Act Cool (Hardcover)
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Act Cool is one of the most important novels I’ve ever read. This story about identity, self-acceptance and family (both biological and chosen), broke my heart and pieced it back together. I have no doubt in my mind that Act Cool will change lives, and I’m eternally grateful that a story like this exists to impact readers.— Brad
A trans teen walks the fine line between doing whatever it takes for his acting dream and staying true to himself in this moving, thought-provoking YA novel from the acclaimed author of Stay Gold.
Aspiring actor August Greene just landed a coveted spot at the prestigious School of Performing Arts in New York. There’s only one problem: His conservative parents won’t accept that he’s transgender. And to stay with his aunt in the city, August must promise them he won’t transition.
August is convinced he can play the part his parents want while acting cool and confident in the company of his talented new friends.
But who is August when the lights go down? And where will he turn when the roles start hitting a little too close to home?
Tobly McSmith is the co-creator/writer of seven somewhat successful musical parodies, including Friends! The Musical Parody. Tobly was born in Texas. He now lives in New York City with his two cats, Buster and Bananas McSmith. Tobly is proud to be transgender.
"The story will help readers understand how multifaceted and complicated the transgender experience can be. A well-paced, unique story.
— School Library Journal
"McSmith’s approach to gender and dysphoria is compassionate, and the musical’s cast dynamics are well sketched; theater fans especially will find the discussion of representation on the stage compelling."
— Publishers Weekly
"McSmith writes with authority, insight, and empathy. [A] necessary book."
— Booklist (starred review)