Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt [in Library Journal]
Jonas and Wyatt entered the world as identical twin boys, adopted by Kelly and Wayne Maines after being born to Kelly’s teenage cousin who wasn’t ready to be a mother. By toddlerhood, Wyatt vocalized that she was a girl; Jonas always recognized he had a sister.
Kelly supported Wyatt unconditionally as she asserted her true identity. Wayne’s understanding took longer, but second grader Jonas provided him with the perfect explanation: “Face it, Dad, you have a son and a daughter.”
Wayne’s growth from acceptance to activism is an inspiring lesson for all parents. Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Amy Ellis Nutt (Shadows Bright as Glass) follows the Maineses’ journey as Wyatt becomes Nicole – a personal transformation to bring congruence both inside and out. Nutt edifies readers with history, science, medicine, and law, deftly exposing the family’s challenges without demonizing the ignorant, fearful, at times downright nasty naysayers.
Verdict: Nutt narrates with an inviting, open earnestness. Not an actor, she is a storyteller, with perfect timing – how did she know three years ago (when she began reporting on the Maineses) that transgender identity would be such an auspicious topic? Nicole should be in audio collections everywhere.
Readers: Young Adult, Adult