A Graphic Memoir

  • Interest Level: Grade 8 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

A memoir about friendship, gender, bullies, growth, punk rock, and the power of the perfect outfit . . .

Growing up, Liz Prince wasn’t a girly girl, but she wasn’t exactly one of the guys either (as she learned when her little league baseball coach exiled her to the distant outfield). She was somewhere in between. But with the forces of middle school, high school, parents, friendship, and romance pulling her this way and that, the middle wasn’t an easy place to be.

Tomboy follows award-winning author and artist Liz Prince through her early years and explores—with humor, honesty, and poignancy—what it means to “be a girl.” From staunchly refuting “girliness” to the point of misogyny, to discovering through the punk community that your identity is whatever you make of it, Tomboy offers a sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking account of self-discovery in modern America.

“Liz Prince may have been an uncertain, confused kid, but she’s a confident and sincerely expressive cartoonist. Tomboy is a funny and relatable look at what every child has to deal with at some point — figuring out who you really are inside, when everyone else only sees what they think you should be on the outside.”—Jeffrey Brown, author of Clumsy, Jedi Academy, and Darth Vader and Son

“Liz Prince portrays the awkwardness and humiliation of childhood with wonderful (not to mention painful) accuracy. Any kid that picks up this book is going to be privy to secrets most of us don’t learn until it’s too late, and any adult who reads it will be reminded of an essential truth: that it’s okay to be exactly who we want to be, no matter how weird everyone else thinks we are. Tomboy isn’t a self help book, but it should be.”—Julia Wertz, author of Drinking at the Movies and The Infinite Wait

“It’s hard to imagine anyone failing to be charmed by this entertaining, clever, and genuinely funny memoir of growing up with gender identity confusion. Even this pretty unconfused regular old dude found plenty to identify with in Liz Prince’s story of adolescent bafflement, exploration, and discovery — delivered, like all the best such stories, with a light touch, wry wit, understated irony, and not one iota of preachiness. Meaning: I’m a fan. Go Liz!”—Frank Portman, author of King Dork

“Liz Prince tells gender norms to eat dirt. A delightful, thoughtful, and compulsively readable memoir. And an important one.”—Ariel Schrag, author of Adam and Potential

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Interest Level Grade 8 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 8
Genre Graphic Novels, Young Adult
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction
Copyright 2014
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Zest Books ™
Language English
Number of Pages 256
Publication Date 2016-09-01
Text Type Narrative Nonfiction
BISACS YAN012010, YAN006140, YAN024050
Dimensions 5.5 x 8.25
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, Original artwork, Reviewed, Starred Reviews, Teaching Guides, and eSource

Author, Illustrator: Liz Prince

Liz Prince is the Ignatz Award-winning author of Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed? (Top Shelf Productions, 2005), the world's cutest relationship comic. She is a regular columist for Razorcake magazine, has drawn covers and stories for the wildly popular Adventure Time comics series, and is the creator of the web comic Alone Forever. She lives in Massachusetts with her two cats, Wolfman and Dracula.

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!


A memoir about friendship, gender, bullies, growth, punk rock, and the power of the perfect outfit . . . Growing up, Liz Prince wasn’t a girly girl, but she wasn’t exactly one of the guys either (as she learned when her little league baseball coach exiled her to… View available downloads →


  • Amelia Bloomer Project List, Winner, 2015
  • YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Nominee, Nominated, 2015
  • CBC Teen Choice Book of the Year Award Nominee, Nominated, 2014
  • Goodreads Choice Awards Top Ten Finalist, Runner-up, 2014
  • Kirkus Best Teen Books of the Year, Winner, 2014
  • ALA Rainbow List, Winner, 2014
  • YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens, Winner, 2014
  • YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, Winner, 2014
  • Texas Maverick Graphic Novels Reading List, Winner, 2014


The Horn Book Magazine

“In an often funny, sometimes painful, and sharply observed graphic memoir, comics artist and self-described tomboy Prince views her formative years through the lens of gender—or rather, society’s rigid rules for gender conformity.”—The Horn Book Magazine

Publishers Weekly

“[G]ives readers space to question their own acquiescence to gender stereotypes.”—Publishers Weekly

Library Journal

“A real slash and burn of gender stereotypes, this title delivers a unique message for both teens and adults about finding your own way despite cultural conventions. Fans of Jeffrey Brown’s autobiographical comics will also enjoy it.”—Library Journal

School Library Journal

“Purchase where graphic novel memoirs are in demand.”—School Library Journal


“[An] empowering memoir that should have ample appeal for any kid who feels like an outsider.”—Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

“Spectacular; a book to make anyone think seriously about society’s preordained gender roles.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

People Magazine

“The heroine of this charming, gently subversive graphic memoir loves Little League and hates dresses, so what does she grow up to be? Gloriously herself.”—People Magazine

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“One of the most important insights—hard won after over a decade of searching for something about herself to love—that Liz gains is that gender can be identified on one’s own terms: girl doesn’t have to equal cheerleader.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books