Parents' Guide to


By Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Solid primer on what it means to be a transgender teen.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 12+

From the horses mouth

From the perspective of a Female to Male transgendered person myself, I can say that this is a very good book. It doesn't unfairly portray Gordy, the family or the situation toward bias in any direction. I think its a wonderful book that teaches understanding about a very personal and complex issue. And Ellen Wittlinger pulled it off without demonizing the characters who don't understand. This is a much truer to life portrayal of what it's like than other books about the same subject- even with the surreal christmas pageant looming in the background throughout. The best part though is how surprisingly accurately she was able to describe the feelings (not perfectly, but still..) etc, from the perspective of a transman- herself being a woman perfectly content with her womanhood. I almost felt as though she must have a little something she isn't telling the rest of us, lol. Overall a very good book, I would recommend it to anyone interested in the subject.
age 12+


This book sends a superb message while being socially educational. It teaches about gender identity, complications, and coming to terms.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (5 ):

What Ellen Wittlinger does really well here is spell out the everyday complications that Grady faces once he decides to live life as a boy. Not only does he have to explain his new identity to family members, but he also has to worry about more mundane things, such as which bathroom to use at school and where to shower after gym class. Grady's certainly brave, and his family -- especially his mother -- works hard to understand him. Readers will understand why little moments are such a big deal, such as when a cashier calls him "sir" or when his mother finally uses his new name.

A secondary story line about Grady's Christmas-obsessed father is a bit over the top, but this obsession does set the stage for a dramatic last scene. In the end, this is a good primer for teens who are curious about what it means to be transgender.

Book Details

  • Author: Ellen Wittlinger
  • Genre: Coming of Age
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: July 10, 2007
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 12
  • Number of pages: 304
  • Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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