Polonsky, Amy. Gracefully Grayson. Disney-Hyperion, 2014.
Grayson is an orphan who is living with some very kind relatives who have been nothing but loving and supportive. At school, though, Grayson doesn't feel like she can be herself, because Grayson is transgender. She tries to fly under the radar, that is, until a teacher who also happens to direct the theater department allows Grayson to try out for a female role. Grayson is delighted that she can be herself on stage, and she finds friends in the cast of the play. This delightful middle grade story allows the reader to watch Grayson blossom and show more of her true colors.
I enjoyed the gentle, lyrical quality of the writing in this book. Grayson is trans, but this book is more about Grayson acting in the play and how her adoptive parents react when they find out that she is playing a female role. There are scores of angst-y teen books featuring trans characters who are trying to tell the world around them that they are trans, but there has yet to be a good middle grade book about a trans character. This is a hole in the LGBT cannon that has needed to be filled. Recommended.
Recommended for: middle grade, tweens
Red Flags: none
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars
Read-Alikes: My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer, Better Nate Than Ever, Wandering Son: Volume One