Today I am here with a different kind of post but one that I want to do more often. This is a sort-of-review where I tell you all my top five things about the book. To start with I am talking about Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polansky.
Title: Gracefully Grayson Author: Ami Polansky Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Published: 4th November 2014 Pages: 250 Format: Hardcover Source:: Library Copy Add It:Goodreads, Amazon UK, The Book Depository
Summary: 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.
One of my favourite things about this book was the main character. He was strong, unique and just such a lovely character to read about. It was easy to feel emotional about his journey which made the reading experience that much better.
This was the first book I had ever read that contained a transgender/transvestite character. This book really shows the struggle that society-constructed genders place upon those who feel uncomfortable fitting in with the stereotype. I felt that the situation was enlightening and was dealt with incredibly sensitively.
By this I don’t mean plot-drama! There was a play at the centre of this book and I loved it. I loved reading about the rehearsals and the camaraderie; it really made me miss my youth drama days. I thought it was the perfect way to portray the story too.
Wait! Don’t get me wrong. I do not condone bullying or physical violence, however I am glad that it appeared in this book as it made it more realistic and authentic. It was also good that the bullies didn’t get away with it. It is incredibly disheartening that bullying occurs in the world but it would have been truly damaging for the story if everyone just accepted Grayson – which in itself is also incredible sad but either way, very glad it was in this story.
The final thing that I loved about this book is that it was, simply put, a coming-of-age story about someone learning to find and embrace his true identity. It was heart-warming, emotional and cute. It is the kind of book that I absolutely love to read and I urge you to read it too if you feel the same!