"This is Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, on community radio 90.3, KZUK. I'm Gabe. Welcome to my show." My birth name is Elizabeth, but I'm a guy. Gabe. My parents think I've gone crazy and the rest of the world is happy to agree with them, but I know I'm right. I've been a boy my whole life. When you think about it, I'm like a record. Elizabeth is my A side, the song everybody knows, and Gabe is my B side--not heard as often, but just as good. It's time to let my B side play. .
"Gabe has a secret. He is really Liz. Born a female, he is cautiously beginning his transition to male. Only his parents and his lifelong best friend, Paige, know. But when a girl at school, where he is callously called that lesbo chick, discovers the truth and outs Gabe, things become difficult, if not downright dangerous. In the meantime, Gabe is a part-time DJ on the local community radio station, where his show, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, is fast becoming an underground hit. Will his fans reject him when they, too, discover the truth? What, as Gabe thinks in difficult circumstances, would Elvis do? Obviously, there are nuggets of humor in an otherwise serious story. Cronn-Mills' thoughtful book joins a small but growing body of literature that gives faces to this traditionally invisible minority. Despite a few incidents that require a willing suspension of disbelief, the story is a model of integrity, and Gabe is an always appealing character.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Gabe Wilson has a lot going on. He's about to graduate from high school, he's just started hosting a radio show, and he's got a crush on his best friend Paige. Overshadowing it all: everyone knows him as Elizabeth. Cronn-Miller, whose The Sky Always Hears Me and the Hills Don't Mind featured a teenage girl grappling with her sexuality, has clearly done her research. Gabe's difficulties-from dealing with freaked-out parents and bigoted classmates to navigating love, sex, and whether to use the men's or women's room-are well documented. So much so, in fact, that the book sometimes feels like a PSA exposing the challenges a trans teen faces. Cronn-Miller never minimizes those challenges (Gabe faces some terrifying abuse), avoiding a too-happy ending, but Gabe and Paige's supportive friendship and Gabe's love of music shine through. Gabe spins Elvis, Devo, and Prince on the radio, and old media meets new as his fans come together via Facebook. It's impossible not to root for Gabe as he finds the courage to live the life he wants. Ages 12-up. Agent: Amy Tipton, Signature Literary Agency. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved