Ana on the Edge (Hardcover)
Perfect for fans of George and Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World: a heartfelt coming of age story about a nonbinary character navigating a binary world.Twelve-year-old Ana-Marie Jin, the reigning US Juvenile figure skating champion, is not a frilly dress kind of kid. So, when Ana learns that next season's program will be princess themed, doubt forms fast. Still, Ana tries to focus on training and putting together a stellar routine worthy of national success.
Once Ana meets Hayden, a transgender boy new to the rink, thoughts about the princess program and gender identity begin to take center stage. And when Hayden mistakes Ana for a boy, Ana doesn't correct him and finds comfort in this boyish identity when he's around. As their friendship develops, Ana realizes that it's tricky juggling two different identities on one slippery sheet of ice. And with a major competition approaching, Ana must decide whether telling everyone the truth is worth risking years of hard work and sacrifice.
About the Author
A. J. Sass (he/them) is a writer, editor, and competitive skater. A long-time figure skater, he has passed his U.S. Figure Skating Senior Moves in the Field and Free Skate tests, medaled twice at the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, and currently dabbles in ice dance. A. J. lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his boyfriend and two cats who act like dogs. Ana on the Edge is his first novel.
"A lovely, necessary story of self-discovery and friendship."—Ashley Herring Blake, author of Stonewall Honor book Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World
"Heartfelt, nuanced and engaging, Ana on the Edge is both an insider's look at the world of competitive figure skating and a sensitive exploration of the protagonist's nonbinary identity. Highly recommended."—Barbara Dee, award-winning author of Maybe He Just Likes You and My Life in the Fish Tank
"Ana on the Edge is a poignant exploration of the importance of being seen for who you are. Ana will glide into your heart and open your mind to the richness of the full gender spectrum."—Ami Polonsky, award-winning author of Gracefully Grayson and Spin With Me
"Sass's gorgeous debut fills a much needed void on LGBTQ+ middle grade shelves."—Nicole Melleby, award-winning author of Hurricane Season
* "Sass masterfully balances Ana's passion for competitive figure skating with her journey to coming out. ...sensitive and realistic."—Booklist, starred review
"Sass renders scenes on and off the ice with vivid descriptions, and writes nuanced, layered portrayals of characters."—Publishers Weekly
"The tone of the story remains hopeful as [Ana] works toward a new understanding of herself. The personal connection of the author, himself a figure skater who identifies as nonbinary, to the story is evident within its pages in both the nuances of figure skating and Ana's interrogation of gender."—The Horn Book
"Vulnerable and affirming."—Kirkus Reviews
Strong character development with a plot etched in mystery elements, thrillers and family relationships, this one will keep you up at night frantically turning pages. Period details from the 1940's and set in the unforgiving Alaskan wilderness prior to the discovery of oil, this creepy tale is about sisters, family, love and sacrifice and through it all, the harsh realities of nature. Be warned -- you will be "talking" with one of the characters trying to steer her one way. - Maureen