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Parrotfish Kindle Edition
|Length: 304 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 12 - 99|
|Grade Level: 7 - 9|
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About the Author
From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- File Size : 2773 KB
- Publication Date : June 19, 2012
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reissue Edition (June 19, 2012)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B007HAGF6O
- Print Length : 304 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #913,254 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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My only gripe with it, at all, was that sometimes the pacing was a bit sluggish, and too many details were crammed into scenes that seemed ancillary to the plot.
But Grady, he's amazing.
From the very beginning, you can sense that Grady is a brave soul. He has decided, in high school, to transition to male and defy what his principals (and several teachers), classmates, siblings, and family think about the situation. He puts himself through mental and physical agony, so he can be mentally at peace, and it is an incredible look into the brutal battle that transgender individuals are forced to face, whether they like it or not.
Some stars of the show are Kita (the crush), Sebastian (who may be the cutest character I have ever read on the planet...seriously...I want him to be real so we can hang out/I can adopt him), and the PE teacher who goes to bat for Grady in a HUGE way.
The end is beautifully written including an obvious message to the reader, "Sometimes it's hard to remember that by tomorrow or next week or at least next year, the stuff that seems so awful today might actually be funny. That what makes you miserable today will alter on in life be a good story to tell your friends. Why does that happen? I don't know. Things change. People change. We spend a long time trying to figure out how to act like ourselves, and then, if we're lucky, we finally figure out that being ourselves has nothing to do with acting" (287).
This is the story of Angela as she takes the first steps to becoming a boy named Grady. While this change was met by Grady's friends and family with variations on shock, dismay, confusion, disgust, empathy, kindness, understanding and even apathy, the whole story just seemed to skim the surface of many of a transgender teen's issues.
The first few chapters broke my heart as Grady deals with generally negative reactions of family, teachers, friends and kids at school. I braced myself expecting a tumultuous emotional journey towards acceptance but *spoiler* even though some fairly awful things almost happened, nothing bad actually did happen and the entire story wraps up all very neat and nicely with a cutesie happy-ever-after kind of feel to it *end spoiler* I just didn't buy the ending and the ease with which the resolution was reached.
This book almost seemed to make light of transgender issues. Where was the psychologist or at very least a counselor? Why didn't Grady's parents take him to see a physician? Fairly standard practices for someone considering changing their gender. The parents seemed oddly detached; the bigger, darker issues at hand skirted if not brushed off altogether, and this frustrated me.
To be honest, I was more interested in Danya, what made her such a spiteful bully, why was she so afraid of her parents? The more intriguing story seemed to lie with her and yet she's painted as a pretty one dimensional antagonist.
The prose is pleasant and there are a few metaphors such as the titular parrotfish comparison that manage to inject a little more substance into this story. Even so, reading parrotfish felt a bit like eating a carrot-cake cupcake by starting with the frosting: everything was nice and sweet if slightly tangy, but I couldn't wait to get to the rich, nutty, spicy substance - sadly, all I got was frosting when what I really wanted was the cake.
The roles of the parents are particularly well portrayed. They need time to cope with losing a daughter and gaining a son, and their behavior during this time is described realistically. Naturally everyone's experience is different, but at least this story isn't completely told through rose glasses.
Top reviews from other countries
Somebody recommended Parrotfish on their blog (I have no idea who though, sorry) and I decided to go for it and I’m very pleased I did.
Parrotfish is aimed at a fairly young teen audience and is a very easy read – Grady is a very likeable character who feels like an honest narrator throughout.
The whole book is very thoughtful and reflective – covering all sorts of aspects of ‘coming out’ as transgendered that others may not have considered, such as which changing rooms would you use at school, or even which bathroom? Especially when you are living as a boy but still have the physical features of a girl which, inevitably, involves a certain cycle that boys don’t have to endure – do you have to use the girl’s bathroom for that week every month and the boy’s the rest of the time?
Whilst the story on the whole covered everything from acceptance to bullying, it did all feel a little fast. I think it was needed in the confines of the story, in order for it not to become too long and boring for the intended age group, but some of the people around Grady seemed to switch from non-acceptance to acting as if nothing had happened a little to quickly for it to sit well with me.
That aside, it makes for a sweet story of self-discovery and certainly covers the bases of what feelings and experiences transgendered people must go through and, although it is primarily aimed at a younger audience than me, it really makes you think and helps towards understanding a little of other people’s lives and feelings.
Well worth a read and definitely one I am going to keep on the bookshelf for my kids to discover later.
This book is all about coming out as transgendered and other people's reactions. Society can still be very harsh when it comes to people a little hard to understand sometimes, people who are different from the norm. Not only does this book show Grady's struggles at school but also in his home life. While his father is pretty understanding, just wanting Grady to be happy, his mother is not quite the same. She has trouble understanding why Angela wants to be called Grady, why her precious daughter chopped off her hair and wears boys clothes from a charity shop. Ellen Wittlinger shows that sometimes it is family members who have the hardest time accepting change and I think she did a great job in showing this through Grady's mother.
At school, Grady's life is far from easy. Most of the other kids don't know what to do or say when teachers start calling Angela Grady. Some of the kids don't really have a problem with him at all but then there are a select few characters who are determined to make Grady's life hell. I felt so sorry for Grady during the times set in school because all he wanted to do was get on with his life as he felt was right but instead, he was subjected to some quite harsh bullying. However, there are some saviours at school for Grady such as his gym teacher and new found friends Sebastian and Kita. These secondary characters were fantastic and it was nice to see that Grady did have people that understood him.
Parrotfish is heart-warming and extremely informative about a subject I barely knew anything about. Wittlinger's writing makes you fall in love with her characters and really hope everything works out okay for them.
I think it captured very well, how tough it can be, to be in the wrong body, and how the outside world sees you.
I only give it 4 our of 5, because I didn't like the ending. But still, I know, that it should be how it ended, because it's the most realistic.
Still, an awesome book! I will deffinitely read it again.