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Beautiful Music for Ugly Children

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Beautiful Music for Ugly Children Cover

ISBN13: 9780738732510
ISBN10: 0738732516
All Product Details

 

Awards

Staff Pick

Gabe is a teen transboy music geek with a new late-night public-access radio show. He's trying to become a full-time radio DJ while at the same time coming out as trans, and navigating fans and crushes. This book has a wonderful blend of music references and characters you can easily identify with.
Recommended by Brandon W., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The lives and loves of a teenage transboy music geek.

Gabe has always identified as a boy, but he was born with a girl's body. With his new public access radio show gaining in popularity, Gabe struggles with romance, friendships, and parents — all while trying to come out as transgendered. An audition for a station in Minneapolis looks like his ticket to a better life in the big city. But his entire future is threatened when several violent guys find out Gabe the popular DJ is also Elizabeth from school.

Review:

"Gabe Williams has a lot going on. He's about to graduate from high school, he's just started hosting a radio show, and he's got a crush on his best friend Paige. Overshadowing it all: everyone knows him as Elizabeth. Cronn-Mills, whose The Sky Always Hears Me and the Hills Don't Mind featured a teenage girl grappling with her sexuality, has clearly done her research. Gabe's difficulties — from dealing with freaked-out parents and bigoted classmates to navigating love, sex, and whether to use the men's or women's room — are well documented. So much so, in fact, that the book sometimes feels like a PSA exposing the challenges a trans teen faces. Cronn-Mills never minimizes those challenges (Gabe faces some terrifying abuse), avoiding a too-happy ending, but Gabe and Paige's supportive friendship and Gabe's love of music shine through. Gabe spins Elvis, Devo, and Prince on the radio, and old media meets new as his fans come together via Facebook. It's impossible not to root for Gabe as he finds the courage to live the life he wants. Ages 12 – up. Agent: Amy Tipton, Signature Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Every so often a book comes along that is so sharp, so moving, so real, and so good, you want to press it into everyone's hands and say, Read this! READ THIS!" Courtney Summers, author of Cracked Up to Be and This is Not a Test

Review:

"[A] moving story of senior-year insecurity and bravery." VOYA

Review:

"A kind and satisfyingly executed portrait of a music-loving teen coming out as transgender." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[T]he quirky relationship between Gabe and John and their shared music obsession elevates this story above the average problem novel." School Library Journal

Synopsis:

"This is Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, on community radio 90.3, KZUK. I'm Gabe. Welcome to my show."

My birth name is Elizabeth, but I'm a guy. Gabe. My parents think I've gone crazy and the rest of the world is happy to agree with them, but I know I'm right. I've been a boy my whole life.

When you think about it, I'm like a record. Elizabeth is my A side, the song everybody knows, and Gabe is my B side — not heard as often, but just as good.

It's time to let my B side play.

About the Author

Kirstin Cronn-Mills is the author of Minnesota Book Award finalist The Sky Always Hears Me And the Hills Don't Mind and Beautiful Music for Ugly Children. Cronn-Mills received her doctorate degree from Iowa State University and currently teaches in North Mankato, Minnesota, where she lives with her husband and son.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

slsteckler, November 3, 2014 (view all comments by slsteckler)
It’s 90.3, KZUK, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, you’re listening to Gabe at this late hour right here on community radio and I’m here for my listeners. So turn it up and sit back and listen to some Def Leppard, those boys of the 70’s. It’s Gabe turn to show his style, at least behind the mike he’s himself or who he thinks he has become. He’s telling his story beside his mentor, neighbor and great friend John who he idolizes. Few people know Gabe as Gabe, most people know him as Elizabeth but using his fifty minutes of air time, he’s finally found a medium for which he can express himself and he feels free. His show is remarkable with such energy and commitment. A Facebook site is created based on his show and he adds requests of his listeners to perform tasks to show their support to his show. These groupies, the Ugly Children Brigade suddenly become a part of his life. If only things could continue on such a high note but life has to throw in some curve balls. So many great parts in this book, as Gabe truly comes to understand himself and the world around him.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
emmejo, October 23, 2014 (view all comments by emmejo)
By day, he's Elizabeth, average high schooler, desperate to get on to real life, but on his radio show, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, Gabe gets to be who he really is, a music-addicted guy crushing on his best friend, job-hunting and trying to get his family to accept him the way he is. Unfortunately, keeping his two lives apart proves difficult and eventually the fact that Elizabeth is Gabe comes out, spinning his life out of control.

