PARROTFISH by Ellen Wittlinger

PARROTFISH

Age Range: 14 & up
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A transgender boy comes out to family, friends, schoolmates and teachers in this groundbreaking book. “[I]nside the body of this strange, never-quite-right girl was hiding the soul of a typical, average, ordinary boy,” says Grady; “In my dreams at night, I was a boy, but every morning I woke to the big mistake again.” At school, some faculty resist, but the gym teacher offers her own office and shower as a private changing area. A bully arranges a devastating prank (stealing Grady’s clothes and leaving him an ultra-feminine outfit), but someone spills the beans and humiliation is avoided. Wittlinger balances well the negative and positive reactions to Grady’s change, including confusion and prejudice but also acceptance; a sexy girl is attracted to Grady (but doesn’t finally date him). At home, the family’s long-term, gaudy Christmas traditions (seven Santas on the lawn and an indoor Christmas Carol reenactment visible to neighbors) come to an end as a symbol of change. Artistically bland, but direct and respectful. Given the rarity of transgender characters, a vital and necessary purchase for any YA collection. (references, resources, websites) (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: July 10th, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-4169-1622-2
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2007




MORE BY ELLEN WITTLINGER

ChildrenSATURDAYS WITH HITCHCOCK by Ellen Wittlinger
by Ellen Wittlinger
ChildrenLOCAL GIRL SWEPT AWAY by Ellen Wittlinger
by Ellen Wittlinger
ChildrenTHIS MEANS WAR! by Ellen Wittlinger
by Ellen Wittlinger

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

FictionFOR TODAY I AM A BOY by Kim Fu
by Kim Fu
IndieNO STRINGS by TP Catalano
by TP Catalano
ChildrenBEAUTIFUL MUSIC FOR UGLY CHILDREN by Kirstin Cronn-Mills
by Kirstin Cronn-Mills