Angela Katz-McNair has never felt quite right as a girl. Read more...
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.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 167.
- Review Date: 2007-07-16
- Reviewer: Staff
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. (July)