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Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 176
Themes: gender identity, baseball, bravery, friendship, loyalty
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 25/Sep/2018
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Ten-year-old Caspar "Caz" Cadman loves baseball and has a great arm. He loves the sounds, the smells, the stats. When his family moves from Toronto to a suburb of Seattle, the first thing he does is try out for the local summer team, the Redburn Ravens. Even though Caz is thrilled when he makes the team, he worries because he has a big secret.

No one knows that back in Toronto, Caz used to live life as a girl named Cassandra. And it's nobody's business. Caz will tell his new friends when he's ready.

But when a player on a rival team starts snooping around, Caz's past is revealed, and Caz worries it will be Toronto all over again.

Will Caz's teammates rally behind their star pitcher? Or will Caz be betrayed once more?

A heartwarming, funny, fast-paced story about the bravery it takes to live as your true self, no matter the cost.

Kirkus Reviews
"An engaging sports story."
Booklist
"[Caz's] teammates lend authenticity and humor to the book. Family dynamics are portrayed honestly…Competition between teams is fierce, as is camaraderie within the team."
School Library Connection
"Baseball fans will enjoy the play-by-play, but more than that, readers will like the character of Caz. Acceptance of others is a good message for everyone."
Ms. Yingling Reads blog
"The author put a lot of research into this…and was successful in having an elementary and middle grade appropriate transgender story. The inclusion of lots of baseball is a big plus, and will encourage readers to pick up the book."
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"The plot and characters strike an ideal balance that will have wide appeal, introducing readers to themes of gender identity that avoids didacticism and sensationalism. My Life as a Diamond will appeal to readers interested in baseball, team-sports, and realistic fiction. Highly Recommended."
Resource Links
"A great novel for elementary grades to learn more about gender, identity, and transgender issues…Filled with lots of baseball lingo and references, this is the perfect book for a die-hard baseball fan."
Quill & Quire
"Provides young readers with an opportunity to see a community that is accepting of Caz and who he is—not who they think he should be."

Awards

Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People  | 2019 | Commended
Saskatchewan Young Readers Choice Award Diamond Willow  | 2019 | Short-listed
CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection  | 2019 | Commended
Chocolate Lily Award—Novel Category  | 2019 | Short-listed
Bank Street College of Education Best Books of the Year  | 2018 | Commended
Victoria Book Prize Society Children's Book Prize  | 2019 | Short-listed
Sliver Birch Award Fiction  | 2020 | Short-listed

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