Posted in Children's Lit, Young Adult Lit

Gracefully Grayson, by Ami Polonaky

GraysonGracefully Grayson
Ami Polonsky
2014 by Disney-Hyperion
ISBN – 9781423185277
Genre – Realistic Fiction
Age – Middle School, High School
5 Stars

Grayson is a twelve year old who lives with his aunt and uncle in Chicago. His parents both died in a car accident years ago.  Grayson’s parents encouraged him to express himself however he wanted, but when he came to live with his aunt and uncle, they were not as accepting. Now in sixth grade, Grayson has made a new friend. They hang out at lunch, they go to thrift stores on the weekend, and they ride the bus together. Everything seems like it is falling into a good place. That is until Grayson tries out for the female lead in the school play, and his new friend catches him trying on a skirt. Grayson has always felt like “he” is living in the wrong body, and now is the chance to show the real Grayson.

I am in love with this book. I love how amazingly honest it was, even when honest is not edgy or dramatic. I love that it didn’t exaggerate the everyday life of a girl who was living in a male body. Yes there was teasing, and yes there was bullying, but it was not overdone just for the sake of drama. I loved how strong and confident Grayson was. Despite the differences, new friends were made when the old ones weren’t accepting, Grayson was strong when someone was mean. Grayson felt more alive and honest than ever before. The characters felt true to life. Some were amazingly supportive, some were amazing jerks, some were owned by their fears, and some just didn’t plain understand Grayson. It is great to see an LBGTQ book that embraces a strong protagonist that refuses to let people control their identity. Yay for this book. Beautifully done. I don’t think my review does it justice.

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