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The Pants Project (Paperback)

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A touching, humorous story of strong-willed eleven-year-old Liv, who is determined to challenge his school's terrible dress code and change his life. Inspire empathy and compassion (and a few laughs!) in young readers with this stunning middle-grade novel.

"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.

Perfect for parents, educators, and librarians looking for a book for young readers that:

Has a transgender main character with a humorous voice

Is a hopeful, sweet story with a happily-ever-after ending

Will prompt discussions on gender identity, bullying, self-esteem, empathy, acceptance, and social justice

A 2018 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People selection

Amelia Bloomer Project nominee

A 2020 Pacific Northwest Young Readers Choice Awards nominee

About the Author

Cat Clarke is an award-winning author from the UK. She lives in Edinburgh. Visit her at

Praise For…

"Strong-willed, introspective Liv is a likable and relatable protagonist; in many ways he’s like most tweens, navigating friendships, his own identity, and his relationships at home. Supported by his two moms, Liv tries various methods of protest (wearing pants under the skirt, organizing a petition); he doesn’t get any traction, however, until he makes some new friends, and they join the cause… this is a touching novel on a timely subject." — The Horn Book Magazine

"From the start, readers are drawn into the story by 11-year-old Liv's believable, humor-tinged narration: ‘Little brothers can always be counted on to reach peak levels of annoying at exactly the wrong moment. It must be part of their job description.’ Throughout, Liv's voice is convincing and a pleasure to read…Liv's two moms add further dimension to a tale that unabashedly affirms the importance of accepting and celebrating differences." — Kirkus Reviews

"A wonderfully sweet middle grade story with a satisfying ending… The hopeful tone makes it easier for readers to grapple with the serious issues discussed, and the happy-ever-after ending will not fail to satisfy. Give to fans of Tim Federle’s Better Nate Than Ever and Alex Gino’s George." — School Library Journal

"Written in first-person, with both the angst and the humor of a brand-new middle-schooler, The Pants Project is a story for young transgender readers looking to find themselves reflected in contemporary literature. But it’s also a story for all middle grade readers, inviting discussions about acceptance, compassion, and ways in which we all struggle with the same roller coaster of emotions that comes with finding our true selves." — BN Kids Blog

"Clarke artfully twists together LGBTQ concerns and disability issues with self-esteem, respect, and compassion. This book is a current day Beverly Cleary or Judy Blume, delving into issues faced by kids, like bullying and tolerance, but with an issue experienced by many kids today." — The San Francisco Book

Product Details
ISBN: 9781728215525
ISBN-10: 1728215528
Publisher: Sourcebooks Young Readers
Publication Date: October 1st, 2019
Pages: 272
Language: English