Scholastic Canada | Playing a Part
Skip to main content

Playing a Part

By Marian Schwartz   and Daria Wilke   

Scholastic Inc | ISBN 9780545726078 Hardcover
176 Pages | 5.77" x 8.56" | Ages 12 & Up

Scholastic Inc | ISBN 9780545726085 Ebook
176 Pages | Ages 12 & Up

The first contemporary Russian YA novel translated into English - a brave coming-out, coming-of-age story.

In June 2013, the Russian government passed laws prohibiting "gay propaganda," threatening jail time and fines to offenders. That same month, in spite of these harsh laws, a Russian publisher released Playing a Part, a young adult novel with openly gay characters. It was a brave, bold act, and now this groundbreaking story has been translated for American readers.

In Playing a Part, Grisha adores everything about the Moscow puppet theater where his parents work, and spends as much time there as he can. But life outside the theater is not so wonderful. The boys in Grisha's class bully him mercilessly, and his own grandfather says hateful things about how he's not "masculine" enough. Life goes from bad to worse when Grisha learns that Sam, his favourite actor and mentor, is moving: He's leaving the country to escape the extreme homophobia he faces in Russia.

How Grisha overcomes these trials and writes himself a new role in his own story is heartfelt, courageous, and hopeful.

Raves & reviews:

Advance praise for Playing a Part:

"A devastatingly affecting portrait of a boy on a quest to find pride in his queerness, a misfit in a society where there is no bigger danger than not measuring up as a man." -Bill Konigsberg, award-winning author of Openly Straight and Out of the Pocket

"Russia may seem a world away, but Daria Wilke's beautiful novel brings home the fact that in matters of the heart, we are very close indeed." -James Lecesne, co-founder of The Trevor Project and editor of The Letter Q