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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.
Ami Polonsky’s Gracefully Grayson was picked for me for Luna’s Picks to read by my blog readers. I was supposed to read it back in November, but I had trouble getting hold of a copy. I’m so glad I persevered though as it was a stunning and beautifully realised debut novel.
Gracefully Grayson is about a boy named Grayson who is hiding a secret. He believes he is a girl on the inside. He doesn’t feel like he ‘belongs’ in his body. It makes him feel different to the rest of his classmates. Grayson has always been intrigued by girls clothes and princesses. He thought that he could hide this from his peers and family members, but throughout the course of the book, Grayson soon starts accepting his uniqueness when he tries out for the role of Persephone in the school play. Of course, and can be unfortunately anticipated- it takes a while for his peers and some of the adults surrounding Grayson to accept that he is playing a female part.
I found Grayson’s Aunt incredibly frustrating when she tried to put him off the play. Perhaps she meant well, maybe she wanted to protect Grayson from harm, but in fact, to me, she symbolised all the close minded people out there who aren’t willing to accept change or difference from others.
The ending of this book is particularly powerful. Gracefully Grayson makes a huge impact despite it being a short read. I felt like Grayson gained the confidence to show the world how he felt on the inside. Grayson seems tired of people’s opinions and is ready to show the world who exactly he is!
Would I recommend it?: