Finished Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky (it may be spelled Amy; cover says Ami and Twitter says Amy). I received a copy from the publisher for review.
Summary (from Goodreads):
“Alone at home, twelve-year-old Grayson Sender glows, immersed in beautiful thoughts and dreams. But at school, Grayson grasps at shadows, determined to fly under the radar. Because Grayson 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 leaving it behind would mean facing ridicule, scorn, and rejection. Despite these dangers, Grayson’s true self itches to break free. Strengthened by an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher who gives her a chance to step into the spotlight, Grayson might finally have the tools to let her inner light shine.
Debut author Ami Polonsky’s moving, beautifully-written novel shines with the strength of a young person’s spirit and the enduring power of acceptance.”
I loved this book! It’s incredibly important (in the wake of Leelah Alcorn’s suicide) but it never feels preachy. It just shows what it’s like for Grayson, who is biologically a boy but who identifies as female. I feel like this book is so timely but, as I said, it never feels like it’s an afterschool special. (Do they even have those anymore?)
There’s a part at the end where Grayson is told that most people are good and that, if she pays attention (person says “you,” but I am saying “she” because that’s how Grayson identifies), she’ll see that people are reaching out. I love this; it’s good advice for everyone.
This book is perfect for fans of Wonder and for anyone who wants to understand transgender people a little better.