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.
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
"In this sweet and thoughtful debut, an introverted sixth grader begins to come into her own as a transgender girl. 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."
-School Library Journal
"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."
"Polonsky captures the loneliness of a child resigned to disappear rather than be rejected, and then the courageous risk that child eventually takes to be seen for who she is. The first-person narration successfully positions readers to experience Grayson's confusion, fear, pain, and triumphs as they happen, lending an immediate and intimate feel to the narrative."
Age Range: 10 - 14