by Terence Blacker

Sam’s mother dies in America and he is brought to England by his aunt to live with her, her husband and his cousin Matthew. Needless to say, Matthew already had plans for his Summer – and they didn’t include sharing his family with a stranger, even one to whom he’s related. Nor does Sam make the adjustment easy. Sam is going through a difficult time, but it’s more than that. Small, with long blond hair, American, a bit wild and hippyish, Sam is as different to Matthew and Matthew’s friends as anyone speaking the same language can be. At last the new school year looms. Sam wants to be part of Matthew’s ‘gang’ but because of all the tension and fights of the Summer the other boys aren’t sure about him. Can they trust him? Will he ever really  be one of them? They decide to set him a test – one they’re confident he’ll fail. For the first week of school Sam has to pretend to be a girl. Sam, with no other choice, agrees, and Samantha is born. Much to everyone’s surprise, Sam does much better as a girl than he was doing as a boy, all the while sowing a certain amount of chaos and confusion in her wake. It is only when – fresh out of jail – Sam’s father comes looking for him and whatever money his mother may have left that the joke turns serious. But the hilarity never stops.

In My Fair Lady,  Professor Higgins asks the musical question, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” Here the question is why can’t a boy be more like a girl – and what happens if he succeeds?

Newly reissued, Boy2Girl is both funny and thought-provoking, raising important questions about gender stereotyping and giving fresh insights into friendship and belonging. The perfect novel for our gender-fluid times.




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