By Ellen Wittlinger
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9781416916222, 304pp.)
Publication Date: July 10, 2007
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
Categories: Social Issues - Emotions & Feelings
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.
Ellen Wittlinger is the critically acclaimed author of the teen novels Love & Lies: Marisol's Story, Parrotfish, Blind Faith, Sandpiper, Heart on My Sleeve, Zigzag, and Hard Love (an American Library Association Michael L. Printz Honor Book and a Lambda Literary Award winner), and the middle-grade novel Gracie's Girl. She has a bachelor's degree from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. A former children's librarian, she lives with her husband in Haydenville, Massachusetts.
“A thought-provoking discussion of gender roles, gender identity, and the influence of nature, nurture, and social construction on both.”—The Horn Book Magazine
“A compelling and richly detailed story.”—The BCCB
“Peopled with wonderfully wacky characters and scenes, this narrative snaps and crackles with wit, even while it touches the spirit of the sensitive reader. Wittlinger scores another success with this highly recommended novel.”—VOYA
“Wittlinger’s writing skill will help YA readers understand transgender issues, and those readers will be entertained and moved as they read.”—KLIATT
“The author demonstrates well the complexity faced by transgendered people and makes the teen’s frustration with having to “fit into a category” fully apparent.”—Publishers Weekly