George M. Johnson: All Boys Aren't Blue (AudiobookFormat, 2021, Penguin Random House Children's UK) 4 stars

This powerful YA memoir-manifesto follows journalist and LGBTQ+ activist George M. Johnson as they explore …

spoilt by middle

4 stars

Really great from the get-go, but sagging several chapters in. The blithe affluence becomes grating, especially as Johnson repeatedly presents the showering of children with trendy consumer goods, televisions, video game consoles, amusement-park– and hotel–filled vacations, resented summer camps, ongoing sports team expenses, college costs, and other eye-popping luxuries as the epitome of Black familial love. Lauding a sibling for not being awful, and raiding private moments from the life of a deceased transfeminine cousin — after somewhat shunning her in life, forcing her to be refigured as inspiration porn for publication — complete the spoiling of a memoir that is otherwise imbued with transformative potential well beyond the bland story it relates.