My favorite books by Rebecca Stead are without a doubt LIAR & SPY and WHEN YOU REACH ME. Would her new story, THE LIST OF THINGS THAT WILL NOT CHANGE, surpass those previous titles? Keep reading to find out.
Gay marriage has been explored before in middle grade books, most notably Richard Peck’s THE BEST MAN. Here though the young protagonist is a female. Bea’s parents have been divorced for two years. She has become accustomed to life in two different homes. You learn early on that Bea is looking forward to the marriage of her dad to another man.
The story is a quiet one with most of the plot relayed through reminiscing about the past. You’ll be introduced to other characters who have made a big impact on Bea, including her counselor/ therapist Miriam. You’ll also learn of events that still bother Bea deep down, ones she hopes to resolve by the wedding day.
Many of the chapters are short and they each bring understanding to Bea and her family. An interesting read for sure, but for me it didn’t quite surpass my two favorite stories from Rebecca Stead.
BOOK BIRTHDAY: April 7, 2020 PAGE COUNT: 224
THE OFFICIAL PLOT
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.”
FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT
THE LIST OF THINGS THAT WILL NOT CHANGE by Rebecca Stead
- First person narration is a tough one to pull off, but here it is done without a hitch. It’s like Bea is sitting in your living room telling you her story. A kid voice the whole way.
- The beginning of this novel is revisited at the end. The sound of corn growing provides the bond.
- Bea’s therapist was my favorite character. She always had the right words to address each of Bea’s concerns, helping her open up more along the way.
- Many kids will find familiarity with the divorce theme and how Bea copes.
- Bea has a troublesome skin condition known as eczema. I’ve come across many kids dealing with it and this story should help them realize they are not alone.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
To learn more about Rebecca Stead visit her entertaining web site. There you will discover:
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