Cover image for Rick
Title:
Rick
ISBN:
9781338048100

9780702301827
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
223 pages ; 22 cm.
Reading Level:
780 L Lexile
Summary:
Eleven-year-old Rick Ramsey has generally gone along with everybody, just not making waves, even though he is increasingly uncomfortable with his father's jokes about girls, and his best friend's explicit talk about sex; but now in middle school he discovers the Rainbow Spectrum club, where kids of many genders and identities can express themselves--and maybe among them he can find new friends and discover his own identity, which may just be to opt out of sex altogether.
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On Order

Library
Copy
Location
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Stillwater Public Library1On Order

Summary

Summary

Ricks gone along with his best friend Jeff even when Jeffs acted like a bully and a jerk. But now Rick wants his own life to be... understood. Even if it means breaking some old friendships and making some new ones. As they did in their groundbreaking novel George, in Rick, award-winning author Alex Gino explores what it means to search for your own place in the world... and all the steps you and the people around you need to take in order to get where you need to be.


Author Notes

Alex Gino loves glitter, ice cream, gardening, awe-ful puns, and stories that reflect the diversity and complexity of being alive. George was their first novel. George was a winner of the Children's Stonewall Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and the Children's Choice Book Awards, among a host of others. George was also featured on several Best of the Year lists. For more about Alex, please visit alexgino.com.


Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3--7--In Gino's companion novel to George, readers meet Rick Ramsey. Rick usually goes along with what his best friend Jeff wants to do. Rick also loves when Jeff approves of his choices and ideas. They just started sixth grade together and Rick is prepared for Jeff to make fun of other kids at school or stare at girls and make suggestive comments about them. On the first day, Rick befriends Melissa Mitchell, who he recognizes from elementary school. He also remembers Jeff bullied Melissa for years. Rick's parents repeatedly ask him about cute girls or boys, which makes him uncomfortable. He wishes his older sister Diane was around to eat popcorn and watch TV with--she wouldn't ask him about girls or boys. Neither does Grandpa Ray, who Rick doesn't know well. After spending consistent time together, he and Grandpa Ray become close. Unexpectedly, Rick finds he can be his true self with his grandpa. In addition to spending time with Grandpa Ray, Rick starts attending meetings at his school's Rainbow Spectrum club. He develops a better knowledge and understanding of his asexual identity, and what kind of friendships he truly needs and deserves. VERDICT An enlightening and important novel about a young person's experience with asexuality. A required purchase for middle grade collections.--Jess Gafkowitz, Brooklyn Public Library


Publisher's Weekly Review

In this standalone companion to Gino's George, 11-year-old Rick grapples with his identity while navigating shifting relationships and learning about allyship. Now that he's starting middle school, it seems that everyone expects Rick to "turn into some sort of hormonal beast," but he worries that he's never had a crush. Though he hopes that the Rainbow Spectrum, "an after-school club for LGBTQIAP+ rights," might provide answers, he hides his interest from his best friend Jeff, a homophobic bully. As Rick begins to find words that describe his orientation--asexual, aromantic--he bonds with his fellow club members and is forced to consider his friendship with Jeff, whose bullying exempts Rick but not his new friends, among them Melissa, the star of Gino's debut novel. In addition to feeling accepted by his club peers, he begins conversations with family about his identity, but it's his deepening relationship with his Grandpa Ray, who loves cosplay, that provides Rick the safe space to be himself. Bonding first over a science fiction program, the two find that their connection spans beyond the screen, further highlighting the power of authenticity and acceptance. Through the Rainbow Spectrum, readers are introduced to a wide range of identities and pronouns. Ages 8--12. (Apr.)


Kirkus Review

As he explores his identity and finds his footing in middle school, a sixth grader stands up to his bully best friend.White, cisgender boys Rick and Jeff have been best friends since the third grade. When they're alone, Jeff shares his video games, but at school Jeff picks on other kids and talks about girls with ostentatious lasciviousness. Despite their connection, Rick knows he can't tell Jeff that he wants to join their school's Rainbow Spectrum, a safe space for LGBTQIAP+ students, or that he's questioning his own sexuality. The more Rick learns about himself, the more he realizes he needs to hold Jeff accountable for his behavior. An honest relationship develops between Rick and his cosplay-loving grandfather. Grandpa Ray reassures and supports Rick when he comes out as asexual. Adults in the story model moments of vulnerability and admit mistakes. Gino seamlessly introduces language to describe a variety of sexualities and gender identities through the perspective of Rick, who is learning many of the words for the first time. Although the book shares characters with Gino's Stonewall Award-winning George (2015), it stands alone. The cast (including students of color) represents a spectrum of genders and sexualities with an emphasis on self-identification and encouragement of exploration.A game-changing ace. (author's note) (Fiction. 8-13) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Eleven-year-old sixth-grader Rick's best friend ever is Jeff, who, let's face it, is a bit of a jerk. Aside from being a troublemaker, Jeff objectifies girls, one of them being a new girl, Melissa. At least Rick thinks she's new, until he realizes that he has known her since she was the protagonist of Gino's first novel, George (2015). I'm a girl, she tells Rick, a transgender girl. Rick realizes he isn't sure what he is, though. Is he gay? He doesn't like boys that way, but then, he doesn't like girls that way either. Thinking it might help him decide, he attends a meeting of the Rainbow Spectrum, a club for LGBTQIAP+ rights. He keeps this a secret from Jeff, of course. Meanwhile, Rick begins spending time with his grandfather, who, it turns out, has a secret of his own. Grandpa Ray tells him that Jeff is, indeed, a jerk, and then Jeff does something that proves it. Will that end his friendship with Rick? And what is Grandpa Ray's secret? Gino handles the answers deftly and manages their material about children's identities beautifully. Like George (2015), this is an important, innovative, well-­plotted book that invites a large readership.--Michael Cart Copyright 2020 Booklist


Table of Contents

Chapter I Rick Ramsey, Right Hand Manp. 1
Chapter II She Doesn't Use That Name Anymorep. 16
Chapter III Ice Cream Either Way Isn't a Bad Dealp. 31
Chapter IV Plato Was Gay, Even During Science Classp. 52
Chapter V The Ketchup Kerfufflep. 61
Chapter VI On Best Friendsp. 78
Chapter VII The Rainbow Spectrump. 88
Chapter VIII Out of Syncp. 108
Chapter IX Pronouns and Purposep. 118
Chapter X Secrets Sharedp. 137
Chapter XI Less Brave than a Posterp. 152
Chapter XII A Stellar Ideap. 164
Chapter XIII Up in Flamesp. 172
Chapter XIV Theater Thrives on Spontaneityp. 185
Chapter XV Gamma Ray Goes to Space Conp. 199
Chapter XVI We Are All Beautifulp. 213