The List of Things That Will Not Change
Publisher: Andersen Press
Bea’s dad is gay and he’s marrying his boyfriend Jesse, who Bea loves. Bea’s mum and dad have been divorced for a little while, and she lives half of her week with mum, half of the week with dad. It’s okay, and Bea also sees Miriam, a counsellor, every week. Miriam helps Bea understand her emotions, and also helps when Sonia, Jesse’s daughter, comes to stay. Bea is really excited about the prospect of a new sister, but it all feels strange to Sonia. Will Bea get the sister she’s always wanted?
Readers may be reminded of Judy Blume or Susin Nielsen when engrossed in this beautifully written, honest book about growing up, changing families and learning to deal with our emotions. Bea’s story is full of small, significant details that build her as a loveable and realistic tween character: her eczema, her relationship with Miriam the counsellor, her notebook in which she keeps the List of Things That Will Not Change – a list begun by her parents when they divorced to reassure her that, though some things change, the important things, like love, are for always.
Bea’s dad and Jesse’s relationship is loving and steady, and Bea’s emotional difficulties are framed more as a part of growing up and her processing of her parents’ divorce. In fact, Bea’s journey is empowering and positive, demonstrating lots of helpful ways for any of us to manage complex feelings as part of our ongoing experience.