ACHUKA Book of the Day 19 Jan 2021
After all those years of hard work and her single Chinese-American mother’s many sacrifices, 12 yr-old Ana-Marie Jin, reigning U.S. Juvenile Figure-Skating Champion, is determined not to let anything spoil her dream of achieving another national title.
But she is far from thrilled to learn that the new choreographer has designed a skating program that requires her to portray a princess. She’s just not a frilly-dress princess kind of girl!
When Hayden, a transgender boy new to the rink, mistakes Ana for a boy she decides not to correct him, and soon settles into a comfortable, boyish identity whenever he’s around. As their friendship develops, Ana realises that it’s not easy to juggle two different identities on one slippery sheet of ice and, with a major competition approaching, she must decide whether the truth is worth risking everything they’ve trained for.
The novel provides a behind-the-scenes look into the world of competitive figure skating, while also giving readers a nonbinary protagonist to root and cheer for along the way.
The author comments: “It was an intentional choice to include two trans characters because I wanted to highlight how no two trans experiences are the same. Hayden’s known who he is for a while by the time he and Ana meet, whereas Ana is just starting to explore the layers of her identity. As I touched on in an earlier answer, I think it can sometimes be a revelation to see an aspect of yourself reflected in someone else. That’s what happens when Ana meets Hayden: Hayden’s identity doesn’t match Ana’s precisely, but she recognizes a shared commonality, one that spurs her to dig deeper and learn more about herself.”
extracted from an online interview
The author has a highly informative website: https://sassinsf.com