about this. His family and him haven't spoken about this situation at all and this fact creates most of the dramatic situation here. Even though I learned a lot about people who are intersex, I learned a lot more about communication within families. How having a secret, even though you are trying to protect someone, will blow up in your face at the most inopportune times. I highly recommend this book. It is easy to read and not forgettable.
Claire M. (Sarasota, FL) (01/07/13)

Golden Boy
The younger, not yet so golden brother of the protagonist Max says "You may be different like me, Max, but the good news is that we're living in a world of different people." A wonderfully prescient view from a 10 year old that should be a part of the thinking of most all of us living in the present age. Why do we cling to "normal" and fear the "other", the different? This novel certainly has raised those questions for me while reading about what is now called a middlesex person. We have so narrowly defined sex and gender that any minute deviation drives some people to condemnation and yet we live in an age where fertility drugs, surrogate birthers, sperm donors, in vitro fertilisation, ultra sound, sexual identification and other interventions are considered normal. These interventions are accepted as the results might not be.
I loved reading this novel seeing how accepting one's own very different being growing up in a family conflicted by it could bring sense and acceptance by those who could appreciate the sliding scale of different.

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