The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead

Published: 7 April 2020Goodreads badge
Wendy Lamb Books
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback
Genre: Junior Fiction
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

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.

This is a great story that shows family is whoever you want it to be as well as understanding that the list of things that will not change may not always be for the better while sometimes the things that do change are not so bad. Through a lot of different events and time we see Bea’s past and present as she tells us about her friends, her family and how she is guided by the list her parents made her when they divorced.

It’s weird to say this is a wholesome story because there are bad things in here like bullying and homophobia, but Stead tells the story through the characters and each one is full of depth and complexity which feels real and human and I was surprised how deep this story felt.

Bea is a great character because she is complicated, flawed, loving, and her own person. I liked Bea’s passion and her enthusiasm and it was wonderful to see a kid being able to express themselves, even in bad ways, because it is a great example of how kids need to be taught about emotional control and everything is still a steep learning curve for them.

Stead does a great job balancing the story of Bea, her parents, as well as hinting at other family issues and things that happened in the past. The bookend story about her dad and corn is so well done and I thought I was going to be disappointed but Stead makes it work and most of the time you forget there is a reason you’re being told this story about love and family and growing up.

There are secrets, mysteries, and big changes all bundled together and while on the surface this looks like a simple story it’s packed full of so many things that show how messy life can be. Bea’s voice is so innocent and yet understanding it’s a fantastic read for any age.

You can purchase The List of Things That Will Not Change via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | WorderyAngus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: