Ages 10 to 14, Grades 5 to 9
ISBN 9780525554851, 0525554858
Paperback | 288 pages
The Ship We Built is an expertly told epistolary middle grade novel about a trans boy learning to stand up for himself—especially to those he loves—and the power of finding a friend who treasures him for all that he is.
“Incredibly good; by turns raw, sweet, horrifying, tender, and hopeful.”—Laurie Halse Anderson, NYT bestselling and award-winning author of Speak and SHOUT
Sometimes I have trouble filling out tests when the name part feels like a test too…. When I write letters, I love that you have to read all of my thoughts and stories before I say any name at all. You have to make it to the very end to know.
Rowan has too many secrets to write down in the pages of a diary. And if he did, he wouldn’t want anyone he knows to read them. He understands who he is and what he likes, but it’s not safe for others to find out. Now the kids at school say Rowan’s too different to spend time with. He’s not the “right kind” of girl, and he’s not the “right kind” of boy. His mom ignores him. And at night, his dad hurts him in ways he’s not ready to talk about yet.
Then Rowan discovers another way to share his secrets: letters. Letters he attaches to balloons and releases into the universe, hoping someone new will read them and understand. But when he befriends a classmate who knows what it’s like to be lonely and scared, even at home, Rowan realizes there might already be a person he can trust right by his side.