Gracefully Grayson

Gracefully Grayson

Book - 2014
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Gingkon Sender 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 sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection or worse. Despite the risks, Grayson's true self itches to break free. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher's wisdom be enough to help Grayson step into the spotlight she was born to inhabit?'
Publisher: Los Angeles :, Hyperion,, ©2014.
ISBN: 9781423185277
Branch Call Number: J POL
Characteristics: 243 pages ; 22 cm.


From Library Staff

Grayson decides to follow her heart and audition for the part of Persephone in the school play, even though she is seen by others as a boy. Her choice to audition results in heartbreak, joy, and unexpected friendships that will change Grayson’s life.

List - Read the Rainbow
Jennifer__M Jul 18, 2016

Grayson decides to go out on a limb and audition for the part of the Greek goddess Persephone in the school play, though she had always been considered a boy by others. Her choice to audition results in relationship conflicts and also brings new friends and allies into Grayson’s life.

From the critics

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Jul 27, 2017


ArapahoeLesley Nov 22, 2016

A sweet middle school tale.

Dec 14, 2015

I found this to be a very quick read. It did lack some depth but I think for the target audience of young adults this is a perfect introduction to a complex topic that the author wrote about well. This is the kind of book that adults and youth could both read and discuss. A decent read.

Jun 16, 2015

Ryan and Tyler are so mean to Grayson! But overall AMAZING book.

Amazing book! loved it, mainly cause my name is Grayson too!

Apr 18, 2015

I recently read a great book: Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky. Grayson Sender 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 sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection, or worse. Despite the risks, Grayson’s true self itches to break free. He decides to audition for the school play—and for the lead role, the goddess Persephone.

This book was wonderful! It was an easy read, well-paced and never boring. Polonsky keeps you engaged and seems to effortlessly write about a topic we don’t see too much of. It makes readers think. I know I did. What if I couldn’t be who am I? What if I couldn’t wear what I wanted to wear? How would I feel if I was rejected, or even attacked, for who I am?

Complete Review:

FindingJane Mar 21, 2015

Ms. Polonsky’s protagonist is a boy who believes with all his heart that he is a girl. He wants girly things, he wants the world that girls inhabit, and his inner convictions are laid out with almost teeth-clenching intensity. Grayson has yearned for this ever since he was little and his struggles to accept and present this to his peers and family make you almost cry.

Grayson can’t bring himself to articulate what it is he really wants. So the novel is mainly an in-depth treatise of his thoughts that amounts almost to an on-going monologue. Time and again, the reader sees how Grayson yearns to speak of his longings but bottles them up instead, leading others to dance around his issues or mistake them entirely.

The writing is simple with almost Pinteresque plainness. The words “transsexual” and “transvestite” are never used. You get the feeling that no one even understands what they mean and trouble arises from this ignorance. Homosexuality is suspected and brought up as taunt and accusation; statutory rape is hinted at but barely addressed. This reticence on the parts of some and outspoken hostility from others all play their part in Grayson’s dilemma.

But this silence plays a vital role in Grayson’s world. Acceptance of gender difference is not at all universal and the novel makes it clear how far we have to go when it comes to taking people as they are. The writing doesn’t shy away from the loneliness and fear that lies at the heart of Grayson’s desires and more than ably captures the results of his quiet defiance. My only fault with the writing is an unneeded insertion of what amounts to blank verse about the play that Grayson’s theatrical group mounts, “The Myth of Persephone”. It is a jarring addition, out of place with the rest of the book, and I believe could have been omitted from the novel entirely or simply rendered in the same stark prose as the rest of it.

But the play is merely an outward manifestation of Grayson’s inner longings. “Gracefully Grayson” engrosses because he clings so fervently to his desires, even when he can’t speak of them. It is a moving look at a gender issue that is rarely addressed in YA fiction.

samdog123 Dec 16, 2014

This is a wonderful, wonderful book. When Grayson, a transgendered grade six student, tries out for the female part in a play, he must deal with backlash from his schoolmates, family and friends.

Nov 25, 2014

I really think this book was so chilling. Especially the names, because most of my friends names are featured in the story, so it kind of felt like I was Grayson, just in reverse. The book in itself was amazing, the terms and emotions captured perfectly. Fantastic for the setting, middle school.

Nov 14, 2014

this is the only middle grade novel that i know that features a transgender character. this novel was good about explore Grayson's emotions and how she was finaly able to accept her true self. however i felt the novel needed more the word transgender is never used. I want to have Grayson discover that there are other people like her out there. Also a section at the end explain trans persons with links and resources would have been nice.

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Jun 16, 2015

mhatfield thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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