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
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.