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Publisher's Summary

An achingly honest and frequently hilarious coming-of-age novel about an Arab American trans swimmer fighting to keep their head above water in a landlocked Midwestern town.

River McIntyre has grown up down the street from Sea Planet, an infamous marine life theme park slowly going out of business in small-town Ohio. When a chance encounter with a happy, healthy queer person on the annual field trip lands River literally in the shark tank, they must admit the truth: They don’t know who they are—only what they’ve been told to be. This sets off a wrenching journey of self-discovery, from internalized homophobia and gender dysphoria, through layers of coming out, affirmation surgery, and true freakin’ love.

“River is the most emotionally engaging character I've read in a long time, and this novel is a deep and comprehensive exploration of the journey transgender people trek through the confining world they're born into. Eye-opening, heartfelt, and real—with a massive payoff of true love.” (A.S. King, author of Dig, winner of the Michael L. Printz Award)

©2022 Cory McCarthy (P)2022 Listening Library

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What listeners say about Man o' War

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Amazing! Heartbreaking and touching

This story aches and frees. Fightmaster’s performance is perfection. Highly recommend especially to trans, queer, questioning and those seeking to understand.

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A must read/listen for all humans!!

Absolutely adore this book and it's many jewels on being your truest self. Thank you Ms. Chang. I learned so many interesting facts about marine life and went into a research hole on bluebottles aka Man O' Wars, so much that im considering them for a tattoo. I'd never read anything by this author but jumped at the chance when I saw a post by the person READING the book. Fight, does a beautiful job narrating this story and I'm excited to read/listen to more stories from the author. Well done!!

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A good but painful book

This book took two months for me to finish. As a trans man, the entire book was painful. It was a reminder of who I was, who I had to struggle to become, and who I am now. So many memories are common between River and me. We both we entirely shut down due to dysphoria. And then having to watch River spend nearly 4/5 of the book unhappy and angry as they tried to figure themselves out gutted me. Yes, the book ended on a happy note, but still it was a horribly painful book. As a point of note, if you are not transmasculine, I doubt this book will punch as hard. In fact, people might find it quite interesting and educational. But, River's journey will probably be difficult for any trans man.

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Revelatory!!

As someone with zero experience as anything other than a "Dinosaur", this book opened my eyes to thr struggles, fights, pain, joy, and happiness that a Trans person goes through to find themselves. Cory is an absolute master storyteller, navigating the reader through so many emotions without losing them in the process. River is an immensely likeable protagonist and Indigo is an amazingly loveable person!!!! I can't recommend this book enough

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Beautiful, inspiring story!

This is such an important book, and I am glad that it is out in the world. Main character River is an imperfect teen navigating the complexity of discovering who they are. This is the kind of story that expands perspectives and builds empathy for all the ways that there are to live and be in the world. Beautifully written by Cory McCarthy, and powerfully read by E.R. Fightmaster. Highly recommend!