“Angela Katz-McNair has never felt quite right as a girl, but it’s a shock to everyone when she cuts her hair short, buys some men’s clothes, and announces she’d like to be called by a new name, Grady. Although Grady is happy about his decision to finally be true to himself, everybody else is having trouble processing the news. Grady’s parents act hurt; his sister is mortified; and his best friend, Eve, won’t acknowledge his existence. On top of that, there are more practical concerns–for instance, which locker room is he supposed to use for gym class? Grady didn’t expect his family and friends to be happy about his decision, but he also didn’t expect kids at school to be downright nasty about it. But as the victim of some cruel jokes, Grady also finds unexpected allies, including the school geek Sebastian, and Kita Charles, who’s a gorgeous senior. In a voice tinged with humor and sadness, Ellen Wittlinger explores Grady’s struggles–struggles any teen will be able to relate to.”
I’ve been looking to read this book for years. A friend of mine gave me her copy as a going away present. I am eternally grateful. This is a book that if I had as a teenager it would have helped me through so much. The main character felt the same way I did and dealt with so many of the issues I did too.
My main issue with this book is how easily everyone was able to handle Grady’s transition while he was in high school. Transitions are becoming easier and easier for teens to do socially while still in high school, but they are not as easy as this book made them. FtM teens generally would not have girls falling all over them and they wouldn’t generally be accepted as one of the guys that easily. That is just unrealistic for when this book was written and for the most part the time period that I read it in.
What I did appreciate is that Grady wasn’t sure of much when the book started and he had to figure things out as he went. I also loved how his family had to adjust to his transition. It was amazing to see characters not being accepting, not because God told them not to be, but because it is new and scary. The family was so believable that it was fantastic. The ending was amazingly cheesy though. I could have done without the whole Christmas scene. The book would have been much stronger without it, but I can see why the author ended the book the way she did. It really sealed the moral of families stay together.
I want this book to be in all the public libraries, middle schools, and high schools. This book is one that can really help the baby trans* kids deal with just starting their transitions. This is a needed book.
4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book for so many reasons.
You can buy this book here.