The Passing Playbook

$10.99 USD

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Love, Simon meets Bend It Like Beckham in this feel-good contemporary romance about a trans athlete who must decide between fighting for his right to play and staying stealth. 

Fifteen-year-old Spencer Harris is a proud nerd, an awesome big brother, and a David Beckham in training. He’s also transgender. After transitioning at his old school leads to a year of isolation and bullying, Spencer gets a fresh start at Oakley, the most liberal private school in Ohio.

At Oakley, Spencer seems to have it all: more accepting classmates, a decent shot at a starting position on the boys’ soccer team, great new friends, and maybe even something more than friendship with one of his teammates. The problem is, no one at Oakley knows Spencer is trans—he’s passing.

But when a discriminatory law forces Spencer’s coach to bench him, Spencer has to make a choice: cheer his team on from the sidelines or publicly fight for his right to play, even though it would mean coming out to everyone—including the guy he’s falling for. 


Isaac Fitzsimons is a lifetime dabbler in the arts. His background includes performing sketch comedy in college, learning how to play three songs on the banjo, and, of course, writing. He currently lives outside Washington, DC, and does research for an arts advocacy nonprofit in the city.


An Indie Next Pick
Kirkus Best Book of 2021

* “Balancing hope and honesty, this debut deftly handles multiple social themes, including racism, privilege, identity, and accessibility. A game-changing score to the back of the net.” – Kirkus, starred review

“Fitzsimons’ debut novel treats gender, religion, sports, and family dynamics with a deft hand, using nuanced character building while setting up a high-stakes narrative that circumvents tropes of physical violence and trauma. This is a truly charming and heart-warming exploration of friendship, community, and acceptance.”
An excellent addition to realistic fiction collections. Give to fans of Tobly McSmith’s Stay Gold and Bill Konigsberg’s Openly Straight.”
School Library Journal

“Debut author Fitzsimons’s conversational writing style invites empathy for the cast of clearly drawn characters and their journeys of self-discovery…A heartwarming tale of determination and one teen’s path to authentic living.” —The Horn Book

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