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The List of Things That Will Not Change
Twelve-year-old Bea’s parents divorced amiably two years earlier, after her Dad came out, and she divides her time between their two apartments in New York City. Her dad and his easy-going partner, Jesse, are planning their wedding in May, and for only-child Bea this means she may get something she’s always longed for: a sister. Jesse’s daughter, Sonia, lives in California with her mom. Still, Bea has worries, lots of worries, and they’re making her chronic eczema worse. She worries about her sometimes-lonely mom. She worries that Sonia won’t love her as a sister. She worries about conflicts with other kids at school, and about failing yet another weekly spelling test. Bea is mostly truthful with her therapist, Miriam, whom she sees regularly. But she isn’t completely honest, especially about the times she’s been mean, really mean, to other kids--times that adults have missed. In short, almost vignette-like chapters, Stead skillfully balances introspection and action as she reveals Bea’s inner and outer lives. Bea’s deep-set guilt for some of her past actions continually churn, making her worry and itch, itch, itch. Bea is a character so real, her flaws portrayed with rare verisimilitude, that she will resonate deeply with many child readers in this brilliantly crafted story about guilt, forgiveness, and change. ©2020 Cooperative Children's Book Center
CCBC Age Recommendation: Ages 8-12
Age Range: Grades 3-5 (Ages 8-10) Grades 6-8 (Ages 11-13)
Subjects: Divorce Families Fathers Gays Guilt and Remorse Illness and Disease Stepfamilies Worry
Diversity subjects: LGBTQ Character/Topic LGBTQ Family
Random House, Wendy Lamb Books
Publish Year: 2020
CCBC Location: Fiction, Stead
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