“The List of Things That Will Not Change,” by Rebecca Stead, had the potential to be good, but the confusing message and storyline made it hard to enjoy.
The story starts with Bea, who’s almost 13, and writing about the summer when she was 10. Bea is telling about how when her father and her uncle were young, they would listen to the corn growing together, and how no one else could hear it. Right from the first page she lets the reader know that the story of the corn growing relates to the story she’s about to tell.
She also tells about when she went to her dad’s lake house, and how it felt to be there without her mom. (Her parents have been divorced for two years at this point.) She shares about when her cousin Angelica fell from the loft, and missed the woodstove by two inches. She talks about this a lot during the book.
It also explains her green journal, what her parents gave her when they announced they were getting divorced, a list of things that would not change. Bea adds to this list throughout the book.
After this brief recap, she goes back to the present day. Her parents are divorced, and she goes back and forth between her parents house. Her babysitter is Sheila, who also happens to be Jesse’s sister.
Jesse is Bea’s dad’s partner. Bea loves Jesse, and is thrilled to find out that they’re going to be getting married! One of her favorite parts is that Jesse has a daughter, Sonia. Bea is an only child, and longs for a sibling. True, Sonia spends most of her time with her mom, who lives across the country in California, but Bea is sure that they’ll be “just like sisters anywhere”.
In between planning the wedding and a visit from Sonia, Bea finds out some new information about Jesse that could lead to a bad decision.
I thought that this book was pretty good, but the message was a little confusing, and so was some of the timeline. I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would because of it’s confusing message.
I also felt like the book was short and a little lacking in some areas. For example, my favorite part of the book was Sonia’s relationship with Bea, but Sonia was only included in a few chapters, which was disappointing. I think the book would’ve been better if it were a little longer and more explanatory.
Something I did like about it, was the theme of friendship. Rebecca Stead did a good job making the friends helpful and loyal.
Join Bea while she finds that change may not be as bad as she’s made it. Explore her thoughts, things that have changed, and of course the things that will never change.