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Staff Reviews

(Content Warning: Instances of extreme transphobia, homophobia, suicidal ideation and physical assault) This own voices debut is a look at what it is like to be a trans-masculine teen in high school. All Pony wants is to be a normal guy. All I wanted was to wrap him in a blanket and protect him from the world. A twist on the classic rom-com, which helps to benefit actual trans teens through the author's STAY GOLD FUND. Pick this one up and fall in love Pony. He's a keeper.  

— From What Makena is reading


Debut author Tobly McSmith delivers a coming-of-age teen love story about a transgender boy who’s going stealth at his new Texas high school and a cisgender girl who is drawn to him, even as she’s counting down the days until graduation. Perfect for fans of David Levithan, Becky Albertalli, and Jenny Han.

Pony just wants to fly under the radar during senior year. Tired from all the attention he got at his old school after coming out as transgender, he’s looking for a fresh start at Hillcrest High. But it’s hard to live your best life when the threat of exposure lurks down every hallway and in every bathroom.

Georgia is beginning to think there’s more to life than cheerleading. She plans on keeping a low profile until graduation…which is why she promised herself that dating was officially a no-go this year.

Then, on the very first day of school, the new guy and the cheerleader lock eyes. How is Pony supposed to stay stealth when he wants to get close to a girl like Georgia? How is Georgia supposed to keep her promise when sparks start flying with a boy like Pony?

Funny and poignant, clear-eyed and hopeful, Stay Gold is a story about finding love—and finding yourself.

About the Author

Tobly McSmith is the co-creator/writer of seven somewhat successful musical parodies, including Friends! The Musical Parody. Tobly was born in Texas. He now lives in New York City with his two cats, Buster and Bananas McSmith. Tobly is proud to be transgender.

Praise For…

“A necessary read that favors compassion and understanding.”
— School Library Journal (starred review)

"A rom-com with heart and purpose."
Publishers Weekly

"[A] compelling #OwnVoices story that is populated by sympathetic characters."
Product Details
ISBN: 9780062943170
ISBN-10: 0062943170
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: May 26th, 2020
Pages: 368
Language: English