Gender non-conforming children's book launches fundraising effort

Today, writer and designer Sharon Mentyka launched a Kickstarter campaign for her new book, "B in the World,"  a children's book that tells the story of a gender non-conforming kid named B. The book will only be published with the help of crowdfunders.

"B in the World," a paperback chapter book, tells the story of B who, as the book states. "wasn’t really sure why one day he felt like wearing overalls and a flannel shirt, and the next day he’d wake up wishing he could dress like Patti-Anne."

"It is a story about being yourself and being proud of it," said Mentyka, "It is a story for kids who are different, about kids who are different with the ultimate message that it’s okay to be different."

B, for whom the author uses male pronouns, is "super excited to be starting second grade, with Mr. J as their teacher, who's famous for running his classroom according to his own set of 'Kid Civil Rights,'" according to Mentyka's plot synopsis. "But when they find out that Ms. Hitchings will be their new teacher, everything changes. Then to make things worse, Mia arrives—the meanest, bossiest girl that New Horizons School has ever known. When B and Mia both decide to try out for the leading part of the Mermaid in the spring play, B wonders how he'll ever make it through the year."

A sample chapter of the book shows the kind of situations that B must learn to navigate as a gender non-conforming kid:

“You know Mom doesn’t like it when you do that,” she said, frightening him with her scowl.

B had slumped down on the floor in the hallway and stayed there for a long time. What Patti-Anne said wasn’t even exactly true. His mother really didn’t mind if he wore his sister’s clothes in the house. She just wasn’t okay with him wearing them outside...or to school.

Besides, it just felt right to B, so what was he supposed to do?

"B in the World" is an exciting, unique opportunity for children to read and learn about a gender non-conforming hero, thereby building an appreciation for diversity from a young age -- but the book will only be published if the campaign reaches its goal.

Check out B in the World's site to learn more and the Kickstarter page to donate.