Isaac Fitzsimons

Isaac Fitzsimons (Fits-EYE-mons) writes so that every reader can see themselves reflected in literature. His debut novel, The Passing Playbook, received numerous accolades including being named a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection, a Summer/Fall 2021 Indies Introduce title, a Kirkus Best Young Adult Book of 2021, and a 2022 Lambda Literary Award Finalist.

Isaac has previously dabbled in performing sketch comedy and learning how to play three songs on the banjo. His dream vacation would be to travel around Europe via sleeper train and see every top-tier soccer team play a home game. He currently lives outside Washington, DC.

Visit his website here.


  • Standalone
    The Passing Playbook
    Isaac Fitzsimons



The Passing Playbook
"Balancing hope and honesty, this debut deftly handles multiple social themes, including racism, privilege, identity, and accessibility. A game-changing score to the back of the net.”

Kirkus, STARRED Review

"This is a truly charming and heart-warming exploration of friendship, community, and acceptance.”


“An excellent addition to realistic fiction collections. Give to fans of Tobly McSmith’s Stay Gold and Bill Konigsberg’s Openly Straight.”

School Library Journal

"A heartwarming tale of determination and one teen’s path to authentic living."

Horn Book

“[A] heartfelt debut…Fitzsimons's protagonist is easy to love, and he writes with ease and finesse when navigating Spencer's connected identities.”

Shelf Awareness

“A gentle and wholesome depiction of the struggles of passing to fit in, Fitzsimons’ debut The Passing Playbook is a wonderful exploration of what it means to be true to yourself and step up for your right to play—and live —the way you want to.”

The Nerd Daily

“Equal parts heartwarming and funny, this delightful debut romance is not to be missed.”


“A sharply observant and vividly drawn debut. I loved every minute I spent in this story, and I’ve never rooted harder for a jock in my life.”

Becky Abertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Love, Simon

“The Passing Playbook feels like a simultaneous warm hug and a lightning strike of courage. Isaac writes from the heart, creating characters you will love and cheer on. This is a wonderful debut!”

Kacen Callender, National Book Award winner and author of Felix Ever After

“A big heart of a book about how acts of courage — both small and large — can be so empowering. It’ll leave readers feeling both loved and hopeful."

Aiden Thomas, the New York Times bestselling author of Cemetery Boys

“The Passing Playbook is a literary hat trick: a story of finding your voice, living your truth, and being yourself, all in one joyful package. This one's a keeper!”

Adib Khorram, award-winning author of Darius the Great Is Not Okay

"This book is a national treasure. I fell in love over and over again: with Spencer and Justice, with Fizsimons’ sharp and witty prose, and a romance that made my heart burst.”

Victoria Lee, author of The Fever King and A Lesson in Vengeance

“The Passing Playbook is a quietly powerful and earnestly hopeful debut. Fitzsimons explores privilege, identity, the complicated relationships we create through family and friends, and discovering the potential our voices have with charm and passion. Teens everywhere will love this one.”

Julian Winters, award-winning author of Running with Lions

"An absolutely perfect story about identity, first love, and finding a voice for yourself. I loved every single page.”

Mason Deaver, bestselling author of I Wish You All the Best and The Ghosts We Keep

“In this remarkable debut, Isaac Fitzsimons perfectly balances a hopeful, captivating story with a charming cast of characters. The Passing Playbook is the pitch-perfect YA romance of the summer.”

Phil Stamper, bestselling author of The Gravity of Us and As Far As You’ll Take Me

Awards & Accolades


The Passing Playbook

Nominee: Lambda Literary Award for Best LGBTQ Young Adult


Junior Library Guild Selection


Indie Next Pick


Amazon Editor's Pick for Best Young Adult


2022 Rainbow Book List Top Ten Title for Young Adults