Hazel's theory of evolution

Lisa Jenn Bigelow

Book - 2019

Hazel knows a lot about the world. That's because when she's not hanging with her best friend, taking care of her dog, or helping care for the goats on her family's farm, she loves reading through dusty encyclopedias. But even Hazel doesn't have answers for the questions awaiting her as she enters eighth grade. What if no one at her new school gets her, and she doesn't make any friends? What's going to happen to one of her moms, who's pregnant again after havin...g two miscarriages? Why does everything have to change when life was already perfectly fine? As Hazel struggles to cope, she'll come to realize that sometimes you have to look within yourself-- instead of the pages of a book-- to find the answer to life's most important questions.

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Subjects
Genres
Bildungsromans
Published
New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 2019
©2019
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
325 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780062791177
0062791176
Main Author
Lisa Jenn Bigelow (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Redistricted to a new school for eighth grade, 13-year-old Hazel is counting on Becca, her longtime best friend, to stay connected with her. But after becoming a cheerleader, Becca seems increasingly distant, while Hazel feels abandoned, hurt, and adrift. A science geek and animal-lover, she doesn't intend to make friends at her new school, but she starts hanging out with Carina, a shy, trans girl, and their classmate Yosh, who's most noticeable for his neon-green mohawk and his wheelchair. Meanwhile, Hazel has learned that one of her mothers is pregnant again, after two previous miscarriages. Remembering those losses, Hazel finds it hard to react to the news with joy. This vivid first-person narrative revolves around the well-drawn main character as she slowly, reluctantly learns to cope with challenges and to enlarge her circle of friends. Her family home on a small goat farm has the charm of novelty, while the middle-school setting will be comfortably familiar and credible to most readers. The author of Drum Roll, Please (2018), Bigelow portrays many characters with empathy and skill, while slowly building toward a dramatic climax that draws different facets of the story together. A heartfelt novel of family, friends, and change. Grades 5-8. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Eighth-grader Hazel, who is white, isn't happy about being redistricted to a new Michigan middle school. Although classmates at her old school teased her about her family's goat farm, where she lives with her interracial mothers (one African-American and one white) and brother Rowan, at least she had a best friend, Becca, who understood her. Starting somewhere new without Becca isn't Hazel's only concern, however. After enduring two miscarriages, one of her moms is pregnant again, and Hazel is afraid that history will repeat itself. She wishes she could hibernate, but then two other outsiders befriend her: transgender girl Carina and Yosh, who sports a green Mohawk and uses a wheelchair. Meanwhile, Hazel feels increasingly distanced from Becca, who is busy with her new cheerleading friends, including the bully who dubbed Hazel "goat girl" in kindergarten. This tale traces Hazel's inner metamorphosis as she navigates change at home and at school. Drawing parallels between Hazel and the misunderstood creatures she reads about in her beloved set of animal encyclopedias, Bigelow (Drum Roll, Please) celebrates intersectional diversity with her cast of well-drawn characters. Through a relatable first-person narrative, she also addresses universal conflicts adolescents face while paying tribute to their individuality. Ages 8–12. (Oct.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 5 Up—Bookish Hazel Maud Brownlee-Wellington is entering eighth grade with trepidation. Her best friend Becca is at another school, and Hazel is counting down the days until they can be reunited. Hazel thinks she can handle being alone until then, but can she? When Becca starts to make new friends, Hazel wonders if she will be left behind. Her home life has its own challenges, too. Her two moms are newly expecting, but Hazel worries since they have already had two miscarriages. She loves to care for the goats on her family's farm and suffers the nickname Goat Girl. She tries to work out her troubles by writing in her notebook, which she names "Brownlee-Wellington's Guide to Misunderstood Creatures." VERDICT Introspective Hazel feels that she is a misunderstood creature herself, and readers will find her sensitive, reflective nature heartening. Recommended.—Lisa Gieskes, Richland County Public Library, Columbia, SC Copyright 2019 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Hazel knows a lot about the world. That's because when she's not hanging with her best friend, taking care of her dog, or helping care for the goats on her family's farm, she loves reading through dusty encyclopedias. But even Hazel doesn't have answers for the questions awaiting her as she enters eighth grade. What if no one at her new school gets her, and she doesn't make any friends? What's going to happen to one of her moms, who's pregnant again after having two miscarriages? Why does everything haveto change when life was already perfectly fine? As Hazel struggles to cope, she'll come to realize that sometimes you have to look within yourself-- instead of the pages of a book-- to find the answer to life's most important questions.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Hazel knows a lot about the world but feels insecure dealing with the changes in her life as she enters eighth grade.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Winner of the Lambda Literary Award!The Thing About Jellyfish meets Raymie Nightingale in this tender middle grade novel from Lisa Jenn Bigelow, acclaimed author of Drum Roll, Please.Hazel knows a lot about the world. That’s because when she’s not hanging with her best friend, taking care of her dog, or helping care for the goats on her family's farm, she loves reading through dusty encyclopedias.But even Hazel doesn’t have answers for the questions awaiting her as she enters eighth grade. What if no one at her new school gets her, and she doesn't make any friends? What’s going to happen to one of her moms, who’s pregnant again after having two miscarriages? Why does everything have to change when life was already perfectly fine?As Hazel struggles to cope, she’ll come to realize that sometimes you have to look within yourself—instead of the pages of a book—to find the answer to life’s most important questions.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Winner of the Lambda Literary Award!The Thing About Jellyfish meets Raymie Nightingale in this tender middle grade novel from Lisa Jenn Bigelow, acclaimed author of Drum Roll, Please.Hazel knows a lot about the world. That's because when she's not hanging with her best friend, taking care of her dog, or helping care for the goats on her family's farm, she loves reading through dusty encyclopedias.But even Hazel doesn't have answers for the questions awaiting her as she enters eighth grade. What if no one at her new school gets her, and she doesn't make any friends? What's going to happen to one of her moms, who's pregnant again after having two miscarriages? Why does everything have to change when life was already perfectly fine?As Hazel struggles to cope, she'll come to realize that sometimes you have to look within yourself'instead of the pages of a book'to find the answer to life's most important questions.