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Publisher's Summary

The inspiring true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother, and an ordinary American family's extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the uniqueness in us all, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning science reporter for The Washington Post.
When Wayne and Kelly Maines adopted identical twin boys, they thought their lives were complete. But it wasn't long before they noticed a marked difference between Jonas and his brother, Wyatt. Jonas preferred sports and trucks and many of the things little boys were "supposed" to like; but Wyatt liked princess dolls and dress-up and playing Little Mermaid. By the time the twins were toddlers, confusion over Wyatt's insistence that he was female began to tear the family apart. In the years that followed, the Maineses came to question their long-held views on gender and identity, to accept and embrace Wyatt's transition to Nicole, and to undergo an emotionally wrenching transformation of their own that would change all their lives forever.
Becoming Nicole chronicles a journey that could have destroyed a family but instead brought it closer together. It's the story of a mother whose instincts told her that her child needed love and acceptance, not ostracism and disapproval; of a Republican air force veteran father who overcame his deepest fears to become a vocal advocate for trans rights; of a loving brother who bravely stuck up for his twin sister; and of a town forced to confront its prejudices, a school compelled to rewrite its rules, and a courageous community of transgender activists determined to make their voices heard. Ultimately, Becoming Nicole is the story of an extraordinary girl who fought for the right to be herself.
©2015 Amy Ellis Nutt (P)2015 Random House Audio
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Critic Reviews

Becoming Nicole is a miracle. It's the story of a family struggling with - and embracing - a transgender child. But more than that, it's about accepting one another, and ourselves, in all our messy, contradictory glory. The Maines family is as American as they come. In the journey they take toward authenticity and justice, we see a model for the future of our country, a future in which all of us - mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters - somehow find the courage, and the love, to become our best selves." (Jennifer Finney Boylan, cochair of GLAAD and author of She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By book worm on 10-22-15

More narratives like this, please.

Any additional comments?

One apprehensive mother starts her search on the internet, key words: little boy dresses up in girl clothes. What a roller coaster ride after that. This is Nicole's story, and her parents, less of what the impact was on her twin Jonas. Mesmerizing are the first few paragraphs of the book: little boy dances and watches himself dressed in fairy sparklies, reflected in the oven door. While his perplexed and frightened Dad pleads with him to "make a muscle". I am going to listen again, so much is mother chastising the family for "giving up too soon", after the boy toddler is playing with girl toys, even poignantly wondering when his own "p*nis was going to fall off". Very well written and narrated by the author. I don't know that a man could have narrated this successfully. I hope we get additional, thorough narratives of what the people go through, those captured in a body that does not reflect what's going on inside. Thanks to the author, thanks to the family for opening the door to their lives.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

By Amazon Customer on 10-28-15

excellent story , poor narration

I will probably finish listening as the story is compelling but I feel the author is one of the poorest narrators I've heard. Sadly, her staccato , flat intonation interferes with the whole experience. the wish I'd purchased a printed version instead.

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5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Brendan on 08-03-17

Informative and Moving.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I would like to see a more direct introduction to how the story would progress. I was quite lost in regards to what was going on for the first few chapters.

What did you like best about this story?

I felt it covered an incredible amount of information succinctly, all while developing a deep relationship and attachment to the characters.

Did Becoming Nicole inspire you to do anything?

I was deeply moved by the story presented and have incorporated additional audiobooks and reading material to learn more about gender diversity.

Any additional comments?

Overall, I had a little trouble getting into this audiobook, however, I did find that after a short period I had developed an interest not only in the character development but the additional tidbits of information throughout. As mentioned I finished this book and found it to be deeply moving and inspiring. I would recommend it to others.

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By Dee on 10-30-15


This is a typical biography of a transsexual person by a cissexual person. It's made to be all about Nicole's cis family. Nicole is misgendered hundreds of times.

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