STARRED REVIEW
April 2018

No matter what, she’s still your mom

By Cindy Dyson

Tennis is Dara’s life—she’s been playing for as long as she can remember, so she’s stoked to have the chance to compete internationally. She’s eager to get a passport, but she’s a bit nervous to ask her mom, Mellie, for her birth certificate; Mellie has always been reticent about the identity of Dara’s father.

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Tennis is Dara’s life—she’s been playing for as long as she can remember, so she’s stoked to have the chance to compete internationally. She’s eager to get a passport, but she’s a bit nervous to ask her mom, Mellie, for her birth certificate; Mellie has always been reticent about the identity of Dara’s father.

Dara secretly uncovers the document, only to realize she doesn’t recognize the names of her father or her mother. Her mind reels—has she been kidnapped? Adopted? What she knows for sure is that she’s been lied to. When Dara confronts Mellie, she learns the shocking and initially disconcerting truth—Mellie is transgender and was actually Dara’s biological father. Feeling betrayed, lost and uncertain of her past and future, Dara takes off with her best friend, Sam, to find her biological mother’s parents and learn more. When Dara meets them, she immediately feels loved and accepted. But as she learns more—from her grandparents and also from the simultaneous stream of constant and honest emails from Mellie—Dara comes to the crux of the matter as she posits, “Could it be possible that where I come from and who I am are two different things?”

And She Was is a stunning and timely novel that presents a raw story of what it means to be transgender. This is an important and conversation-sparking addition to any YA collection.

 

This article was originally published in the April 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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And She Was

And She Was

By Cindy Dyson
HarperCollins
ISBN 9780060597702

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