David Walliams is one of the three most popular authors within the school library (none of which I had read) so I decided to work through some books from each of the authors to better discuss books with the students. I picked up this book as I am naturally drawn to any books that I think may have an LGBT* topic involved which this book did, to a small extent.
It is not a book that I think that I would read again because it is no where near my favourite book list but that does not mean that I don’t think it would be greatly enjoyed by the children for whom it was intended for.
The Boy in the Dress hints towards Transgender thoughts in the main character, and the parent who is non-accepting of the child’s thoughts. While he eventually gets his wish of being able to go out and around in a dress, he realises that he didn’t actually want to BE a girl, he just wanted to wear the clothes. Although, he does alienate a French teacher in the mean time.
It takes his football team turning onto his side to get him back into the good books of the school. This took me a whole evening to read, perhaps because it took that long for me to get into the story or because it just made me want to stop reading repeatedly unlike the other David Walliams books that I have read.
Out of those that I have read, this was definitely my least favourite of his books because it disappointed me that he was not bringing in an LGBT* character like so many children’s books yet I though he would have been one of those people balls-y enough to go ahead.
This book did remind me of another book that I recently read in terms of the topics covered and the feelings of the main character, George by Alex Gino. Another story about a Transgender character but one that ends with the character still being in the mindset of a girl.
Children should, in my opinion, read this book in order to get an introduction into the idea of LGBT* before they grow up to be intolerant of anyone who is different to them, or thinking that there is something wrong with them just because they don’t think the same way as everyone else. Preferably, it should be read in conjunction with George so that they are able to see that you are able to question these things and some people will realise that they were not actually Transgender, while other people will discover the truth about themselves and both of these outcomes are valid (despite how it may sound from my opinions above on the book).
3 out of 5 stars
Accelerated Reader Information
Interest Level: MY
Quiz Number: 215540