Act Cool

By Tobly McSmith,

Book cover of Act Cool

Book description

*Named a Rainbow Book List Title*

A trans teen walks the fine line between doing whatever it takes for his acting dream and staying true to himself in this moving, thought-provoking YA novel from the acclaimed author of Stay Gold.

Aspiring actor August Greene just landed a coveted spot at…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

2 authors picked Act Cool as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Another YA book set in New York, but this time in the world of a performing arts school. August Greene, a trans boy from a conservative Pennsylvania community, not only gets accepted into a prestigious performing arts academy in the big city but gets to live his authentic life while doing so. Trouble is, his parents don’t know he’s trans. McSmith is heavily involved in the NY theatre scene, and he writes with insight and accuracy about both trans issues and trans representation in the performing arts. 

From James' list on the world of trans masculine teens.

I couldn’t put Act Cool down. On the surface, it’s a fun look into the world of a prestigious performing arts high school in New York City. The dramas on and off the stage are addictive and I was totally invested in every twist and turn. But what makes Act Cool so special is the main character, August, a transgender boy who leaves his conservative mid-western parents to live with his free-spirited aunt in New York and follow his dream of becoming an actor. August is such a well-developed, likable, complex, and relatable character and his relationships with his aunt…

Want books like Act Cool?

Our community of 11,000+ authors has personally recommended 100 books like Act Cool.

Browse books like Act Cool

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in topics and characters, New York City, and trans man?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about topics and characters, New York City, and trans man.

Topics And Characters Explore 123 books about topics and characters
New York City Explore 1,082 books about New York City
Trans Man Explore 12 books about trans man