Book Title & Alexandra's Review

The Pants Project by Cat Clarke

Middle School

My name is Liv (Not Olivia). I’m not technically a girl. I’m transgender. Which is a bit like being a Transformer. Only not quite as cool because I probably won’t get to save the world one day.”

Liv knows he was always meant to be a boy, but with his new school’s terrible dress code, he can’t even wear pants. Only skirts.

Operation: Pants Project begins! The only way for Liv to get what he wants is to go after it himself. But to Liv, this isn’t just a mission to change the policy―it’s a mission to change his life. And that’s a pretty big deal.


I was not expecting this book to be as amazing as it was! I can’t say enough good things about this story.


Since Liv identifies as a boy, I will use the pronouns he/him when referring to him. His pronouns were sometimes tough to remember because the audiobook I listened to was narrated by a woman. Which makes sense. Anyway, Liv is an outstanding character. His personality and voice felt real. He made his frustration toward being called a girl justified. I loved how he called his moms’ the moms.’ It’s so endearing.


My favorite character, by far, was Jacob. Jacob is absolutely the best friend anyone could possibly have. He’s likable, genuine, and supportive of Liv. He was a bit flawed, but that’s made him so real.


Everyone in this book is pretty awesome except for two characters, the principal and Jade, the homophobic popular mean girl stereotype. Everything out of her mouth is offensive and wrong. Let’s leave it at that.


Ugh. Yet another unfair dress code story and this dress code is extremely outdated. “Girls must wear a black, pleated, knee-length skirt.”What is this, the 1960s?! This is the 21st century! Get with the times, people! Stop forcing girls to wear skirts! As if school dress codes don’t target girls enough as it is. Or in this case, boys who are perceived as girls.


As a girl who doesn’t like wearing skirts or dresses, I sympathize with Liv. Skirts are way too exposing. I prefer the security that pants and shorts provide. But some girls like wearing skirts. If a girl wants to wear a skirt, that’s fine. If they want to wear pants, that’s fine. If a boy wants to wear a skirt, that’s fine too. As long as both parties are wearing respectable underwear.


Here are a few of my favorite quotes and passages from the story (there were so many):

Most people would get angry if people insisted on calling them something they’re not.”

My first thought after I woke up was, ‘Maisie was right. Maybe I should try to be more like everyone else.”

My second thought was, ‘No. Maybe I should try to be a little more me.’

(Actually, my very first thought was that I needed to pee, but that doesn’t sound dramatic.)”

“It’s important to Liv,” Jacob said. “And I guess I wouldn’t like it if I had to wear a skirt to school, so why should Liz be any different?

I want at least one person to see me for who I actually was, instead of who they thought I was.”

I had no trouble coming up with reasons why Jade was targeting me: she had to put other people down in order to feel good about herself. I was different and she was bored.”

I truly believe that everyone should be able to wear whatever they wanted. Boys should be allowed to wear skirts too – why not? People should be able to wear clothes that express who they are.”

But neither of us has anything to be ashamed of. Why should we hide who we are? We’re freaking awesome!


Overall, this was an amazingly genuine story, that I regret not reading it sooner.

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