Last week I cut my hair, bought some boys' clothes and shoes, wrapped a large ACE bandage around my chest to flatten my fortunately-not-large breasts, and began looking for a new name. Angela Katz-McNair has never felt quite right as a girl. Her whole life is leading up to the day she decides to become Grady, a guy. While coming out as transgendered feels right to Grady, he isn't prepared for the reaction he gets from everyone else. His mother is upset, his younger sister is mortified, and his best friend, Eve, won't acknowledge him in public. Why can't people just let Grady be himself?
Grady's life is miserable until he finds friends in some unexpected places -- like the school geek, Sebastian, who explains that there is precedent in the natural world (parrotfish change gender when they need to, and the newly male fish are the alpha males), and Kita, a senior who might just be Grady's first love.
From acclaimed writer Ellen Wittlinger, this is the groundbreaking story of one teen's search for self and his struggle for acceptance.
©2007 Ellen Wittlinger; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
Reading allows me to travel through time; to visit the world's unique and stunning places. To become somebody I am not... It is glorious.
The world today is diving head first into an argument about transgenderism and unfortunately most "information" is actually opinion. There is no real analysis of the people or families living with transgenderism. This is a novel and therefore fiction but is a lovely tale about a 6 week period of this boys' journey and the journey taken by his parents and friends. Sometimes the stories of anyone in the LGBTQ community are dire and seem to doom the individuals to an unhappy or tragic life. There are huge struggles for these individuals which are unique to them, but they are humans, just like me, and can be loved and accepted or reviled and rejected, just like me.
This novel is quietly informative and filled with insight. I would probably give it more than 3 but less than 4 stars. It could be solidly 4 stars if the ending weren't quite so perfect. This topic and this story deserved a messier end. People are flawed, journeys are filled with hills and valleys, and this story needed to provide the hopeful outlook but also needed to end in a way that felt more authentic.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
I used to teach a 5th and 6th grade Sunday School class. One of the girls who reads a lot recommended Ellen Wittlinger to me. EW books are aimed at middle school age kids, mostly girls. This was my third book by her. I don't read three books aimed toward kids unless the author is real good.
EW takes on some very difficult subjects, especially for the young. In Blind Faith she takes on death in the family. In Gracie's Girl she handles homelessness. In this book she deals with Transgenders.
This book, as well as the others is intelligently written and holds your attention at the same time. It is always a pleasure to read EW, even if the subject matter maybe difficult. I am not a doctor, but I watch them on TV and if I had a child having problems I would recommend finding an EW book on the subject. Meanwhile as an adult who likes well written intelligent, entertaining books I will keep reading EW just for the fun of it..
If I have a fault with this book it is that I don't believe Grady, would have found as many supporters in everyday society as she/he finds in this book. I hope I am wrong and there are some really neat characters in this book who come to EW's rescue.
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