Nothing Ever Happens Here

Yellow Jacket. May 2021. 272p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781499811810.
Gr 5 Up–In this touching story, a girl navigates school, friends, and relationships after her father comes out as transgender. Isabel (Izzy) Palmer lives in the small town of Littlehaven, where “nothing ever happens.” That is, until Izzy’s father, Danielle, comes out to her family as a trans woman. At first, Izzy and her older sister, Megan, are upset. Izzy tries to hide her feelings, while Megan expresses her anger with both parents. But with the passing of time and help from one of Danielle’s friends, the girls become more understanding. Then Izzy’s classmates find out about Danielle, and life at school becomes uncomfortable. This title is well written and realistic, with important messages about acceptance, honesty, and family dynamics. Readers will empathize with Izzy and her struggles and will enjoy watching her realize that Danielle is still the same person she always was. The experiences of the characters feel authentic, and the writing style and vocabulary are perfect for middle grade readers. The race of the characters is not mentioned.
VERDICT A delightful and refreshing read about a middle grader with a trans parent; an excellent addition to all middle grade collections.

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