Someone told me that when she found out one of her friends came out, she ended their friendship. She did not enjoy this book. The plot is based on on a trans teen feeling his way through life. He encounters hostility, but also finds new friends. A book for this age group (middle school) is not going to be terribly intense, but I think the author finds a good balance and presents a complex story in relatable language.
This feels like an introduction to non hetero sexuality. There isn’t any sex or anything graphically sexy in the book, because each chapter focuses on one person’s life experience as a whole, not just their sexual preferences. Middle schoolers who are curious could definitely find this book helpful. As an adult I found the writing to be kind of basic or simple, and the stories seemed like they could have been made up, but I think that is what makes it potentially good for middle school readers or some younger readers depending on their reading levels.
I thought this was like a companion piece to Persepolis, and I have seen other reviews insinuating this book is biting that book’s style. I can totally see that, but I still like this book, and I am going to buy it for my library. I like this book and Persepolis because it feels like someone is letting me in to this whole other world. I like this book specifically for middle school because it is straightforward without compromising on the complexity of the story. Obviously this is a completely different memoir than Persepolis, but I Remember Beirut seems like a better fit for younger readers if one is I the market for graphic novel memoirs by middle eastern women.