The Passing Playbook

Dial. Jun. 2021. 304p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781984815408.
Gr 9 Up–Spencer is a transgender student at a new school determined to pass by not letting anyone know he is trans. He left his old school after it went under lockdown when he received a death threat from a student after coming out. When an incident occurs during PE, Spencer is recruited to the boys soccer team, a sport that he loves but has not played since his transition. While his parents support his transition, they feel he is not ready to play on the boys team, so Spencer lies so he can participate. This novel deals with more than just Spencer’s journey into deciding whether to come out to his teammates and new school. His love interest, Justice, comes from a conservative Christian background and has to deal with parents who will not accept him for who he is. Spencer also has an autisic younger brother who is having difficulty getting settled in his new school as well. Spencer comes from an ideal situation of support, and flashbacks to experiences early on in his transition help readers understand how his parents came to accept him. Spencer is biracial (Black and white) and Justice is white.
VERDICT An excellent addition to realistic fiction collections. Give to fans of Tobly McSmith’s Stay Gold and Bill Konigsberg’s Openly Straight.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing