The Passing Playbook|Review

The Passing Playbook – Published 2021

“Fifteen-year-old Spencer Harris is a proud nerd, an awesome big brother and a Messi-in-training. He’s also transgender. After transitioning at his old school leads to a year of bullying, Spencer gets a fresh start at Oakley, the most liberal private school in Ohio.

At Oakley, Spencer seems to have it all: more accepting classmates, a decent shot at a starting position on the boy’s soccer team, great new friends, and maybe even something more than friendship with one of his teammates. The problem is, no one at Oakley knows Spencer is trans – he’s passing.

So when a discriminatory law forces Spencer’s coach to bench him after he discovers the ‘F’ on Spencer’s birth certificate, Spencer has to make a choice: cheer his team on from the sidelines or publicly fight for his right to play, even if it means coming out to everyone – including the guy he’s falling for.” – Goodreads


Thank you to Netgalley for the gifted ARC ebook and @PRHaudio for the ALC!

While I used to solely read YA so I could recommend books to my students, I haven’t read much YA lately, and especially really good YA. This book made me fall in love with YA lit again. It’s so cute but also has some really good representation.

I will say that the synopsis makes this sound like it’s all about activism, but that’s only a piece. Really it’s a story of young love, self acceptance, equality and family dynamics. For a debut novel, the author was able to make all of the side characters wonderful and developed. It’s got a bit of a sports romance element, the parents are wonderful and trying to be their best for their kids, and while it covers some important content that can be heartbreaking, it still leaves you feeling hopeful and happy at the end.

If you love YA books, absolutely pick this one up. I loved it.


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