Cover image for Gracefully Grayson
Title:
Gracefully Grayson
Author:
Polonsky, Ami.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First Edition.
Publication Information:
Los Angeles ; New York : Hyperion, [2014]

©2014
Physical Description:
243 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
"Grayson, a transgender twelve-year-old, learns to accept her true identity and share it with the world"--
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781423185277
Format :
Book

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J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area
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Summary

Summary

"Tenderly and courageously told, Gracefully Grayson is a small miracle of a book. Its story is so compelling I found myself holding my breath as I read it and so intimate I felt as if what was happening to Grayson was happening to me. Thank you, Ami Polonsky, for creating this memorable character who will open hearts and minds and very possibly be the miracle that changes lives." -James Howe, award-winning and best-selling author of The Misfits

What if who you are on the outside doesn't match who you are on the inside?

Grayson Sender has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: "he" is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender's body. The weight of this secret is crushing, but sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection, or worse. Despite the risks, Grayson's true self itches to break free. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher's wisdom be enough to help Grayson step into the spotlight she was born to inhabit?

Debut author Ami Polonsky's moving, beautifully-written novel about identity, self-esteem, and friendship shines with the strength of a young person's spirit and the enduring power of acceptance.

More advance praise for Gracefully Grayson

"Don't be intimidated when I say that Gracefully Grayson is an important book. (It is.) It's also a brave, exhilarating, heart-stopping, roller-coaster ride of self-discovery that will leave you cheering."
-Dean Pitchford, Oscar-winning songwriter and award-winning author of Captain Nobody and Nickel Bay Nick


Author Notes

Ami Polonsky (www.amipolonsky.com) is a reading and writing tutor, mother to two young children, and author, among other things. A former Language Arts teacher and literacy coach, Ami remains passionate about guiding children towards a love of books and helping create lifetime readers. Ami lives outside of Chicago with her family. This is her first novel.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Sixth-grader Grayson Sender quietly doodles princesses and castles with glitter pens during class and dreams of wearing twirly skirts and long, shiny gowns instead of his limp, lifeless track pants. Those aren't problems, but the fact that he has to repress himself is a problem a big one. Despite knowing that he is a girl deep down inside, Grayson has learned to look and act like the boy he is not; his family would be furious and his classmates would bully him if they found out. But now, cast as Persephone in the spring play, he finds acceptance among the cast members. Thoughtfully told through Grayson's eyes, the story conveys his angst, hurt, loss, and emerging confidence as he struggles with a whirlwind of emotions. His new friends allow him to find the courage to become who she really is, and we are privileged to watch the transformation take place. With great courage, Polonsky's debut novel reminds us with much sensitivity that we are all unique and deserve to become who we are meant to be.--Fredriksen, Jeanne Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Sixth-grader Grayson has ways of getting by-he doodles abstract triangles instead of the princesses he yearns to be, and he wears oversize T-shirts and loose pants instead of the skirts and dresses he longs for. Grayson's aunt and uncle worry about his isolation (his parents died when he was small), and they are thrilled when he makes his first friend in years and tries out for the school play. They're less thrilled to learn he auditioned for the lead role-the Greek goddess Persephone. Debut author Polonsky uses the play effectively, showing the community that builds among the actors, Grayson's connection to Persephone and her underground captivity, and the tensions swirling around the casting choice and the play's director, a popular teacher who may or may not be gay. Polonsky skillfully conveys Grayson's acute loneliness and his growing willingness to open up about who he is, though the book has a dutiful feel in its efforts to raise awareness about gender nonconforming and transgender preteens. Ages 10-14. Agent: Wendy Schmalz, Wendy Schmalz Agency. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up-In this sweet and thoughtful debut, an introverted sixth grader begins to come into her own as a transgender girl. Grayson was orphaned in preschool and lives with her aunt and uncle in Chicago. She's becoming more and more aware of a nagging feeling that she should be living as a girl, despite being male-assigned, and on a daring whim decides to audition for the part of Persephone in the school play. She has a supportive teacher and a new friend, but also has to contend with school bullies and disapproving adults. The writing is clear and effortless, with a straightforward plot and likable characters. Grayson is a charming narrator who balances uncertainty with clarity, bravery with anxiety. This title has less obvious and didactic intent than other novels featuring transgender protagonists. A welcome addition to a burgeoning genre.- Kyle Lukoff, Corlears School, New York City (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.