Jilly thinks she's figured out how life works. But when her sister, Emma, is born deaf, she realizes how much she still has to learn. The world is going to treat Jilly, who is white and hearing, differently from Emma, just as it will treat them both differently from their Black cousins.
A big fantasy reader, Jilly makes a connection online with another fantasy fan, Derek, who is a Deaf, Black ASL user. She goes to Derek for help with Emma but doesn't always know the best way or time to ask for it.
As she and Derek meet in person, have some really fun conversations, and become friends, Jilly makes some mistakes . . . but comes to understand that it's up to her, not Derek to figure out how to do better next time--especially when she wants to be there for Derek the most.
Within a world where kids like Derek and Emma aren't assured the same freedom or safety as kids like Jilly, Jilly is starting to learn all the things she doesn't know--and by doing that, she's also working to discover how to support her family and her friends.
With You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P!, award-winning author Alex Gino uses their trademark humor, heart, and humanity to show readers how being open to difference can make you a better person, and how being open to change can make you change in the best possible ways.
Twelve-year-old Jilly may know everything there is to know about the characters of Magically Mysterious Vidalia, her favorite book trilogy, but she has a lot to learn about people and dynamics in her own world. In a novel that carries a strong social message, Gino (George) traces the stages of Jilly's enlightenment across multiple events. As Jilly becomes aware of racially charged microaggressions occurring within her family, and a number of police shootings target black teens, she finds her white parents unwilling to discuss either. Her growing friendship with a black, Deaf boy she meets online ("Big-D Deaf is about community and ASL," he informs her) aligns temporally with the discovery that her infant sister has a hearing impairment, but she makes mistakes in her enthusiasm to learn about Deaf culture. For the first time, Jilly comes to recognize that people face different challenges and sees how her own actions can impact situations for better and for worse. If the book's dialogue sometimes seems to exist in the service of its lessons, its thoughtful handling of characters and dynamics offers fodder for further discussion about privilege in all its forms. As Jilly's Aunt Alicia says, "Nothing changes if we don't talk." Ages 8 12.