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Amazing Grace


4.35  ·  Rating details ·  13,135 ratings  ·  865 reviews
Grace loves stories, whether they're from books, movies, or the kind her grandmother tells. When her school decides to perform Peter Pan, Grace longs to play the lead, but her classmates point out that Peter was a boy. Besides, he wasn't black.

With the support of her family, Grace learns that she can be anything she wants to be, and the results are amazing!

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published 2016 by Dial Books (first published 1991)
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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  13,135 ratings  ·  865 reviews

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Bionic Jean
"Grace was a girl who loved stories."

From this simple sentence Mary Hoffman goes on to write an inspiring and positive picture book for young children. It is full of optimism; a book with a message. And the message is, to follow your dreams. If you stay true to yourself, you can be whatever you want to be, regardless of what other people say.

Because Grace is a little girl who loves to imagine things, she "lives" her stories. She loves to to act them out, constantly adopting the roles she reads
In many ways, Amazing Grace, written by Mary Hoffman and illustrated by Caroline Binch, is a truly wonderful story for all children, with an inspiring text and evocative, descriptive accompanying illustrations (visuals that while realistic also glow and sparkle with much power of imagination), presenting the important, essential message that anyone can be anything he/she desires to be (any role, any job, any position), regardless of race, gender, social status etc. And I also find it both ...more
Mariah Roze
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a cute story about being able to follow your dreams. Anyone is capable of anything no matter their sex and race. My students enjoyed this book and I loved the message behind it.
Amazing Grace is a truly inspiring story from the mind of Mary Hoffman along with illustrations by Caroline Binch and it is about how an optimistic girl named Grace tries out for the role of Peter Pan even though her classmates thought that she cannot be Peter Pan. Amazing Grace is a truly inspirational story about believing in yourself no matter what other people say.

Mary Hoffman has done a magnificent job at writing this story as I honestly have never read a story that confronts the issues of
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
This lives up to the title. Grace is one amazing girl with an incredible imagination!

She loves to act and creates all sorts or roles and scenes for herself. Sometimes alone, other times with her cat and supportive family. and how I loved her family, encouraging her and letting her imagination thrive!! Even when others put her down her family finds a way to lift her back up and help her defy the odds. This was such a up-lifting book!

The art is well done, and just goes to show the depth or
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful story about a young girl who is encouraged to be anything she wants to be. I greatly enjoyed the message of this book, and then was confused when I came here to Goodreads and saw reviews mentioning how Grace was pictured as playing Hiawatha in the story, as my book contained no illustration of mention of this at all. I then did a search and found that for the 25th Anniversary edition (which is what I have), that illustration was removed from US copies of the book, so apparently the ...more
Eleanor Abbott
This is an excellent picture book that is perfect support for reflecting realities. It follows the story of a young black girl - Grace - who loves stories and using her imagination. Something we should be encouraging all children to do. When finding out her class were going to perform the play of Peter Pan she wanted to play Peter. This was immediately shot down by her peers for the fact she was a girl and had brown skin. These are two very current issues that the book then covers in a touching ...more
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book shows how the actions of others can have a negative and positive impact. Grace wants to be Peter Pan in the school play but two children says she cant because she is a girl and is black. Grace goes home sad and dejected, but when she gets home her Mother and Grandma tell her she can be anything she wants to be. Grace feels happier and goes to audition for the part of Peter Pan, the class vote and she is voted as the lead role! This book demonstrates how despite being told she couldnt ...more
An inspiring book about a young girl with an incredible imagination and love of stories. Grace learnt that she could be anything/anyone she wanted to be if she put her mind to it, regardless of her race, gender or what others said. The book subtly tackles modern day racial and gender prejudices from a child's perspective.
The watercolour illustrations in here are just gorgeous--it's lovely to see the tones of black people's skin painted with such care and detail--even the wrinkles on the grandmother's hands and feet! I love the detail of the cat, who is often accompanying Grace on her acting adventures.

This is overall an empowering fun book about a girl named Grace who loves stories--especially acting them out. The first part 0f the book focuses on all the different kinds of parts she loves to play: Joan of Arc,
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Imaginative Young Children & Would-Be Actors
Grace was a girl who loved stories. She loved them when her Nana told them to her, she loved them when she read them herself, and she loved them when they were interpreted for her through film. Always casting herself into the story - invariably with the most exciting role! - Grace is in no doubt as to which part she wants when her teacher announces that her class will be putting on a play about Peter Pan. But when her classmates tell her she cannot play the boy who never grew up because she is a ...more
Gabrielle Sandford-Marshall
Amazing Grace is a touching story, particularly children who engage in imaginative play and storytelling. The protagonist enjoys engaging in role play using her imagination. When she is at school, she is told by a pupil that she can't play Peter Pan in the school play as it's a "boy". Another says she can't because "he isn't black". Her grandmother and mother inform her that she can do anything she put her mind to. Grace attends Romeo and Juliet ballet, with an BAME ballerina playing Juliet. ...more
Dee Dee G
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A book about imagination and knowing you can be anything you want to be.
Terri Johnson
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ks1
A wonderful story that starts with a young girl that loves reading and links reading with other activities such as drama. I felt it really demonstrated a passion for reading. However, it also covers topical topics such as inequalities and how children deal with this in their lives.
I can imagine some of the rich conversations you could get from discussing this book.
This book was wonderful to read.
Mar 27, 2012 rated it liked it
'Amazing Grace' by Mary Hoffman, tells the story of a girl called Grace who has a vivid imagination and loves to recreate famous roles and include her family in the fun. When the school auditions for the role of Peter Pan, Grace decides she wants to try out; despite the prejudices of her classmates, Grace's talents shine through. 'Amazing Grace' explores issues of sexism and racism in a child friendly way in situations that children can relate to.

