Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky // Book Review


Title: Gracefully Grayson
Author: Ami Polonsky
Genre(s): LGBTQ+, Middle Grade
Page Count: 243
Purchase: Amazon ~ Kindle

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.

~Things I Liked~

  • I love Grayson. I'm going to go ahead and call Grayson by "she and her" because she identifies as a female. She is just the sweetest kid ever. She was so confused at times and I just wanted to hug her and tell her to be herself. She's a shy person, which makes things harder for her. I feel like she doesn't speak up for herself a lot. I really want an updated book about Grayson! I just wish I knew more about her after she finally accepts who she is and puts herself out there.
  • Finn. Finn is Grayson's Humanties teacher. He is also the directer to the play that Grayson wants to partake in. He's the most supportive person in this book. I wish he was in it more and I wished he talked to Grayson more.
  • I love that Grayson's theater friends are accepting. They may not know the extent as to why Grayson tried out for the role she did, but they accept her.
  • I like that in this book, the family isn't automatically accepting. It sucks that they weren't. I understand that not everyone can accept this as easily as some. It takes time. Which is why I like the aspect that Sally, Grayson's aunt, was distraught and extremely worried for Grayson. I just really wish this book showed her at least trying like her husband Evan.

~Things I Didn't Like~

  • I feel like the topic of being transgender was just merely glanced over in this book. Yes, I know this book is middle grade. I just wish that it explained what being transgender means so that someone so young can understand it better and know that there isn't anything wrong with being transgender.
  • I also feel like that the discussion of the kids bullying Grayson was dragged out more. There are more consequences than just switching classes from the student who was bullied. I feel like this book doesn't show what they did as a hate crime. I feel like the bullying all together just wasn't taken care of the way it should have.

~Overall Thoughts~

This is an important book for young readers to read and understand. I had some issues with the way the bullying was handled and how this book didn't even refer to Grayson to the pronouns she prefers. Not once did this anyone call Grayson "she or her". Other than that, I feel like this book did a pretty decent job at showing how a transgender child would feel at school and at home.

4/5 Stars

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