An old-timey black and white image if a young girl looking up at the sky laying on the grass. She has curly hair. This photo is collaged on a  blue background with a piece of paper that reads the title: The Girl in the Middle: Growing Up Between Black and White, Rich and Poor

Girl in the Middle

An old-timey black and white image if a young girl looking up at the sky laying on the grass. She has curly hair. This photo is collaged on a  blue background with a piece of paper that reads the title: The Girl in the Middle: Growing Up Between Black and White, Rich and Poor

Cover of “The Girl in the Middle: Growing Up Between Black and White, Rich and Poor”, 2023 Heritage Toronto Book Award nominee. Cover designed by Kara Klontz.

Author: Anais Granofsky

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

The Girl in the Middle is the story of a child who spends her life navigating between two very different worlds in Toronto. Alone, Anais and her mother teetered on the poverty line, sharing a mattress in a single room in social housing in Parkdale, while her grandparents lived on the mansion-lined Bridle Path. As Anais grows up, she spends weekends having lunch with her grandmother by the pool, while during the week, she and her mother often don’t know where their next meal will come from. Anais realises that if she wants to be loved, she has to switch identities to please each of the adult women in her family. It isn’t until she gets a role in the ground-breaking, Toronto-set and filmed TV series Degrassi Junior High that Anais finds a third world—her own—and begins to define an identity for herself

Exploring Anais’s life as well as the history of her parents, The Girl in the Middle offers a powerful lens to explore how two families, one white and one Black, faced systemic oppression spanning multiple generations and came out at opposite economic classes—and how they clashed when they shared a granddaughter. It captures a portrait of Toronto in the post war era, including life in The Ward and the flourishing Kensington Market, as well as the challenges of poverty in the 1980s in Parkdale and what that was like through the eyes of a child.


About the Author:

Anais Granofsky is an actor, director, producer and writer. Best known for her role as Lucy Fernandez on Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High, she has directed and starred in a number of films. She is also developing a fictional TV series loosely based on her childhood.

The Girl in the Middle is Granofsky’s first book. Granofsky lived in social housing with her mom, a Black woman, who raised her mostly alone. But on weekends, the actor would visit her dad’s parents, one of the wealthiest Jewish families in Toronto, at their mansion. Granofsky joined Tom Power to share her story and how acting helped her feel like she finally belonged.