Parrotfish

Ellen Wittlinger
Last week I cut my hair, bought some boys' clothes and shoes, wrapped a large ACE bandage around my chest to flatten my fortunately-not-large breasts, and began looking for a new name. Angela Katz-McNair has never felt quite right as a girl. Her whole life is leading up to the day she decides to become Grady, a guy. While coming out as transgendered feels right to Grady, he isn't prepared for the reaction he gets from everyone else. His mother is upset, his younger sister is mortified, and his best friend, Eve, won't acknowledge him in public. Why can't people just let Grady be himself? Grady's life is miserable until he finds friends in some unexpected places -- like the school geek, Sebastian, who explains that there is precedent in the natural world (parrotfish change gender when they need to, and the newly male fish are the alpha males), and Kita, a senior who might just be Grady's first love. From acclaimed writer Ellen Wittlinger, this is the groundbreaking story of one teen's search for self and his struggle for acceptance.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2020-12-01
When Angela Katz-McNair announces she is ready to begin her new life as a male named Grady, he gets a mixed response at home and at school. Grady's father admits that Grady was always more of a "tomboy". The rest of Grady's family and his best friend, however, have a difficult time adjusting to the "new Angela." Grady is surprised by the support he does receive from several teachers (especially his gym teacher) and a few other classmates (including Sebastian, who is quick to compare Grady to the parrotfish he has been researching for a science report, and Grady's first love, Kita). Grady quickly realizes that he doesn't fit the stereotypes of either males or females. However, as more people accept Grady for who he really is (unrealistically, all of this support comes within weeks of Grady's original announcement), Grady learns to value himself. Ellen Wittlinger's compelling novel includes various resources and websites available to readers to locate more information about the GLBT community. Because Parrotfish deals with a transgender issue that very few other novels are willing to address (another example is Julie Ann Peters' Luna), it will make a great addition to any middle school or high school library shelf.
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@librarylgbtq began #parrotfish... on 2018-03-28