Illinois Authors

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Ami Polonsky

Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Polonsky grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and now lives in Deerfield.

Biography: Ami Polonsky is a 6th grade English teacher, mother to two young children, and author, among other things. A former literacy coach, she remains devoted to guiding children towards a love of books and helping create lifetime readers.

  • """Gracefully Grayson"""
  • -- LGBTQ+ inclusive summer reading list, HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN, 2016
  • -- #2 of 32 Perfect Books To Kick Off Your Book Club, BuzzFeed Books
  • -- Rainbow List Top Ten pick, ALA, 2016
  • -- Best Older Fiction List, Chicago Public Library, 2014
  • -- 30 LGBTQIA+ Children’s Books List, Bustle
  • -- Exceptional Merit Book List, Bank Street Best Books, 2015
  • -- KidsReads Reviewer Pick, 2014
  • -- BFYA list, YALSA, 2015
  • -- Kids’ Indie Next List, Winter 2014
  • -- Rick’s Reads List, #1 New York Times bestselling author Rick Riordan, 2014
  • """Threads"""
  • -- READ ACROSS AMERICA book, National Education Association, March 2018
  • -- Kids’ Indie Next List, Winter 2016

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Young adult readers


Selected Titles

Gracefully Grayson
ISBN: 9781484723654 OCLC: 876466532

Grayson, a transgender twelve-year-old, learns to accept her true identity and share it with the world--

Spin with me /
ISBN: 9780374313500 OCLC: 1123233929

Told in two voices, seventh-graders Essie, in North Carolina for just one semester, and Ollie, a non-binary, "gender weird" classmate, develop a gentle romance while Essie ponders her label.

Threads /
ISBN: 1484746902 OCLC: 945353107

An American girl finds a note written by a Chinese girl forced to work in a factory in Beijing.