This story would be useful when teaching
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Title: Amazing Grace

Author: Mary Hoffman

Recommended Ages or grades: Preschool - 7

Amazing Grace is about a young girl named Grace who loves stories. She loves to read and she loves hearing about them. Often times, she would act out these stories playing the exciting parts. She would be Aladdin rubbing the magical lamp, Joan of Arc with her sword, and even pretending to be Hiawatha. One day in school, their teacher was going to put on the play of Peter Pan and Grace wanted to be Peter Pan along
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Grace is disappointed when her friends tell her she can't be Peter-Pan in the school play because she's a girl and she's African American! With the help of her grandmother, Grace wins over the class in auditions! With hard work and determination, you can do anything!
I'm curious to see the 25th anniversary edition without the stereotyping of Hiawatha.
Anastasia Hutson
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing Grace
Review by Anastasia Hutson
Amazing Grace is a contemporary realistic fiction story about a little girl named Grace who loved stories and adventure. She loved hearing stories, making stories and being in stories. She always gave herself the best part. In class they were doing the play, Peter Pan, and Grace wanted to be the best part of the play and be the lead character, Peter. When the teacher asked who wanted to be Peter, Grace raised her hand high and proud for the part as did all
Bianey OYOS
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Amazing Grace is a story about a strong young girl with an immense imagination. In Grace's world there is nothing that can stop her from being anything she wants to be. Her curious immagination is encouraged by her wonderful mother and her grandmother who support her.

Grace loves to read all sorts of stories. As she read about new characters, those characters come alive in her livingroom as she acts them out. Grace is a great performer and when she finds out her class will have a chance to put
Josie Panidou
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An empowering story for any child, or for that matter, any person who's been told they can't do something for whatever reason. I read this story to a year 2 class of mostly white children and they understood all the issues surrounding race and equality. Grace had a dream and she chased that dream. Why shouldn't she be Robin Hood in the play if she wanted to be? It also touches on the reactions of her extended family and how they respond in different ways to the things Grace is told in a ...more
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I needed this book. More than my son needed me to read it to him. I'm so happy that Grace had an excellent support system at home, encouraging her to try out for the Peter Pan role, although her classmates thought otherwise ("You're a girl, a girl can't be Peter Pan" or "You're black. Peter Pan wasn't black"). I love the grandmother telling her that she could be whatever she wanted to be.

Honestly, this is my first time reading a children's book by a black author. Hopefully I'll have the
Rayona Hart-Wilson
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
This book revolves around a young girl named Grace. Grace loves to tell and act out stories. Her school is holding auditions for a play, Peter Pan, and Grace wants to audition for the lead. Her classmates tell her that she can't be Peter Pan because she's a black girl. Her family takes her out to a Romeo and Juliet play to show her that she can do anything, and Juliet is played by a black actress. Grace set her heart out to being Peter Pan, and she got the role and killed it.

This book is suck a
Carys O'Neill
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A book on my want to read list that I can finally take off. I think this story is wonderful as it focuses on all the things young Garce can do! Its wonderful to see ethnic diversity and such a great story with it. It tackles the difficult issues such as sexism and racism that can be seen in many classrooms and shows the strength that Grace and her family display. I especially love how at the end the children have realised their mistakes and learnt, a wonderful message. ...more
Marlaina Jean-Baptiste
Feb 19, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: week-7
Text to Self connection

As a preachers child, I always heard stories around the house, and in church. So, at a early age I was taught to sit still and pay attention when someone is speaking. while my brothers and sisters rarely wanted to hear about anything that was going on, while I sat there imagining how Jesus would be able to as he feed the hungry or healed the blind man. I'd often play church and line up things in my room so they could hear me speak, or even sing a song. I am so proud of
Mar 01, 2017 added it
Shelves: edu-378-spring

I really think that this book is Text-To-World because Grace was told that she couldn't be Peter Pan because she was a girl and because she was black. But let's think about when Hillary Clinton was running for president. Even though she didn't win, people kept saying that she couldn't even win the nomination votes actually run president. But she fooled alot of people. I think that this book is saying that you could do whatever you put your mind to.
Beverly Hendricks
Oct 31, 2019 is currently reading it
Shelves: week-2

Text-to-World Connection

"Amazing Grace", is simply amazing. Grace wants to portray Peter Pan in the school play. Her friends offer her a list of reasons why she cannot play Peter Pan. One friend says, "Peter Pan is not a girl", one friend says ,"Peter Pan is not Black", therefore should cannot be Peter Pan. Grace is upset when she hears the comments. After speaking with her family she realizes she can achieve her acting goal. Gender norms and racial norms will have an adverse effect on a child's
Regina Jackson
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: week-3
Text- to- World

This book is great for the topic of racism and the issue of color-ism. Grace is a perfect example of the many problems we deal with when it comes to the color of our skin. This book would be great to teach kids that no matter what they look like, no matter the color of their skin, no matter their backgrounds they can do anything they want to. I would use this book to teach my students to never stop perusing the things they want.
Monica Beevers
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-kylie
This is an excellent book! Read it!
Yes, she is amazing 💚💚💚
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See also works published under Mary Lassiter

Mary Hoffman is a bestselling British author and reviewer, born in 1945. She is a true enthusiast of Italy and spends a lot of her time there, which shows in her Stravaganza novels: a series currently in publication. In total, she has written over 80 books, including the aforementioned Stravaganza series and the bestselling picture book, Amazing Grace.

Other books in the series

Grace (8 books)
  • Boundless Grace
  • Grace & Family
  • Starring Grace
  • Princess Grace
  • Grace at Christmas
  • Bravo, Grace!
  • Encore, Grace!

News & Interviews

As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of young ...
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