LB Middle School Book Talk Promotes Acceptance and Builds Connections

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Long Beach Middle School hosted its second annual book talk for parents, students, staff members and district officials on Friday, April 28. The featured book was “Gracefully Grayson,” by Ami Polonsky, and participants discussed the theme, "What if who you are on the outside doesn't match who you are on the inside?”

“Gracefully Grayson” tells the story of an adolescent who comes into her own as a transgender girl and experiences struggles as well as strengths. Noting the importance of the book’s messages, Principal Paul Romanelli stated, “Identity is an issue that many middle school students struggle with, and we all have our own unique journey. At Long Beach Middle School, we want all students to know that they are welcome and accepted!”  

Students, teachers, administrators, Board of Education members and parents met in the middle school library and broke into small groups. Together they explored the main character’s journey and reflected on their own analyses of the story.

The main objectives of the book talks are to bring parents, students and staff together to connect over reading each year. “We love to welcome the community into our school,” said Mr. Romanelli.