Monday, July 6, 2020

The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead

Thanks to KidLitExchange, Rebecca Stead, Random House Kids, and Wendy Lamb Books for providing a copy of this book to review. All opinions are my own.

Bea’s parents have been divorced for two years when her father announces he’s marrying his partner, Jesse. Bea is thrilled because after ten years of being an only child, she’s getting a sister!

Sonia, her soon-to-be-sister, is also ten. She’s not used to dividing time between parents like Bea is, and Sonia’s mother lives across the country. Bea knows she needs to be understanding, but her excitement overcomes her.

Bea also struggles to keep her excitement under wraps around her mother, who still loves Bea’s father “in a way”. Bea thinks everyone should be excited to celebrate love, but she’s finding out the hard way that it’s not always the case.

Stead has the power to make the simplest statements incredibly emotional. All the pieces of Bea’s life come together to make a beautiful, powerful book.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

How to Be a Girl in the World by Caela Carter

How to Be a Girl in the World by Caela Carter publishes August 11, 2020 from Harper Collins Childrens Books. Thanks to @kidlitexchange, @caelacarter, and @harpercollinsch for sharing this ARC!

Lydia wears long sleeves and long pants even though it's summer. She's tired of the comments boys were making about her body, and covering it is the only way she knows how to get them to stop. Lydia can't tell anyone how she feels, because her friends think she should be flattered by male attention. Even her telling her mom isn't an option, because Lydia feels weird when her mom's boyfriend hugs her a little too long.

It's enough to make Lydia think she's crazy, or wrong, or making it up. When her mom surprises her with a fixer-upper house after living in apartments for so long, Lydia feels a glimmer of hope, that this change will set others in motion. Once she actually visits the house, Lydia feels even better - there's magic in that house, and she's determined to harness it to keep her - and her body - safe.

Reading this book was pretty tough, because it's very real, and I think all women have stories like Lydia's. I know I do, and I never shared them with anyone because I also thought maybe I was overreacting, or wrong. It makes me hopeful that books like this exist for girls now, so they can read a story and know what they're feeling is legitimate and they should speak up and have the right to feel safe and secure wherever they are. I think this is a necessary read for everyone, especially young girls and anyone who works with them, around them, or raises them. Let's empower our youth

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Rick by Alex Gino

Rick is starting middle school with one friend, but he’s starting to realize Jeff might not be the best friend. Jeff is judgmental and teases Rick for everything he is or isn’t. But when Rick decides he wants to join the school’s Rainbow Spectrum club to figure out who he really is, he realizes that Jeff is flat-out hateful. While Rick learns to accept others as they are, his relationship with his grandfather blossoms in a beautiful way. This is a wonderful middle grade book about acceptance, questioning who you are, and finding yourself.