Cover image for Alex as well
Alex as well
Brugman, Alyssa, 1974- , author.
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2015.
Physical Description:
214 pages ; 22 cm
Raised as a boy, fourteen-year-old Alex, who has male and female sexual body parts, rejects the hormonal medications prescribed by his mother and decides to live as a girl.
General Note:
Originally published in Australia by Text Publishing in 2013.
Reading Level:
HL 620 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
Audubon Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Hamburg Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Lackawanna Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Orchard Park Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
City of Tonawanda Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

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Alex is ready for things to change, in a big way. Everyone seems to think she's a boy, but for Alex the whole boy/girl thing isn't as simple as either/or, and when she decides girl is closer to the truth, no one knows how to react, least of all her parents.

Undeterred, Alex begins to create a new identity for herself: ditching one school, enrolling in another, and throwing out most of her clothes. But the other Alex-the boy Alex-has a lot to say about that.
Heartbreaking and droll in equal measures, Alex As Well is a brilliantly told story of exploring gender and sexuality, navigating friendships, and finding a place to belong.

Author Notes

Alyssa Brugman has written several books for young adults, including Finding Grace and Walking Naked . She lives in Australia with her family.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This slim but thought-provoking Australian import follows a 14-year-old intersex teen (born with both male and female reproductive organs) making the transition to being a girl. Raised as a boy, Alex nonetheless has always felt like a girl; Brugman conveys this duality by having the two Alexes dialogue in her head. As Alex enrolls in a new school as a female, buys new clothes and makeup, and looks for a lawyer to help reassign her gender on her birth certificate, her hysterical mother copes poorly. Instead of communicating with Alex, she takes to posting her feelings on an online motherhood forum, where comments from others either support or criticize her parenting. While this provides a frame of reference for Alex's mother's unsympathetic behavior, and a way to explore how people think of sexuality and gender, it's the least successful part of an otherwise strong story. Alex narrates her predicament with likable casualness, and it's easy to root for her as she stands up for herself and finds another support system.--Hutley, Krista Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Despite her parents' insistence, Alex knows she's a girl. And while she's still discovering her personal history, this battle has old roots: born intersex, Alex was declared a boy and put on hormones. Now 14, she has stopped taking her meds, transferred to a co-ed school, and is intent on changing her life. The costs are high: Alex's father leaves, and her emotionally unstable mother loses whatever grip she had. Brugman (Finding Grace) gives Alex a running dialogue with her male self (also Alex), who was trained in masculinity, and doesn't always know how to handle himself around girls or during the modeling gigs that Alex lands. Both Alexes are game, clear, and sometimes funny, and watching Alex navigate her new terrain is rewarding. But the book also includes Alex's mother's distraught, typo-riddled posts to a parenting website (complete with reader comments), which feels gimmicky and ill advised. While these passages show that parenting an intersex child can be confusing, they give readers information Alex doesn't have, dramatically lessen sympathy for Alex's mother, and aren't needed to make Alex relatable. Ages 14-up. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 10 Up-Fifteen-year-old Alex Stringfellow has lived her entire life feeling like she's two people, male and female. Though previously identified as male, Alex decides to begin living as a female. What Alex doesn't know is that she was born intersex, and her parents had chosen not to tell her. To make her transition to living as a female easier, Alex enrolls in a new school where she quickly makes friends. While her adjustment is mostly smooth, Alex is concerned about how her friends will react if they find out she's a lesbian or if they find out about her "noodle." Her transition at home is less easy. After telling her parents, "I'm a girl," Alex's father leaves home and her mother struggles with Alex's gender identity and often handles it with fits, abuse, and attempts to control her child. Her absent father offers little support. Adding dimension to the teen's story are her internal conversations with the male and female sides of herself, and her mother's blog posts and the ensuing comments from readers. Brugman tackles a sensitive issue with grace and grit. The strong protagonist often acts with more maturity than her parents. This work is best suited for fans of problem novels, teens struggling with identity issues of all kinds, and readers looking for a good contemporary fiction title that has teeth.-Adrienne L. Strock, Teen Library Manager, Nashville Public Library (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



There are moments in life where something happens and it changes everything forever. You make one decision, and after that you can't go back. It doesn't even have to be a big thing. Five days ago I stopped taking my medication. I think it might be one of those decisions. How do you know? Maybe if I just start taking them again everything will go back to the way it was? I don't think so. Excerpted from Alex As Well by Alyssa Brugman All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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