There are very few books about trans teens, so I was really happy when I found this book. It is powerfully emotional, dragging you into Gabe's complicated life and plopping you down in his head. It's written in a conversational, stream-of-conciousness tone, and gets rather melodramatic at times, but it feels like an honest look into an 18 year old's thoughts. I'm not a big fan of the whole love-triangle element, but it's a staple of YA, and fairly well-executed. I did like the use of the Internet and texting, it's such a big part of life for many teens that it makes sense so much of the drama could take place there.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
nads84, September 1, 2014 (view all comments by nads84)
Fantastic read!

“Whoever you are, you're plenty.”

I absolutely LOVED this book. It was SO easy to connect to Gabe, he was so easy to like. The minute I started reading I was hooked and I wanted to know everything that was going to happen.

I LOVED his relationship with Paige, how things evolved with his family, his relationship with John, and his dating woes (the author could have gone in a entirely different way and she didn't, Gabe was just a typical teenager who happened to be trans).

Overall, this book was beautiful, honest, raw and so important.

More people should read it, I'd definitely recommend it!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780738732510
Author:
Cronn-Mills, Kirstin
Publisher:
Flux
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction
Publication Date:
20121031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English

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Related Subjects

Children's » Activities » General
Children's » Featured Titles
Children's » Performing Arts » Television and Radio
Featured Titles » Science
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Dating and Sex
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Homosexuality
Young Adult » General

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.99 In Stock
Product details pages Flux - English 9780738732510 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Gabe is a teen transboy music geek with a new late-night public-access radio show. He's trying to become a full-time radio DJ while at the same time coming out as trans, and navigating fans and crushes. This book has a wonderful blend of music references and characters you can easily identify with.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Gabe Williams has a lot going on. He's about to graduate from high school, he's just started hosting a radio show, and he's got a crush on his best friend Paige. Overshadowing it all: everyone knows him as Elizabeth. Cronn-Mills, whose The Sky Always Hears Me and the Hills Don't Mind featured a teenage girl grappling with her sexuality, has clearly done her research. Gabe's difficulties — from dealing with freaked-out parents and bigoted classmates to navigating love, sex, and whether to use the men's or women's room — are well documented. So much so, in fact, that the book sometimes feels like a PSA exposing the challenges a trans teen faces. Cronn-Mills never minimizes those challenges (Gabe faces some terrifying abuse), avoiding a too-happy ending, but Gabe and Paige's supportive friendship and Gabe's love of music shine through. Gabe spins Elvis, Devo, and Prince on the radio, and old media meets new as his fans come together via Facebook. It's impossible not to root for Gabe as he finds the courage to live the life he wants. Ages 12 – up. Agent: Amy Tipton, Signature Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Every so often a book comes along that is so sharp, so moving, so real, and so good, you want to press it into everyone's hands and say, Read this! READ THIS!"
"Review" by , "[A] moving story of senior-year insecurity and bravery."
"Review" by , "A kind and satisfyingly executed portrait of a music-loving teen coming out as transgender."
"Review" by , "[T]he quirky relationship between Gabe and John and their shared music obsession elevates this story above the average problem novel."
"Synopsis" by , "This is Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, on community radio 90.3, KZUK. I'm Gabe. Welcome to my show."

My birth name is Elizabeth, but I'm a guy. Gabe. My parents think I've gone crazy and the rest of the world is happy to agree with them, but I know I'm right. I've been a boy my whole life.

When you think about it, I'm like a record. Elizabeth is my A side, the song everybody knows, and Gabe is my B side — not heard as often, but just as good.

It's time to let my B side play.

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