Phoenix Gets Greater

  • Illustrated By: Megan Kyak-Monteith
  • Pages:24
  • Publisher:Second Story Press
  • Themes:Indigenous language, Anishinaabemowin, Ojibwe, Two Spirit, LGBTQ
  • Available:10/11/2022
  • Lexile:640L
  • Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient:N

Phoenix loves to play with dolls and marvel at pretty fabrics. Most of all, he loves to dance—ballet, Pow Wow dancing, or just swirling and twirling around his house. Sometimes Phoenix gets picked on and he struggles with feeling different, but his mom and brother are proud of him. With their help, Phoenix learns about Two Spirit/Niizh Manidoowag people in Anishinaabe culture and just how special he is.

Based on the childhood experiences of her son, Phoenix, Marty Wilson-Trudeau demonstrates the difference that a loving and supportive family can make.

"Phoenix Gets Greater is a timely and necessary addition to our collective Two-Spirit stories! Its collaboration between mother and son, its engrossing color palettes that reflect Anishinaabe acceptance and wholeness, and its charming, swirling protagonist make for a story that should be shared with all of our children. Broaching the vast topic of Two-Spirit identities, Marty Wilson-Trudeau and Phoenix Wilson have made a book I wish I had when I was a kid—the wonders this book will do for our Indigenous and/or queer youth!"

– Joshua Whitehead, award-winning author of Jonny Appleseed

“In this personal-feeling family story, Wilson-Trudeau gives loving voice to the early experiences of her child Wilson, who also contributes… In saturated pinks and purples, Kyak-Monteith’s portrait-oriented art offers warmth to an individual narrative about acceptance, authenticity, and identity.”

– Publishers Weekly

"Bright and engaging illustrations shine with the joy of Phoenix and those who love him feel when he is his authentic self. This is a sweet appreciation of a queer child—and how his Anishinaabe culture celebrates him and Niizh Manidoowag, Two Spirit people who have both boy and girl spirits."

– Tegan Tigani from Queen Anne Books (Seattle, WA)

"Really sweet book about knowing yourself and acceptance. I loved the illustrations!"

– Kimi Loughlin at Buttonwood Books and Toys (Cohasset, MA)

"Lovely little story about being true to yourself. Phoenix is Anishinaabe and Two-Spirit. With love and understanding from his family, he’s able to overcome bullying at school, and be confident in who he is and his love for dancing, dolls, and all sorts of fabrics."

– Tildy Lutts at Belmont Books (Belmont, MA)

"In a beautiful affirming story, Marty Wilson-Trudeau with Phoenix Wilson and Megan Kyak-Monteith share Phoenix’s story in Phoenix Gets Greater, showing readers that greatness comes from within."

– Storytime with Stephanie

"With bright, expressive illustrations, incorporating pinks, blues and purples, this picture book is drawn from real-life Phoenix’s childhood and co-written with his mother. Even though Phoenix’s story is deeply personal, the themes of embracing who you are and the meaningfulness of a family’s unconditional love will resonate widely."

– Booklist
First Nation Communities READ Award, Children's Category   | 2023  |  Winner
CBC Books Best Canadian for Kids and Teens`   | 2023  |  Winner