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. Grady is happy about his decision to finally be true to himself, despite the practical complications, like which gym locker room to use. And though he didn’t expect his family and friends to be happy about his decision, 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 in this thought-provoking novel that explores struggles any reader can relate to.
Grady, the teen at the center of Wittlinger's (Blind Faith) latest novel, realizes that "inside the body of this strange, never-quite-right girl was hiding the soul of a typical, average, ordinary boy," so he changes his name (he was born Angela) and starts living as a guy. As one might expect, he faces different degrees of acceptance both at school and at home. Grady deals with a bully who is bent on his humiliation, but makes friends with an offbeat boy writing a report on spotlight parrotfish (which also change from female to male), and attracts the attention of a biracial girl. The story has an unusual backdrop: Grady's father is obsessed with Christmas, setting up elaborate decorations inside the house and out and forcing his family to perform an adaptation of A Christmas Carol for their neighbors. Readers can predict that something poignant if rather unbelievable will happen during this year's performance (Grady has written a new version, which includes his pronouncement that "Things as they should be, Father, are not things unchanging"). Overall, though, Grady is portrayed realistically, which makes it easy to think of him as a boy. 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. Ages 12-up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
My mind has been blown! Of course not everyone goes through the exact same struggles as Grady, but there were moments where I couldn't believe I was reading about how Grady felt because I could've sworn it was exactly how I've felt at some point. This is a must read for anyone who is curious about the word transgender, is transgendered, or even for a friend or parent! Most of all, I say everyone needs to read this book to educate themselves! Although it is fiction, I've never read something that held such truth to it! :)
A pretty unrealistic book
I disliked this book and felt like it was very unrealistic because the main character wasn't developed well. This book had scenarios which would never happen in real life and was very cliche. In I am J by Cris Beam, the story was more complex and showed more of the main character's feelings. I recommend this book if you're looking for a story about trans youth.