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High School Library Books - None of the Above
The book None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio is available in the Grand Haven High School and Central High School libraries. This book was reviewed by GHAPS employees and determined to be appropriate for the high school library.
None of the Above by I.W Gregoria tells the story of a high school girl who discovers she is intersex. The book begins with the school homecoming dance. Kristen is excited to have sex with her boyfriend, but it is an epic fail. Because of her physical pain during intercourse, she visits the doctor and discovers she is intersex. She has some male parts inside her, XY chromosomes, no uterus and a very short vagina.
Kristen is confused and devastated by her diagnosis, but still determined to have sex with her boyfriend so her doctor prescribes a set of dilators which are devices similar to a tampon that she must insert into her vagina and work around to stretch it. She works through a series of dilators and successfully has sex. Shortly after, her condition becomes known at school. Many former friends shun her and she learns to cope with her new situation.
This book has the potential to answer questions for an intersex child or a child with an intersex friend. However, the book normalizes teen sex and teen drinking, and creates gender confusion. Although intersex is a legitimate medical condition, and children with this condition deserve to see reflections of themselves in books, and it is acceptable for children without this condition to be aware of it, this book should not be available to the general school population at the school library. The book contains several scenes of teen drinking, graphic depictions of a visit to the gynecologist, and several detailed sexual encounters. The graphic material presented in this book has the potential to harm any child who stumbles across this book. If the school feels this book is necessary to have available, it should be reserved for councilor use only. The benefit of bringing awareness to the condition of intersex does not outweigh the potential harm this book can cause.
Here are specific examples from the book for why I feel this book should not be in general circulation.
The book contains several instances of teen drinking which normalizes this illegal behavior.
p. 6 – “…when I threw up my first tequila shot.”
p. 9 - …. Already had half a Sprite bottle filled with champagne.
p. 16 – Rumor had it he’d gotten four kegs and the keys to his parent’s liquor stash.
p. 17 – We had another helping of champagne in the limo.
p. 23 - … been so wasted that he peed on someone’s lawn and had gotten arrested.
p.87 – I spotted some people doing tequila shots at the book table
p. 88 – I brought him a couple of Vodka shots, thinking that if he were drunk off his ass….I chugged the rest of my beer and let out a breath.
p. 92 – “I told her not to mix a screwdriver with a mudslide.”
p. 182 – Sam had gotten me a passable fake id last summer…
p. 185 – (drunk driving) After I left, I took a couple of circuits around the block to clear my head before driving.
The book contains several depictions of teen sex which normalizes this behavior.
p.8 – spoken from mom to a daughter “I made sure to put in some protection. Wouldn’t want you to be pregnant for prom.”…. Obviously Vee’s mom didn’t know that she’d gotten the birth control shot earlier that month. Vee had convinced me to get one too.
p. 9 His fingers moved up my thigh, warm and strong…. But that night I pushed closer into him as he reached beneath my underwear.
p. 19 – Sam untangled himself to get a condom and when he turned back the feel of him on top of me… and then, oh my God. Pain
p. 23 – We had to come up with some new positions.
p. 78 – (in a hot tub) – It was a total group grope.
p. 84 – (she wants to have sex with her boyfriend, but she has a very short vagina which must be stretched) – I took the smallest dilator. It went in about two inches before it hurt…
p. 85 – The third time I dilated I got to three inches.
p. 90 – Up in the master bedroom Sam stripped off his suit as soon as we shut the door, and grabbed at mine. Before I knew it, I was naked…(this progresses into a sex scene mixed with pain. It goes on for three pages.)
p. 158 – (referring to online bullying) – He or she also had access to porn, to find a penis that was just the right proportion and angle to splice onto the picture of me in my bikini at the car wash.
p. 184 – (she, a teenager, is looking for a one-night-stand at a bar) – An hour later I was deliciously buzzed and Josh had his hand under my shirt as we made out in a back hallway.
p. 250 – The one time I ever let a guy stick himself in me, it didn’t make me feel like a woman. It made me feel like I was an electrical socket.
p. 251 – Darren’s sister Wendy had gotten pregnant right before graduating.
Detailed medical OBGYN exam.
p. 31 – “Everything off from the waist down please.”
p. 36 – There are a lot of lacerations and your vagina is unusually short.”
p. 59 – Your biological sex is usually determined by your chromosomes, but in your case, there’s a disconnect – even though you’re XY externally, you’re female… This conversation continues into p. 60
p. 210 – “As okay as it can be for a girl who’s going to be a mother of two before she reaches her sixteenth birthday.”…“Can’t she have an abortion?”….”Nope. She’s Catholic, which is why she didn’t get an abortion the first time even though she was only 13 and it was essentially a date rape.”
p. 230-238 – confusing gender identity discussion
Grand Haven High School and Central High School librarian Dana Rider, Lakeshore and White Pines librarian Sarah McElrath and Instructional Services Educational Director Mary Jane Evink reviewed this book.
Follows a teenage girl who is seemingly normal but when her and her boyfriend try to be intimate she realizes something is wrong. Later she finds out that she has a biological condition called androgen insensitivity Syndrome (looks like a female on the outside but is not fully female on the inside). The book does include one scene of teen drinking and a nondescript intimate scene with her boyfriend. It greatly affects her life and the book explores how that revelation changes her current life along with bullying and other issues when other students find out about her diagnosis.
Shockingly, it has been determined that this book is appropriate for the Grand Haven High School library.
If you have an issue with a lesson or book your child has been exposed to at GHAPS that you would like to share with us, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org – Please provide as much information as possible such as school, grade, subject, teacher, title of material, photos of material if applicable and your issue. Thank you.