Cover image for
Beautiful music for ugly children
Cronn-Mills, Kirstin, 1968-

Personal Author:
First edition.
Physical Description:
271 pages ; 21 cm.
Gabe has always identified as a boy, but he was born with a girl's body. With his new public access radio show gaining in popularity, Gabe struggles with romance, friendships, and parents--all while trying to come out as transgendered. An audition for a station in Minneapolis looks like his ticket to a better life in the big city. But his entire future is threatened when several violent guys find out Gabe, the popular DJ, is also Elizabeth from school.
Reading Level:
HL 600 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 3.9 8.0 156907.
Lexile Number:
HL 600 Lexile.
Pub Date:
Flux, [2012]



Home Location
Material Type
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Central - Houston Public Library Teen/Young Adult Fiction Teen Book CRONN
Central - Houston Public Library Teen/Young Adult Fiction Teen Book CRONN
Vinson - Houston Public Library Teen/Young Adult Fiction Teen Book CRONN
Henington-Alief - Houston Public Library Teen/Young Adult Fiction Teen Book CRONN

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"This is Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, on community radio 90.3, KZUK. I'm Gabe. Welcome to my show." My birth name is Elizabeth, but I'm a guy. Gabe. My parents think I've gone crazy and the rest of the world is happy to agree with them, but I know I'm right. I've been a boy my whole life. When you think about it, I'm like a record. Elizabeth is my A side, the song everybody knows, and Gabe is my B side--not heard as often, but just as good. It's time to let my B side play. .

Author Notes

Kirstin Cronn-Millsis the author of Minnesota Book Award finalistThe Sky Always Hears Me And the Hills Don't Mindand Beautiful Music for Ugly Children. Cronn-Mills received her doctorate degree from Iowa State University and currently teaches in North Mankato, Minnesota, where she lives with her husband and son.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gabe has a secret. He is really Liz. Born a female, he is cautiously beginning his transition to male. Only his parents and his lifelong best friend, Paige, know. But when a girl at school, where he is callously called that lesbo chick, discovers the truth and outs Gabe, things become difficult, if not downright dangerous. In the meantime, Gabe is a part-time DJ on the local community radio station, where his show, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, is fast becoming an underground hit. Will his fans reject him when they, too, discover the truth? What, as Gabe thinks in difficult circumstances, would Elvis do? Obviously, there are nuggets of humor in an otherwise serious story. Cronn-Mills' thoughtful book joins a small but growing body of literature that gives faces to this traditionally invisible minority. Despite a few incidents that require a willing suspension of disbelief, the story is a model of integrity, and Gabe is an always appealing character.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Gabe Wilson has a lot going on. He's about to graduate from high school, he's just started hosting a radio show, and he's got a crush on his best friend Paige. Overshadowing it all: everyone knows him as Elizabeth. Cronn-Miller, whose The Sky Always Hears Me and the Hills Don't Mind featured a teenage girl grappling with her sexuality, has clearly done her research. Gabe's difficulties-from dealing with freaked-out parents and bigoted classmates to navigating love, sex, and whether to use the men's or women's room-are well documented. So much so, in fact, that the book sometimes feels like a PSA exposing the challenges a trans teen faces. Cronn-Miller never minimizes those challenges (Gabe faces some terrifying abuse), avoiding a too-happy ending, but Gabe and Paige's supportive friendship and Gabe's love of music shine through. Gabe spins Elvis, Devo, and Prince on the radio, and old media meets new as his fans come together via Facebook. It's impossible not to root for Gabe as he finds the courage to live the life he wants. Ages 12-up. Agent: Amy Tipton, Signature Literary Agency. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-Elizabeth Williams knows he has always been a guy, and if he can only get through graduation in a few weeks, he can begin his new life as Gabe. He is transitioning, but his family refuses to acknowledge him, and his classmates bully him. The only person who supports him is his BFF, Paige, and, predictably, he has a crush on her but can't take a chance on ruining their friendship. Gabe is a music geek, and his ultra-cool, grandfatherly neighbor John, a former DJ, lands him a community radio show, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children. Gabe DJs as himself, and after working up the courage to tell John, who is fine with him being a "triangle," they put together a show about A sides and B sides, which becomes popular with the Ugly Children Brigade fan club and a running theme in the book. But when Gabe has a date with one of his fans, and she recognizes him as Liz, word spreads and some fans drop out of the Facebook club, while others get violent. When John is critically hurt defending Gabe at an Ugly Children event, the offenders are arrested, John's long-lost daughter shows up, Gabe's parents have a change of heart, and Paige and Gabe may have a chance together. While this transgender coming-of-age tale wraps up a bit too quickly, the quirky relationship between Gabe and John and their shared music obsession elevates this story above the average problem novel.-Betty S. Evans, Missouri State University, Springfield (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Open publication - Free publishing - More dj Excerpted from Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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