The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead is a wonderful middle grade novel that can be enjoyed by both middle grade and teens. It’s also a wonderful novel to increase overall awareness and acceptance in the LGBTQ+ community.
Bea is an only child that desperately wants a sister! How can she get a sister with her parents divorced? When Bea’s dad and his partner, Jesse decide to marry, it looks like her dream will finally come true! Jesse’s daughter, Sonia is 10 years old and in fifth grade just like Bea! How will their friendship grow when they don’t live in the same place?
This middle grade novel is about love, friendship, acceptance and openness in our diverse community. Throughout The List of Things That Will Not Change, Bea goes through all different emotions. She feels excitement, sadness, anxiety, love, disappointment and anger. It’s a wonderful book to have some open discussions with your tween.
For parents who read this book with their tween:
1. Bea desperately wants a sister. Do you think that Sonia feels the same way? Why or why not?
2. What challenges do Bea’s dad and Jesse face when deciding to get married? Why do you think Bea decides to send an invitation to Uncle Mission?
3. Bea goes to therapy to help her talk about her feelings. What is Bea most anxious about? Do you have anything in common with Bea? Why or why not?
4. Bea’s mom decides at one point during the book to begin cooking herself instead of accepting meals from Bea’s dad. Why does she do that?
5. Tell me about Bea’s friendship with her friend Lizette and Angus. What makes Lizette and Angus true good friends?
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