The List of Things That Will Not Change
The List of Things That Will Not Change
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Annotation: EIGHT STARRED REVIEWS! The reassuring book kids and families need right now. "An absolute original . . . a story that ki... more
Catalog Number: #206975
Format: Library Binding
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: Random House
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 224
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: 1-10-193810-2
ISBN 13: 978-1-10-193810-2
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
Bea, 12, reflects on life since her parents' divorce when she was 8.Bea, who is white, tells her story in a direct, conversational tone, with age-appropriate insights. Mostly she describes interactions with family members near and far, including her parents and her father's partner, the aunt, uncle, and cousins with whom she and her parents spend an annual two-week summer vacation, and the new sister by marriage whose visit she eagerly anticipates. Glimpses of her school experiences focus on frustrations or antagonisms, like her struggle with spelling or the times that she allows her anger to spill out and cause (minor) injury to others. Stead packs in plenty of issues—divorce, therapy, a gay parent, homophobia, and a painful case of eczema—but her prose never descends to moralizing or moaning. Instead, Bea's authentic, accessible voice and smooth interweaving of anecdotes keep the tone relatively light and make for a sometimes-amusing, sometimes-poignant exploration of realistic contemporary experiences and concerns. The acknowledgements that not every problem can be solved and that doing a bad thing does not necessarily make someone a bad person will reassure readers that they too can find balance and comfort in complicated circumstances. Supported by multidimensional, sympathetic family and friends, Bea ultimately finds that her list of certainties provides the necessary foundation for personal growth—and change.Uplifting without sentimentality, timely not trendy, and utterly engaging. (Fiction. 8-12)
Publishers Weekly
When eight-year-old Bea-s father comes out as gay, her divorcing parents give her a notebook containing -The List of Things That Will Not Change,- an accounting that helps the girl navigate her shifting family landscape. Two years later, Bea is thrilled when her restaurateur dad and his adored boyfriend, Jesse, announce their engagement; the only child has always wanted a sister, and she can-t wait to welcome Jesse-s daughter, Sonia, into the family. But Sonia, who lives in California, has complicated feelings about the situation that surface when she arrives in New York City. It-s one of many interpersonal challenges that deeply sensitive Bea-an eczema sufferer who wears her heart on her sleeve-faces that year, contributing to growing feelings of guilt and worry. Newbery Medalist Stead-s knack for authentic tween voices (-I didn-t think I could live through that moment of everyone looking at me-) shines through in a first-person narration that explores Bea-s rich inner life as she learns, with help, to manage her anxiety. Bea-s interactions with her loving community convey particularly well-drawn dynamics that support themes of building resilience and savoring joy; together, these insightful moments layer into an affecting story of significant middle grade change. Ages 8-12. Agent: Faye Bender, the Book Group. (Apr.)

Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Bea, 12, reflects on life since her parents' divorce when she was 8.Bea, who is white, tells her story in a direct, conversational tone, with age-appropriate insights. Mostly she describes interactions with family members near and far, including her parents and her father's partner, the aunt, uncle, and cousins with whom she and her parents spend an annual two-week summer vacation, and the new sister by marriage whose visit she eagerly anticipates. Glimpses of her school experiences focus on frustrations or antagonisms, like her struggle with spelling or the times that she allows her anger to spill out and cause (minor) injury to others. Stead packs in plenty of issues—divorce, therapy, a gay parent, homophobia, and a painful case of eczema—but her prose never descends to moralizing or moaning. Instead, Bea's authentic, accessible voice and smooth interweaving of anecdotes keep the tone relatively light and make for a sometimes-amusing, sometimes-poignant exploration of realistic contemporary experiences and concerns. The acknowledgements that not every problem can be solved and that doing a bad thing does not necessarily make someone a bad person will reassure readers that they too can find balance and comfort in complicated circumstances. Supported by multidimensional, sympathetic family and friends, Bea ultimately finds that her list of certainties provides the necessary foundation for personal growth—and change.Uplifting without sentimentality, timely not trendy, and utterly engaging. (Fiction. 8-12)
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 4-7
Lexile: 680L

EIGHT STARRED REVIEWS! The reassuring book kids and families need right now.

"An absolute original . . . a story that kids will love." --R. J. Palacio, bestselling author of Wonder

At a time when everything is changing for Bea and her family, the important things will always stay the same. A soon-to-be classic by the Newbery Award-winning author of When You Reach Me.


After her parents' divorce, Bea's life became different in many ways. But she can always look back at the list she keeps in her green notebook to remember the things that will stay the same. The first and most important: Mom and Dad will always love Bea, and each other.

When Dad tells Bea that he and his boyfriend, Jesse, are getting married, Bea is thrilled. Bea loves Jesse, and when he and Dad get married, she'll finally (finally!) have what she's always wanted--a sister. Even though she's never met Jesse's daughter, Sonia, Bea is sure that they'll be "just like sisters anywhere."

As the wedding day approaches, Bea will learn that making a new family brings questions, surprises, and joy, and readers will discover why the New York Times called Rebecca Stead a "writer of great feeling."

"An undeniably beautiful book." --The New York Times

"No author writing today observes young lives with more clarity, tenderness, and grace." --Newbery Medalist Katherine Applegate, author of The One and Only Ivan

"Stead truly understands the inner life of kids." --Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly, author of Hello, Universe and You Go First


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