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Penny Candy Books
Sam is a nine-year-old boy who loves riding his bike and learning about the American Revolution. There’s just one problem: Sam’s family knows him as a girl named Isabel. Sam feels a sense of relief when he finally confides in his sister Maggie, and then his parents, even though it takes them a while to feel comfortable with it. But with lots of love and support, Sam and his family learn and grow through Sam’s journey to embrace his true self. In the vein of I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel, Sam! is based on the true story of the author’s family. With a note from Gabriel explaining their family’s experience, Sam! is an important addition to a list of books that help children and adults discuss gender identity. Written by Dani Gabriel, illustrated by Robert Liu-Trujillo.
Interview with the author at Family Story
“[A] warm story of sibling support and family love.” —Washington Blade
“I would like to see this in classroom libraries, shared with children who might need it very much. It’s a welcome addition to the growing number of books about transgender children published in recent years.” —Raise Them Righteous
“While Gabriel acknowledges that Sam’s parents, teachers, and classmates take time to feel comfortable with Sam’s identity, the story concentrates on Sam’s emotional journey through sadness and anger to, ultimately, happiness that he can be himself rather than on the learning process of those around him…A coming-out story radiating warmth and joy..”—Kirkus Reviews
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