Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
Alleluia for transgender books for teens! Teens who thought they were alone out there can finally see themselves in books! This story is a different take on the issue from, let’s say, Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher. In that book, our protagonist finds out that Sage, the girl he is attracted to, is actually a boy. There are intolerant parents who are shamed and angered by this child of theirs and it is taken out on Sage physically. What is our protagonist to do? He wants to keep her safe but he is very uncomfortable knowing that she is a girl in a boy’s body. Is he gay then? In Gracefully Grayson we see a young teen who has felt wrong in his own body his entire life. Physically he’s a boy but inside he is a girl and all of his impulses are girl-oriented. When his grandmother dies he receives some letters his mother wrote to her. In one she talks about Grayson as a toddler giving all the indications that he is a girl. And she accepts him and loves him. This changes everything for Grayson who has lived in a state of confusion for his whole life. He tries out for the lead in the school play, Persephone, and you’ll have to read it to find out what happens. This book is about acceptance and love and if we all practiced that, wouldn’t it be so wonderful?
Please read it and pass it along. Put it on your bookshelf for those kids caught in that nowhere land and for those kids who aren’t as well. Pretending that this doesn’t occur is just not the right thing to do.