Books by Lorie Ann Grover

Books by Lorie Ann Grover
Kirkus Starred Review, Firstborn: "A fantasy that reads like a lost history tome and deftly examines issues of gender...An engrossing story with welcome depths."


"Cool, sassy, brave, heartbreakingly tender and loyal. Do yourself a favor. Get the book." Nikki Grimes

"Intense, rich writing and poignant themes! Beautiful!" Joanna Marple

Kirkus Starred Review
A fantasy that reads like a lost history tome and deftly examines issues of gender...An engrossing story with welcome depths."

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Tiadone was born female, but her father declared her male because she was the firstborn and their community has always treated her that way. As she reaches puberty, she leaves to go on a year-long assignment as a border guard. Although she has always identified as male, the Creator seems to have other plans. Some of her female traits are developing anyway, and she must hide them from the others near her. Grover's world-building is flawless and enchanting. The issues that Tiadone must face are relevant for all adolescents who are learning to be true to themselves. Jorjeana Marie's narration is relaxed yet emotional during this rocky adventure. Whether listeners are looking for an adventure or fantasy, they will not be disappointed in this selection. This will make a great addition to a high school or public library collection.—Elizabeth L. Kenyon, Merrillville High School, IN --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

In order to avoid gendercide, Tiadone struggles with her life as a declared male for the benefit of society under oppressive rulers.

Where does a firstborn girl fit in a world dominated by men? When Tiadone was born, her parents had two choices: leave their daughter outside the community to die in the wilds, or raise her as male and force her to suppress all feminine traits. Now, as the first female living as male in her village, Tiadone must prove her father didn't make a mistake by letting her live. As her male initiation approaches, Tiadone knows every eye on the community is on her, and desperately wishes to belong and finally be accepted.---But at every step, traditional feminine gifts and traits emerge, and the bird she's been twined with is seen as a sign of evil. Worse, as Tiadone completes her rites, she finds she is drawn to her male best friend in ways that are very much in line with the female gender. Confused and desperate, Tiadone tries to become what she must be

while dealing with what she indeed has become: a young woman who may be able to stand up to her despotic rulers and uncover her real purpose in life.

Reader Review, Creazian
"This reminded me of hunger games and a little bit about the Chinese culture. So this book was exciting to me. In the Chinese culture, many parents want a boy, so oftentimes, a girl is abandoned under the one child law. For me personally, I have a grandma who thinks girls are worthless. Whenever she calls my house from China, she always wants to speak to my brother and she will go so far as to hang up on me if I talk to her instead.
So I can kind of relate to Tiadone in the book and together, we went on a journey."

Regarding Gendercide
Two years ago, the United Nations declared October 11th to be International Day of the Girl. The UN has said, “Girls face discrimination and violence every day across the world. The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.”   

Bravo, to the United Nations for this intentional focus. With their estimate of 200 million girls missing around the world due to gendercide, dowry infractions, and forced abortions of girls we need to stop and think and act.

Since the publication of FIRSTBORN, inspired by my outrage over gendercide, I've been trumpeting the work of All Girls Allowed. The nonprofit funds young women, pregnant with females, so they can carry their babies full term and keep them. They work to stop the intentional annihilation of girls. And then there's the Global Gendercide Advocacy and Awareness Project who takes internships, rgz! Or there's the movie which is absolutely chilling. Take a look at the trailer for IT'S A GIRL and then watch the full movie on NETFLIX.


Family Fiction Article, 12/13

Firstborn sprang from a news article I read concerning gendercide. I was horrified to learn that over 37 million girls are missing in China alone, due to the One Child Policy enacted in 1980. The work of All Girls Allowed and the Global Gendercide Advocacy and Alliance Group provided further chilling information regarding the killing of females at birth. My anger brought my novel to form. I wanted to write a fiction work to bring light to gendercide while declaring the value of our daughters. The dedication of my book is: To firstborn females, may they all be allowed to live.


Oh, the setting is a high desert! In Western Washington it is a short trip over the Cascades to reach high desert sun and warmth. I have gone on many writing retreats in Eastern Washington, and our family has vacationed in high desert areas, such as Oregon, Utah, and Arizona. I love the starkness, the curving color and line, and the wildlife, especially, the birds.


I did research on cultures who assign, or declare, females to work and function as males whenever there is a shortage of men. In various groups, these women perform the role of men their entire lives for the benefit of their society. That fascinated me, and I found it to be a fresh concept for my fiction. My character wouldn’t be hiding her sex, but she and her community would be denying its existence.
I also researched ancient Sparta. There I found the practice of removing young boys from families to send them to harsh military camps. That became the perfect life experience to test my female, living as a declared male.


Tiadone is firstborn female, a first to be declared male by the oppressive, ruling Madronians. Her father chose the declaration to avoid being forced to leave his newborn daughter to die in the elements. All believe her femininity is removed by the amulet she wears about her hips. Nearing puberty, Tiadone readies to serve the community by guarding the Perimeter with her bird and other boy patrollers. There she must exhibit all the bravery and strength of a male. She must play the game under the harsh treatment of the rulers and the ostracism of the other patrollers. All the while, her body is maturing and her femininity is growing harder to suppress. She searches for religious truth, her purpose, her identity, and her worth. 



Unknown said...

will there be a sequel? it ends on a cliffhanger...

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Ah, thanks for the encouragement, Tiffany. I am finishing the early draft of Secondborn, but I don't know if it will be published. We'll see!

Sami said...

Excited to hear you have been working on a sequel! My niece and I were just discussing our mutual love for Firstborn. Please, please publish Secondborn. Even if you can only publish as an ebook. We really want to know what happens to Tia and Vinti.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Thank you so much, Sami! I'm finishing Thirdborn and mulling over publication options. Your encouragement is timely for sure. :) Happy new year to you and yours!

arayasunshine20 said...

I will say I read this book beck in 2014, and was just thinking of trying to find it again and wondered if there was more out yet, I do hope to ne day see more books in this series even if it has been so long so long in the release. I loved this book and want to read more.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, arayasunshine20. And for reading and remembering FIRSTBORN. I've written SECONDBORN and THIRDBORN and am looking for the best publication options. Your encouragement is awesome. Happy reading to you!

Bailey Johnson said...

Just wanted to let you know that your book firstborn was one of the books that got me interested in reading in middle school and whenever you do publish the sequel I’ll be one of the first buyers. Thanks for getting me into reading.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Thank you, Bailey! How wonderful! Thanks for taking the time to let me know. It will be lovely to find a way to do the sequels. Here's hoping!