You know those books that you LOVE! The books that you’d ride or die for and will spend the rest of your days telling everyone you ever meet to just READ IT. Well, Isaac Fitzsimon’s The Passing Playbook is about to join those ranks of BELOVED reads.
With fans including Becky Albertalli, Kacen Callender, Adib Khorram, Julian Winters, Mason Deavor, Phil Stamper and MORE, prepare to fall head over heels in love with Spencer Harris!
Fifteen-year-old Spencer Harris is a proud nerd, an awesome big brother, and a David Beckham in training. He’s also transgender. After transitioning at his old school leads to a year of isolation and bullying, Spencer gets a fresh start at Oakley, the most liberal private school in Ohio.
At Oakley, Spencer seems to have it all: more accepting classmates, a decent shot at a starting position on the boys’ soccer team, great new friends, and maybe even something more than friendship with one of his teammates. The problem is, no one at Oakley knows Spencer is trans—he’s passing.
But when a discriminatory law forces Spencer’s coach to bench him, Spencer has to make a choice: cheer his team on from the sidelines or publicly fight for his right to play, even though it would mean coming out to everyone—including the guy he’s falling for.
And a book this good, needs an AMAZING cover!
Cover Designer: Kelley Brady
Cover Illustrator: Xavier Schipani
Can’t wait to read it?! This is excerpt is the perfect taste:
She rolled down Spencer’s window, and leaned over him, calling, “Hey, you with the bike!”
Spencer slouched lower in his seat as several kids, including the boy on the dirt bike, turned to stare at them.
“Mom, what are you doing?”
The boy on the bike reversed, rolling backward to the car and stopping outside Spencer’s window.
“I’m sorry about cutting you off earlier, ma’am. I didn’t want to be late.” His voice was low and gravelly and muffled inside his retro motocross helmet.
“That’s quite all right,” said Mom, clearly charmed by his slight Appalachian twang. Her own accent, courtesy of a childhood in West Virginia, came out stronger. “This is my son Spencer. He’s new this year.”
“Nice to meet you.” The boy stuck a gloved hand through the window. The worn leather was as soft as a lamb’s ear against Spencer’s palm.
“Do you think you could show him to his first class?” asked Mom.
The helmet visor hid the boy’s expression, but Spencer imagined the amusement in his face at being asked to play babysitter. “It’s okay—” he began, longing to turn around, go home, and try again tomorrow, but then the boy lifted off his helmet and Spencer’s words died in his throat.
He was cute—all farm boy tan in a navy polo and Wrangler’s. But what really made Spencer’s insides feel like he’d just been dematerialized and rematerialized in a transporter was that this kid, with his brown eyes and megawatt smile currently aimed right at Spencer, was a dead ringer for Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Spencer’s nightly ritual was watching Star Trek with his dad, who would disown him, not as a son but as a fellow Trekkie, if he knew that the only reason he put up with the cheesy special effects was because of his teeny-tiny crush on acting ensign, wunderkind, Wesley Crusher.
Mom gave him a little nudge. “I have to go put Theo on the bus. Have a good day, sweetie.”
Spencer climbed out of the car, careful not to trip over himself, and slammed the door behind him. Did she have to call him sweetie? In front of him? What was wrong with bud? Or sport? Bike Boy’s parents probably didn’t call him sweetie, especially not at school.
He waved them off, watching the Subaru disappear around the corner, and trying to ignore the hollow feeling in his chest.
“So, what grade are you in?” asked the boy, parking his bike and waiting for Spencer on the sidewalk.
Spencer’s thoughts became all tangled up in his head as he tried to shape them into words.
“Are you a first year?” Bike Boy prompted.
“No,” said Spencer, a little too forcefully. He pulled himself up to his not very tall height of five feet. He wasn’t insecure about it, not really, but it would be a long year if everyone, especially cute boys, thought he was a middle schooler who got lost on his way to class. “I’m a sophomore.”
“Cool, me too.”
He followed Bike Boy up the path to the gated entrance. On the way the boy waved to a couple kids and high-fived another, but he didn’t introduce Spencer. Then again, what would he say? This is the kid whose mom almost ran me over and then made me walk him to class? Not exactly the first impression Spencer wanted.
“Let me guess, you were kicked out of your old school for talking too much.” Bike Boy shot Spencer a wide grin. His two front teeth overlapped slightly, which Spencer found oddly endearing considering that most of his friends had been put in braces as soon as they hit double digits.
Spencer searched for something witty to say back. Something to show Bike Boy that he wasn’t a complete weirdo, but his words got lost again.
The smile on Bike Boy’s face slipped off. “Wait, were you actually kicked out? I’m sorry, I—”
“I wasn’t kicked out.”
“It was just a joke.”
“I know,” said Spencer, growing frustrated that even the most basic of conversations left him flustered.
Not wanting to prolong the agony, he made a decision when they reached the entrance. He knew where he was going. Sort of. He had taken a tour earlier that summer when signing up for classes.
“So what’s your first class?” asked Bike Boy.
He opened his mouth to respond when someone going past pushed him from behind, and he fell into Bike Boy, who reached out a hand to steady him.
Spencer pulled back his arm like he’d been burned. “It’s okay. I know where I’m going. But thanks for your help.”
Bike Boy searched his face as if trying to see if he was telling the truth. “Are you sure?”
Spencer nodded, scuffing his foot against the floor.
“All right, then. I’ll see you around, I guess,” said Bike Boy, his voice lilting slightly like he was asking a question. He hitched his backpack higher and turned to join the swarm of students on their way to class.
Spencer watched him leave, not with relief, but with something that felt a little like guilt. Maybe he should be a touch nicer to the guy who had offered to help him, despite narrowly escaping death at the wheels of his mother’s Subaru. Hell, Spencer didn’t even know who he was.
Before he could stop himself, he called out, “Wait, what’s your name?”
Bike Boy turned and flashed Spencer a smile. “Justice. Justice Cortes.”