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The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead

Fifth-grader and only child Bea is excited to meet her soon-to-be step-sister after her dad announces that he is remarrying. As she helps her dad and his partner plan their wedding, she must also learn to manage her worry and forgive herself for her past mistakes. Bea suffers from anxiety which was very relatable to me. Even though she’s only ten, she feels regretful about some of her past actions and has to learn to forgive herself and move on. I didn’t really understand where this anxiety stemmed from — Bea has very supportive parents. Even though they’re divorcing, it’s an amicable one. But Stead’s depiction of Bea’s character felt spot-on. My favorite scenes are the ones with Bea’s therapist. The therapist teaches Bea some excellent coping skills. I found the one about scheduling worrying to be most useful. The therapist suggests that Bea set aside twenty minutes in the morning and twenty minutes after school for worrying time. If she worries at any other time, she tells herself to put it aside until the designated worry time slot. While not as quirky or fun as Stead’s previous outings, this book tackles a current Middle-Grade formula and does it well.

This is a great book for a 10-year-old looking for realistic fiction, who might want help with his/her anxiety and stress.

You can find The List of Things That Will Not Change on Overdrive/Libby.

(Reviewed by Chance)

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