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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

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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story

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 troubling...one 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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Patricia
  • Redding, CA, United States
  • 06-21-16

Great book - terrible narration

Well written, informative and heart-felt story. I wish they had hired a great narrator. The staccato, mono-tone reading was almost painful and I would have to stop listening at times. I struggled to finish the book and wished I had purchased the actual book so as to be spared the tortuous narration. A really good narrator would have made this book something one could not put down.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Stunning

This book was not only beautiful but informative. I'm so thankful a book like this exists and will be recommending it at the book store where I work. Everyone should read this book!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Connie
  • DURHAM, NC, United States
  • 01-15-16

Quite interesting to me

Anybody who has a transgender person in their family or their group of friends or school should read this book. It will give you a lot to think about. I do wish the author had chosen a professional narrator. It was a bit hard to listen to her try to narrate it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Very helpful and inspiring

The book was wonderful, but the author should not have narrated it. Raspy, flat and nasal.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Scott
  • McMinnville, OR, United States
  • 12-07-17

A profound story of triumph

A most remarkable and touching story, beautifully told. If you have any questions about what it means to be transgender, read this book.

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Extraordinary telling

of acceptance support of transgender life experiences -- harrowing and loving. Everyone needs to read it.

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A must read for better understanding! Very eye opening!

I so appreciate this book! Tho I love and respect all humans it helped me immensely to understand how parents can know their young child is transgender. I admit I struggled with that and my lack of understanding left me confused and tempted to judge. The scientific facts were surprising also. This book should be a must read! The only way we can accept that we don't understand and those we do not understand is to learn their struggles and who they are. I am a Christian and pray God uses this book and other avenues to teach us all acceptance and understanding. After all, He is the only judge. I believe He is proud of ALL His creation and especially proud when we use our experiences to help others understand.

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Lovely story

This is a lovely story, and I believe the author did a good job of bringing the Maines' families journey to life.

However, she should have hired a professional narrator. It's a unique skill, and she doesn't have it.

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  • Brendan
  • 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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  • Dee
  • 10-30-15

Typical.

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.