Want to Read Wednesday

It’s Wednesday again! Here are the books I added to my Want to Read List last week.

girl-mans-up

 

Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard

I’m always looking for books with transgender characters. I can’t remember where I saw this first, but I’ve included a link to the Goodreads page.

 

hidden-figuresHidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

We went to see the movie based upon this book this weekend and loved it, but movies sometimes have to make concessions to the facts in order to make the story work in a short, on screen format. Now I want to read the book and see how they match up!

truthwitch

 

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Thrice Read’s account of the Susan Dennard signing was enough to get me interested in this witchy series.

 

dream-things-truethe-radius-of-us 

This Nerdy Book Club post featured Marie Marquardt, the author of two books that feature the experience of undocumented and asylum-seeking immigrants in the United States: Dream Things True and The Radius of Us

 

Bonus: Here’s a great post full of LGBT book suggestions.

 

The Rise and Fall of a Theater Geek by Seth Rudetsky

rise and fall theater geekRandom House Children’s Books, 2015

It’s junior year of high school, and Justin is about to embark on the two week internship of his dreams, helping a famous television actor who’s about to make his debut on Broadway. On the face of it it’s everything Justin has ever dreamed of, but an internship is not as glamorous as he’d imagined, especially with the star’s personal assistant calling the shots. Add to that BFF troubles, boyfriend troubles, and a terminally embarrassing and cranky grandmother and Justin’s got his hands full. Will he be able to use his considerable chutzpah to turn this into the internship of his dreams?

This book is Glee on steroids. Justin is every bit the selfish performer with huge aspirations. He’s a larger than life character, and this is a larger than life tale, but quite a fun one. There are definitely some messages in here, and the ending wraps up everything with a tidy bow.

Kids who love performing and dream of taking to the stage will enjoy this book. It’s about a bunch of sixteen-year-olds, but I expect the readers who will enjoy this most will be middle school students dreaming of high school. The humor and messages are a bit heavy handed to please older readers.

I read The Rise and Fall of a Theater Geek courtesy of Random House Children’s Books and NetGalley. It releases June 23, 2015.

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

gracefullygrayson   Hyperion, Nov. 4, 2014.

When Grayson was in third grade he learned how to draw a princess secretly so he wouldn’t get teased by kids who thought boys shouldn’t like to draw princesses. In his room, also in secret, Grayson learned to squint his eyes just right so that his shiny purple athletic pants looked like an elegant skirt. By sixth grade Grayson’s a pro at secrets, but suddenly keeping Grayson’s true self secret is a problem. So Grayson decides to put aside the secrets and to take one leap after another on a courageous path to reveal to the world his true self.

Gracefully Grayson is a sensitively told and affirming tale about an amazing kid. Grayson is utterly likeable and real. Grayson is very certain that, though born in a boy’s body, Grayson’s true identity is female. As I read I felt Grayson’s pain, mentally urged the other characters to accept Grayson, and worried for Grayson as the story unfolded. Though this story is about a transgender kid coming out, it’s not an issues book. It’s a complex story with characters that react both predictably and unpredictably to events–as people do in the real world. It’s the strong plot and the main character that made this a book I couldn’t put down until I finished it — and one I immediately wished I hadn’t finished because I wanted to keep reading.

I think this would be a great book for upper-elementary school and middle school students to read. There’s a lot of love in Grayson’s life and a good amount of acceptance, but the road’s certainly not easy. Grayson’s own certainty of Grayson’s gender identity makes the story fascinating rather than excruciating. I think this novel will help non-transgender students to build understanding and empathy for transgender individuals. It might provide a great means for talking about transgender issues with tweens. I think it would be encouraging for transgender kids who read it. We all learn and gain encouragement from seeing ourselves in a book, especially when the book shows us that we can be loved and accepted for the person we are. A fabulous debut and a great addition to school and classroom libraries and gift lists, Gracefully Grayson will be out November 4.

I read an advance reader copy of Gracefully Grayson courtesy of Net Galley and Disney Hyperion. This is one I’ll buy and add to my library!