As I shed tears through the end of this book, I was thinking how necessary stories like 12-year-old Shane Woods's are for all ages to know. Baseball star Shane Woods has a new sorta-girlfriend, a great best friend, and is finally getting along with his dad -- and then his entire school finds out he's transgender. While he's always really been a boy, Shane's biology has needed some help with hormone injections and other therapies to match who he really is. Unfortunately, the truth is complex and kids can be cruel. With bullying rising around him, Shane worries he's lost his friends and his favorite pastime, all for being his true self. What a heartfelt story!
— Todd Wellman
A beautifully heartfelt story about one boy’s journey toward acceptance. A book that Jill Soloway, the award-winning creator of Transparent, called “a terrific read for all ages” and Ami Polonsky, author of Gracefully Grayson, called “an emotionally complex and achingly real read.”
Twelve-year-old Shane Woods is just a regular boy. He loves pitching for his baseball team, working on his graphic novel, and hanging out with his best friend, Josh. But Shane is keeping something private, something that might make a difference to his friends and teammates, even Josh. And when a classmate threatens to reveal his secret, Shane’s whole world comes crashing down. It will take a lot of courage for Shane to ignore the hate and show the world that he’s still the same boy he was before. And in the end, those who stand beside him may surprise everyone, including Shane.
“This is the story with a triumphant-but-realistic ending. It’s challenging but not tragic, and it ends with bright, beautiful hope.”
“Debut author Hennessey effectively depicts Shane’s life as both ordinary and very particular... A warm, realistic book.”
“Hennessey sensitively portrays typical sixth-grade trials (first crushes, embarrassing parents, etc.), compounded by the confusion and prejudice that can accompany transitioning. An honest, encouraging addition to the growing ranks of transgender lit for the middle grades.”
“Shane’s voice rings true, and the writing is straightforward and accessible...t’s refreshing to read a story with a young trans character already living life as his true gender and never questioning his identity...The book...has wide appeal.”
“Shane’s story presents a range of experiences of how people react to someone transgender. More importantly, his story walks readers through what it feels like to know your body doesn’t align with your gender. Shane is positioned just right to surface problems negotiating friends and romance as an ordinary boy.”
“Hennessey explores Shane’s life and it’s many complications with sensitivity. Terrific story-telling elevates this above a standard “issues book,” and readers will find it impossible not to empathize with the diverse cast of characters.”