Kid’s Book Review: Alice Austen Lived Here

Kid’s Book Review: Alice Austen Lived Here

About the Book and Author

Featuring two non-binary protagonists ‘Alice Austen Lived Here’ by Alex Gino is a powerful story that will encourage kids to consider the history they are traditionally taught and what it means to be included. Our young reviewer was inspired to consider his own community’s history and has observed that all the statues in the town are of dead white men!

In the UK this book is published by Scholastic.


Alice Austen

Alex Gino is a writer of queer progressive middle grade fiction. They have always considered themself a writer, but it wasn’t until 2014, with the sale of their book MELISSA that they had any idea that authoring books would be how they make their way in the world. They are grateful for the ability to spend their time and energy on something so close to their heart.

Book Review

It was nice how comfortable they were in themselves

I really liked this although it is very different to the books I normally choose. I liked the way it was written using the ‘They’ pronoun for the main characters, but it did take me a few pages to get used to.

Sam, the main character is really interesting and has a lot of the same hobbies as I do. I liked the different friendships that they had, their best friend TJ was really fun and it was nice how comfortable they were in themselves. I liked Ms Hansen best, at first you think she is just some doddery old lady downstairs then you find out she is actually really cool and has some great stories.

I actually felt quite sad when their was friction in one of Sam’s friendships but I liked how it got solved and how honest everyone was, it felt really realistic. All of the characters felt real to me not over the top like in some books. I was pleasantly surprised that there was no real mention of bullying though, and everyone in the school seemed to accept Sam and TJ even though they were different from the other kids.

The school project that is the main story was really interesting and I enjoyed learning about Queer History, the notes in the back of the book on the real story inspired me to look up more about it. I would love to do a similar project in my town as all our statues are also dead white men.

This is a good short book, perfect for ages 10 plus and brilliant for encouraging you to find out more about your local area and its forgotten or hidden history.

If you would would like to buy a copy of the book we invite you to order it from your local independent book shop.

Or, you can shop on-line and support our Kids Reviews page by sourcing your discounted book via this link

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Alternatively, we suggest that you visit your local library and request to borrow a copy from a friendly librarian.

Whichever you choose we hope you enjoy being part of your unique reading community – happy reading everyone!


Reviewer Profile

  • Name: Ryan
  • Age: 10 years
  • Likes: Lego, Dragonball Z and reading
  • Dislikes: being woken up and losing on computer games!
  • Favourite Book: Tom Gates: Dog Zombie Rules by Liz Pichon
  • Favourite Song: The Final Countdown by Queen
  • Favourite Film: Dragonball Z: Super Battle of the Gods