I first discovered George by Alex Gino when it was assigned reading for a library science graduate course, but now, I recommend it all the time. Therefore, I was super excited to pick up Alex Gino’s companion novel to George, Rick.
Rick is about a boy named–you guessed it, Rick–who begins to question his friendship and himself as he moves into middle school. His best friend, Jeff, is a bit of a bully, and kind of the worst, and so when Rick joins the Rainbow Spectrum club along with Melissa (the protagonist from George), and other students, who both identify as queer and who don’t necessarily, he begins to think broader. Is there a reason Rick doesn’t get excited about girls like his friend Jeff does? Rick explores his own thoughts, his sexuality, and friendship in this book about learning to stand up for yourself, making new friends, and along the way he befriends his grandfather who has a unique life of his own.
Overall, I liked this book. I thought it was an interesting follow-up to George, and you don’t see a lot of books with asexual representation, so that was interesting. I also liked the conversations the Rainbow Spectrum club had, and Rick’s relationship with his grandfather developed in a way that constantly surprised me, honestly. Also, Gino narrates the audiobook and their narration of the elevator sounds alone makes this audiobook worth it!