Sasha Masha

Agnes Borinsky. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-3743-1080-6
A good student well liked by his Baltimore classmates, 17-year-old Sasha Masha, who is white and Jewish, nevertheless begins his junior year lonely and inescapably sad. His adventurous, queer best friend has just moved away, and he’s beginning to feel disconnected from his peers and his body. A blossoming romantic relationship, his first, is by turns exciting and frustrating—he likes his driven, smart girlfriend but often feels that he is an “in-between” person whom she can never understand. Just when things feel truly unbearable, he encounters a group of queer teens whose informal lessons on LGBTQ community and history guide him toward self-acceptance and his first time wearing a dress. In straightforward first-person prose, debut novelist Borinsky captures the ups and downs of teenage soul-searching, struggling to define one’s gender, and coming out as trans. Though intersectionally diverse secondary characters can lack depth, they model refreshingly supportive behavior and encouragement. Sasha Masha—who uses he/him pronouns throughout the novel and is referred to by his deadname for the first half of the book—is a well-crafted, memorable protagonist whose voice rings true and whose experiences will resonate as he learns to accept that his journey, like any questioning person’s, is an ongoing one. Ages 14–up. Agent: Ross Harris, Stuart Krichevsky Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/23/2020
Release date: 11/10/2020
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-250-80263-7
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