Nothing Ever Happens Here by Sarah Hagger-Holt

Written by Sarah Hagger-Holt
Cover by Sara Mulvanny
Publishing January 2020 by Usborne

This book is a breath of fresh air. It tackles a complex and sensitive issue that, increasingly, needs to be highlighted.

Behind the door of Izzy’s home, everything is changing and nothing is normal anymore. To the outside world, everything seems normal. A happy family living and loving together. However, not all is what it seems.

One day, the family gathers for an important announcement….Dad is transitioning to become Danielle, a woman. He and Mum have talked and decided to stay together and support the family through this new time.

Izzy and her siblings are reeling and in shock from the announcement. From remembering to use she and her to being worried about what others will think, this is a huge upheaval for the family.

This book is a first for me- I haven’t read about a trans character in an MG book before. It was handled incredibly sensitively and I think whether children have experience or understanding of transgender people, they will be able to empathise with the characters.

Izzy and sister Megan seem hardest hit and when classmates find out, Izzy feels ostracized and worried. She experiences being the outcast and ends up fighting with her best friend. Upheaval is affecting the whole family both inside and outside the home. It is a stressful time and it seems to be distancing the family.

When Danielle is given the opportunity to appear on local TV in support of the transgender community, Izzy realises the importance of supporting Danielle. Though it is a steep learning curve, the family must learn how to support her and show their love for her.

Honest, open and heart warming, this is a book for our children. The power of love in this family and learning to accept each other are at the heart of this story. Encouraging acceptance and empathy, I would recommend this to children aged 10 and above.

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