A Boy Named Queen
By Sara Cassidy
Synopsis from Groundwood Books:
Evelyn is both aghast and fascinated when a new boy comes to grade five and tells everyone his name is Queen. Queen wears shiny gym shorts and wants to organize a chess/environment club. His father plays weird loud music and has tattoos. How will the class react? How will Evelyn?
It’s interesting the judgements we make against others about their name, their clothes, the length of their hair. I love Queen’s perspective that people tease and make fun of things they are afraid of. Even the teacher who is portrayed as someone open to new ideas has initial trepidation around Queen’s name.
Evelyn views Queen for who he is, impressed by his ability to not take the teasing of others personally, to not get angry like she sometimes feels. A Boy Named Queen reminds us that the reaction of others is often based on misunderstandings and fear. Evelyn feeling angry illustrates how our own child’s feelings may be stirred by the reaction of others, a natural reaction around wanting to fit in. Queen helps her find a way to address these feelings, keeping negative words out and letting happy moments in.
As our children get older, they may encounter or witness acts of teasing and judgement and we won’t be there to guide them. Queen reminds us to believe in oneself and stand-up and support others.