Heartwarming Middle Grade Read

The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead

Publication Date: April 7, 2020

Summary from NetGalley:

“Things are changing, Bea. But there’s still a lot you can count on. Okay? Things that won’t EVER change.”

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.”

ARC provided by Random House Children’s Publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this heartwarming story about a young girl coming to grips with the changes in her life. It is beautifully written and feels so incredibly real that you could almost feel like you were spending time with Bea and her family.

Bea is a lovely young lady, who has issues, but she is learning to deal with them. I loved the supportive network that surrounds her, her parents, her babysitter Sheila, her dad’s boyfriend Jesse and her therapist, as well as her friends. So many supportive adults, I just loved seeing that. I also loved the fact that Bea is a worrier, which I think many kids are, but she is learning to deal with it. Plus she has eczema, which I don’t think I have run across in a book before. Her dreams of having a sister don’t quite work out at first, but she and Sonia are well on their way to becoming the sisters they both deserve.

The story is great. It is mostly just a small slice of Bea’s life since the divorce and leading up to her dad’s wedding. There are flashbacks/memories of things from her past that still bother her. But there is lots of things going on in the present as well. This is a quiet book, not a lot of fast action or excitement, but it is so heartwarming and emotional that I think middle grade kids will just enjoy it for that alone.

A wonderful book that I think kids will enjoy, especially the message of love and friendship.

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