Gracefully Grayson

Gracefully Grayson

by Ami Polonsky


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"Tenderly and courageously told, Gracefully Grayson is a small miracle of a book. Its story is so compelling I found myself holding my breath as I read it and so intimate I felt as if what was happening to Grayson was happening to me. Thank you, Ami Polonsky, for creating this memorable character who will open hearts and minds and very possibly be the miracle that changes lives." -James Howe, award-winning and best-selling author of The Misfits

What if who you are on the outside doesn't match who you are on the inside?

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. 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?

Debut author Ami Polonsky's moving, beautifully-written novel about identity, self-esteem, and friendship shines with the strength of a young person's spirit and the enduring power of acceptance.

Praise for Gracefully Grayson

"Don't be intimidated when I say that Gracefully Grayson is an important book. (It is.) It's also a brave, exhilarating, heart-stopping, roller-coaster ride of self-discovery that will leave you cheering."
-Dean Pitchford, Oscar-winning songwriter and award-winning author of Captain Nobody and Nickel Bay Nick

"In this sweet and thoughtful debut, an introverted sixth grader begins to come into her own as a transgender girl. The writing is clear and effortless, with a straightforward plot and likable characters. Grayson is a charming narrator who balances uncertainty with clarity, bravery with anxiety. This title has less obvious and didactic intent than other novels featuring transgender protagonists. A welcome addition to a burgeoning genre."
- School Library Journal

"Thoughtfully told through Grayson's eyes, the story conveys his angst, hurt, loss, and emerging confidence as he struggles with a whirlwind of emotions. His new friends allow him to find the courage to become who "she" really is, and we are privileged to watch the transformation take place. With great courage, Polonsky's debut novel reminds us with much sensitivity that we are all unique and deserve to become who we are meant to be."
- Booklist

"Polonsky captures the loneliness of a child resigned to disappear rather than be rejected, and then the courageous risk that child eventually takes to be seen for who she is. The first-person narration successfully positions readers to experience Grayson's confusion, fear, pain, and triumphs as they happen, lending an immediate and intimate feel to the narrative."
-Horn Book

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781484723654
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 06/07/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 78,992
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Ami Polonsky ( is a reading and writing tutor, mother to two young children, and author, among other things. A former Language Arts teacher and literacy coach, she remains passionate about guiding children towards a love of books and helping create lifetime readers. Ami lives outside of Chicago with her family, where she is working on her second novel, Threads (Fall 2016).

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Gracefully Grayson 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
TheMissCharley More than 1 year ago
Debut author Ami Polonsky has written a simple yet beautiful telling of a transgender boy, called Gracefully Grayson. There are few books out there about transgenders, which definitely needs to change, and there are even fewer transgender books that happen in middle school. Ami Polonsky wrote this book with a simplicity that anyone could read this. Middle schoolers and high schoolers could read this book, and both can get something amazing out of the story. The main idea of the plot line in Gracefully Grayson reveals Grayson’s story about how he becomes more comfortable about the idea of telling his family and friends that he is a girl. Grayson was always quiet and wanted to stay out of the limelight because he feared people finding out about his secret. However, as the story goes on, and Grayson becomes riskier, he becomes more comfortable with people knowing. Grayson was a great narrator. His thoughts are more thought out than a normal middle schooler’s would typically be. I could relate to Grayson very easily, even though I’m not trans-gender nor had I gone through the events he had. His thoughts are thoughts that everyone has thought at some point in their life. Grayson thinks about his parents’ deaths, his move to Chicago from New York, and how society would view him. Even though Grayson was a phenomenally written character, I always have a thing for the secondary characters. Grayson’s Uncle Evan gets a million years of applause. Uncle Evan goes against his own wife because he completely supports Grayson in everything he does. When Grayson’s Aunt Sally didn’t want him playing a part in the play (I won’t give it away due to it being important to the storyline.) Uncle Evan fought with her. He even helped Grayson memorize them everyday after school. Who doesn’t want an uncle like that? My least favorite character isn’t the bullies at school. It might make me a terrible person, but I just couldn’t get to liking Aunt Sally. She went against everything Grayson wanted, and she thought for him, even when her thoughts went completely against Grayson’s. E would talk over him and not even consider what Uncle Evan was saying. While I didn’t like the bullies at school, because they are horrible people, Aunt Sally just ground on my nerves. Finally, I will talk about the wonderful cover. I must have a thing for yellow covers (like Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider) because loved this cover. The t-shirts on the front show the subtle changes that Grayson goes through in the story. It begins with an obvious male t-shirt, to the slightly curved t-shirt, and ends with an obvious female t-shirt. The typography is amazing as well. I’ll admit that it didn’t mean much to me before I read the book, but after I read it and look at it now, it has its hints. The curvy “y” was a good, subtle touch. Overall, Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky was a quick, but impacting, read that would be perfect to educate teenagers and preteens about society. It would especially help to educate kids on how to react and how their reactions come across to others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book brought me to tears. It touches upon bullying, parenting, being an orphan, and most of all what it means to be transgender in Middle school. The story is centered on one transgirl, Gracie, as she prepares to play Percephonie in her school play and the trials she faces doing so. Most of all this book is about what it means to be coursgeous, to face ones fears and be yourself in a world of fear and hatred. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was greatly written and very soft and personal. RECOMENTED TO ALL ADIUNCES!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book so much. I've read it almost 4 times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easily one of the BEST books I've ever read. I love Grayson so much and I quickly grew attached to this book. I couldn't put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it
KDH_Reviews More than 1 year ago
I love Grayson and I loved this book. Gracefully Grayson is a middle grade/young adult book that approaches a major issue. While the book provides an overall positive message for transgendered youth and those that support them, I was disappointed that not a single character in the story says to Grayson that it's okay. I feel like that simple acknowledgement was needed not only for Grayson, but the audience as well. The ending did provide the triumph that Grayson deserved, though, so I'm happy in that respect. Overall, this is a great book and I love seeing it written for the younger audience. You can read all of my reviews on my blog, KDH Reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure what I would be getting when this book was recommended to me. But the gentle manner it was written carried me through. I found myself celebrating every brave step that Grayson took and wanting her to become true herself. A touchy subject beautifully handled.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago