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10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert
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10,000 Dresses

by Marcus Ewert

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I enjoyed the way that this book looks at loving everyone and takes a look at what it means to be transgender.
  Madison_DeWeerdt | Dec 4, 2014 |
After reading “10,000 Dresses” by Marcus Ewert, I have mixed feelings. I like how the book is written about a transgender child. I loved Bailey, who is the main character. Bailey is a girl who is trapped in a boy’s body. She doesn’t feel like a boy, she only looks like one. I love Bailey because she is believable. I know there are other children who can relate to Bailey, children who are transgender. Bailey doesn’t understand why she doesn’t feel like a boy, she just knows that she isn’t one. “‘But… I don’t feel like a boy,’ Bailey said.” The reason why I don’t like the book is because there is conflict in the story that is never solved. In the story Bailey’s mother, father, and brother all tell her that she’s a boy and that’s that. Bailey’s mother says to her, “‘Well, you are one, Bailey, and that’s that! Now go away… and don’t mention dresses to me again!’” Bailey goes to her room, clearly heartbroken. When Bailey asks her dad if he can grow her a dress made of flowers her father says, “‘Bailey, what are you talking about? You’re a boy. Boys don’t wear dresses!’” When Bailey told her brother about a dress she dreamed of, he called her gross and told her to get away. “But nothing. Get out of here, before I kick you!” The book ends with Bailey meeting a new friend and they begin to make dresses together. I think it’s great that Bailey finally gets a dress, but the conflict within the family is never solved. The big idea of this book is to show that there are some “boys” who do not feel like boys on the inside. ( )
  Chawki6 | Nov 16, 2014 |
10,000 Dresses. By Marcus Ewert. Illustrated by Rex Ray. Seven Stories Press. 2008. 28 pages. $14.95 hbk. 978-1583228500. Ages 5-9.

Every night, Bailey dreams up a new, beautiful dress she longs to wear – but when she asks her family members for help making them, all they tell her is that she is a boy and shouldn’t be thinking about dresses. Luckily she finds a friend in Laurel, who lives down the street: together they make two beautiful dresses out of mirrors, with the promise of more to come. The ultimate message of friendship and acceptance is sweet, and Ray’s solid, un-lined illustrations are gently appealing, but Bailey’s unaccepting family is a heartrending hurdle (which Ray emphasizes by depicting her family members from the back and at child eye-level, to demonstrate visually their distance and disjunction). The audience of children whose parents would choose to read them this book might not yet have the emotional maturity to digest the message that your family doesn’t always accept you for who you are. Nonetheless, parents and guardians of children who are or know someone who is transgender or gender-nonconforming might enjoy sharing this book with their child, as long as they are prepared for frank discussion of the serious and very real issues the book raises. Though this is not lighthearted reading, it is text that highlights the importance of honesty and thoughtfulness in discussions with children – as well as the importance of supporting children as they begin shaping their own sense of identity. Recommended. ( )
  tierneyc | Oct 23, 2014 |
Horn Book (Spring 2009)
  stonini | Jul 30, 2014 |
In my opinion, this is a perfect book to use with elementary aged children to address the unfamiliar topic of transgender. There are many reasons why I love this book. The language is very descriptive and works well with the meaning of the story. It even evokes an emotional response from the reader. The writing is very engaging, flows nicely, and is organized. There is a good amount of writing per page, accompanied by illustrations, which is perfect for young readers. I really enjoy the main character, Bailey, in this story. Baily is a well-developed character who is biologically a boy, but identifies more as a girl. I enjoy this character because this concept does not fit into a child’s understanding of what it means to be a boy or girl. It challenges a child’s opinion on gender and has them think about how a boy may want to be perceived as a girl. Certain students who perceive themselves as a different gender may identify with Bailey and find comfort that other people in the world feel this way. The plot is very enjoyable in my opinion. Bailey dreams about wearing magical dresses, but his parents do not support these dreams. His mother and father exclaim, “You’re a BOY! You shouldn’t be thinking about dresses at all.” Fortunately, Bailey becomes friends with a girl who is inspired by Bailey’s imagination and courage. The two begin making dresses together and Bailey can finally express his true self. I really enjoy this plot because it is a new and unfamiliar concept for young readers. It demonstrates the importance of being proud of who you are. I like that this story can comfort students who relate to Bailey and provide new insights for students who are unfamiliar with this topic of transgender. I also enjoy the gorgeous illustrations. Beautiful pictures spread across the pages and really enhance the story. The illustrations are appropriate for the mood of the story. This book pushes readers to address issues around gender such as gender roles, gender stereotypes, and transgender. These new concepts help readers think about what they think it means to be a boy or girl. The big idea of the story is that you should not be afraid to become the person you feel you are inside. It also teaches children to be supportive of those who make life decisions that are different from their own. ( )
  jgiann2 | Mar 25, 2014 |
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Bailey longs to wear the beautiful dresses of her dreams but is ridiculed by her unsympathetic family which rejects her true perception of herself.

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Seven Stories Press

2 editions of this book were published by Seven Stories Press.

Editions: 1583228500, 1583229507

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