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On Spirals and Rebecca Stead's The List of Things That Will Not Change

Rebecca Stead is one of those magic-filled authors, one you can rely on to surprise, delight, and enchant you. She is also a writer that reliably surprises, delights, and enchants young readers. This might seem to go without saying, but in reality, it is no small task. Librarians and teachers know how often it happens that what the adult in the room thinks is wonderful, the child is decidedly less interested in. The List of Things That Will Not Change is one of those titles that meets both adult and child reader right where they are.

The List of Things That Will Not Change is about Bea, a girl working through all the layers of her past (primarily her parents' super-amicable divorce) as well as her present and future (her father's remarriage to his boyfriend, Jesse).

Or it's about only children and siblings and cousins and uncles and aunts and the ways families build each other and destroy each other in countless ways.

Or it's about identity and uncertainty and the adolescent fear that maybe the bad part of us is the only "real" part of us.

Or it's about love in all its magnificent forms and bravery and happiness balloons.

Like a spiral that extends downward and outward, expanding to fill whatever space it inhabits, this book is much more than it might seem at first glance. Just like life, it is "about" all the things, and we are all the better when we handle them with care.

The List of Things That Will Not Change will be released on April 7, 2020. Preorder today from or your favorite independent bookseller.


The 2021 Newbery Medal selection committee spends the whole year considering titles. As always, I will be reading and reviewing along with the committee, keeping one eye on today's young readers and the other eye on each book's prospects. After each review, I'll offer my one-sentence take (OST) on medal-worthiness.

OST: This book will be a strong contender.


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