Review of Door by Door, by Meeg Pincus, illustrated by Meredth McKean Gimbel

Door By Door

How Sarah McBride Became America’s First Openly Transgender Senator

by Meeg Pincus
illustrated by Meredth McKean Gimbel

Crown Books for Young Readers, 2023. 36 pages.
Review written June 15, 2023, from a library book
Starred Review

Here is a picture book biography of a state senator in Delaware — who is also the first openly transgender state senator anywhere in the United States.

This picture book explains her career in ways kids can understand. There is no mention of sex or body parts. Here’s how she’s introduced:

From the time she was a tot, Sarah McBride knew two things as sure as the trees lining her Delaware street.
One: She knew she wanted to change the world.
Two: She knew who she was inside.
These two truths would shape Sarah’s life.

The book tells that she had an interest in politics even when she was very young, reading books about presidents and building models of the White House out of blocks. As to the other part:

At the same time, Sarah knew who she was inside: a girl.
Problem was, because of the body she was born in, everyone saw and treated her as a boy.
When her teacher separated the class by gender, Sarah pined to line up with the girls….

When she went bed each night, her belly ached with a feeling like homesickness.
She cried and prayed to wake up as herself.

Most of the book is about her path through politics, including student government in high school and at college in Washington, D.C., but still wishing that others would see her as the young woman she knew she was.

When she did come out as trans, she was overwhelmed by messages of support and realized that her career in politics wasn’t over because of who she was.

This story is inspirational and gentle in telling Sarah’s story. There are six pages of back matter, including how to be an ally to trans people as a cis person.

It’s all child-friendly and may inspire other kids to go into politics to make the world a better place… no matter who they are.

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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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