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  • My Heart Fills with Happiness
  • Wolf Island

By author: Lesley Choyce
Selling Points: gender identity, sexuality, anxiety, drug use, mental health, taking a stand
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Apr/18/2017
Fry Reading Level: 3.8
Pages: 120
Fiction Ages 12+
Price:  $9.95
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Ethan is an anxiety-ridden loner who relies on medication to get through his day. During one of his fairly frequent panic attacks, a girl from school named Gabriella comes to his rescue. Gabe, as she prefers to be known, is facing her own inner turmoil. She has always been a tomboy, but the more pressure she faces to act and dress "like a girl," the more she wonders just who she really is.

When he learns that Gabe is being constantly harassed at school, Ethan discovers he is able to overcome his own fears in order to stand up for his new friend. Then Gabe finds a disturbing note in her locker, and the threats begin to escalate. Ethan confronts the person responsible, but things take an unexpected turn, and he suddenly finds himself being questioned by police, accused of assault. With a dose of courage and a surprising ally, the two friends come up with a plan to set things right and end up discovering who they really are along the way.
Resource Links - April 15, 2017
"The subject matter is very strong and very necessary."
Foreword Reviews - April 12, 2017
"Well-written and compulsively readable…While both teens make progress in the story, they still have growing to do, and this helps make the book uncommonly powerful."
Kirkus Reviews - March 1, 2017
"Choyce is conscientious in dealing with gender and anxiety...Definitely worth exploring for those completely new to gender fluidity or anxiety issues in teens, as it makes a good primer."

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