My Life as a Diamond

  • Pages:176
  • Publisher:Orca Book Publishers
  • Themes:transgender youth, LGBTQ, female to male, baseball, new kid in town
  • Pub Date:09/25/2018
  • Age Groups:Fiction Ages 9-12
  • Lexile:660L
  • Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient:Y
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A heartwarming, funny, fast-paced story about the bravery it takes to live as your true self, no matter the cost.

Ten-year-old Caspar "Caz" Cadman loves baseball and has a great arm. He loves the sounds, the smells, the stats. When his family moves from Toronto to a suburb of Seattle, the first thing he does is try out for the local summer team, the Redburn Ravens. Even though Caz is thrilled when he makes the team, he worries because he has a big secret.

No one in this city knows that before Caz told his parents he was a boy, he lived a very different life. It's nobody's business. Caz will tell his new friends when he's ready. But when a player on a rival team starts snooping around, Caz's past is revealed, and Caz worries it will be Toronto all over again.

Will Caz's teammates rally behind their star pitcher? Or will Caz be betrayed once more?

"An engaging sports story."
– Kirkus Reviews
"[Caz's] teammates lend authenticity and humor to the book. Family dynamics are portrayed honestly…Competition between teams is fierce, as is camaraderie within the team."
– Booklist
"Baseball fans will enjoy the play-by-play, but more than that, readers will like the character of Caz. Acceptance of others is a good message for everyone."
– School Library Connection
"The author put a lot of research into this…and was successful in having an elementary and middle grade appropriate transgender story. The inclusion of lots of baseball is a big plus, and will encourage readers to pick up the book."
– Ms. Yingling Reads blog
"The plot and characters strike an ideal balance that will have wide appeal, introducing readers to themes of gender identity that avoids didacticism and sensationalism. My Life as a Diamond will appeal to readers interested in baseball, team-sports, and realistic fiction. Highly Recommended."
– CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"A great novel for elementary grades to learn more about gender, identity, and transgender issues…Filled with lots of baseball lingo and references, this is the perfect book for a die-hard baseball fan."
– Resource Links
"Provides young readers with an opportunity to see a community that is accepting of Caz and who he is—not who they think he should be."
– Quill & Quire
“Deals with heavy subject matter around identity and agency, but the fast pace of the book and the warmth and humour author Jenny Manzer imbues it with make this an accessible middle-grade read.”
– Books & Ideas, Vancouver Writers Fest
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People   | 2019  |  Commended
Saskatchewan Young Readers Choice Award Diamond Willow   | 2019  |  Short-listed
Chocolate Lily Award—Novel Category   | 2019  |  Short-listed
Bank Street College of Education Best Books of the Year   | 2018  |  Commended
CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection   | 2019  |  Commended
Victoria Book Prize Society Children's Book Prize   | 2019  |  Short-listed
Sliver Birch Award Fiction   | 2020  |  Short-listed
TD Summer Reading List   | 2020  |  Commended
Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award   | 2021  |  Short-listed