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Parrotfish Hardcover – July 10, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Granted, it isn't written by a trans man. There are going to be things wrong with it. I expected that. With this said, it does not present a soap opera tragedy, which is refreshing. It presents a trans man character whose family and friends are supportive - an occurrence which is thankfully becoming more common these days. It provides a model of what a trans man who transitions before graduating high school will behave like and will experience.
Is this realistic for all trans people? Not exactly. It is realistic in presenting a trans man as an actual human being, and one who isn't destined to lifelong gloom. It also provides a realistic example of what happens when people are accepting and supportive of someone who is coming out.
With that said, trans women are not in the picture at all. As far as I remember there are no POC, and there are no non-trans queer characters. The author's information about trans people is correct, which is refreshing.
Note: The character uses an ace bandage, which is a bad practice. Realistically the character's supportive parents should have bought their kid a binder, which is much safer. (Ace bandage can curve chest bones inward, especially a problem for bodies that are still growing.). If you get this for a trans kid, please make sure they know not to use ace bandage.
The YA genre took a while to start writing about transgender (and bisexual, for that matter) teenagers, but by the time they did, America had become a place more accepting of GLBT people. Perfect? No, not by a long shot. But in an age where high schools have gay-straight alliances, newspapers write articles about kids coming out of the closet in middle school, TV shows feature teenage and adult GLBT characters, gay celebrity weddings merit the same huge gossip magazine writeups as straight celebrity weddings, another famous person seems to come out of the closet every month or so, and very few Americans can say they don't know anyone who is openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, is it really that difficult to imagine that at least one teenage FTM kid living in Massachusetts could transition without utter rejection from his family or threats of violence?
I disagree that there's anything unrealistically happy about this book. Grady faces his share of problems, including social ostracization, bullies, family conflicts, and falling for another boy's girlfriend. I also don't think, as some reviewers have said, that there's anything particularly feminine-sounding about Grady's inner monologue. While "Luna" by Julie Anne Peters was also a good book, if I were a transgender teenager I would find "Parrotfish" much more uplifting and reassuring - a sign that maybe I could find a happy life within my existing one.Read more ›
Shortly before Christmas, Angela announces to her family that she's decided to act on the issue of being a boy trapped in the body of a girl. Her name is now Grady. She's cut her hair short and she's wearing boy's clothes. Grady is determined to make the change permanent, and as complete as he possibly can.
He starts by announcing his decisions to his family, which is met with assorted reactions. His dad seems to take the news in stride; after all, Grady was always a tomboy who did "guy stuff" with him anyway. His sister, Laura, is sure that Grady is out to ruin her life, and her high school experience. His younger brother, Charlie, doesn't care all that much, as long as the news doesn't affect his video game playing. And his mother, well, his mother isn't at all sure what to think, how to act, or what to do.
Since Grady is determined, he doesn't just turn into a transgendered person at home. He makes his intentions known at school, too, and you can probably guess what some of the consequences are. Friends are no longer friends; indifferent acquaintances become outright enemies. But there are also bright moments in Grady's new life: he makes a new best friend, Sebastian, who introduces him to the scientific wonder of the parrotfish, an ocean fish who can, and does, change gender. He also finds allies in Russ and Kita, a powerhouse high school super-couple who raise new questions in Grady's mind when he starts falling for Kita himself.
PARROTFISH is a wonderful, emotional novel dealing with the issues of identity and transgenderism.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although the writer tackled an important issue, Parrotfish didn't wow me. This could be due to the fact that it targets more of a 'middle school and up' audience (it's pretty... Read morePublished 15 days ago by A L Fraz
The world today is diving head first into an argument about transgenderism and unfortunately most "information" is actually opinion. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kelly
This was a good story, filled with hope. I just feel like it was very short and that some things were quite disappointing, as they felt cut short too soon.Published 13 months ago by Kindle Customer
Simply written with a good message for anyone trying to understand changes in themselves. Somewhat idealistic with a happy ending "for the moment."Published 13 months ago by Kindle Customer
while this is one of the few books about trans people on a middle school reading level, it did fall flat for me due some of the terms used in the book, such as... Read morePublished 14 months ago by axton
This is overall an excellent read. It's engaging, well written, with actual humor. Characters are well developed and their behavior is true to life even when their actions are... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Bee Herder
This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon.com. Please head there for more in-depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule. Read morePublished 18 months ago by The Cosy Dragon (Rose Herbert)