Saturday, September 01, 2007

Parrotfish, by Ellen Wittlinger

Angela has always been struck by the obsession that the world has about dividing everyone into boys and girls. And even more trouble understanding why it bothers her and why she has always wanted to join the boys. When she figures out that she is really a boy and changes names to Grady, a brave voyage begins. While Grady realizes that he will face resistance and misunderstanding, his new friends and enemies show up in surprising places. But in the end, it is really all about discovering yourself.

It is no coincidence that the jacket bears an endorsement from Julie Anne Peters, whose Luna covered the TG world (much better!) from the other direction. This book is a bit preachy, relying on author intervention rather than a strong narrative to tell its story. That makes it a bit more ungainly than Wittlinger's other books. I also found the ending overly convenient and corny, but I'll admit that a book with such a heavy topic probably needs some lightening up. I'll give this a qualified recommendation -- good topic, good characters, but it needed a tighter story.

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