For readers who enjoyed Wonder and Counting by 7's , award-winning author Donna Gephart crafts a compelling dual narrative about two remarkable young people: Lily, a transgender girl, and Dunkin, a boy dealing with bipolar disorder. Read more...
For readers who enjoyed Wonder and Counting by 7's, award-winning author Donna Gephart crafts a compelling dual narrative about two remarkable young people: Lily, a transgender girl, and Dunkin, a boy dealing with bipolar disorder. Their powerful story will shred your heart, then stitch it back together with kindness, humor, bravery, and love.
Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl. But being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Especially when you're in the eighth grade.
Dunkin Dorfman, birth name Norbert Dorfman, is dealing with bipolar disorder and has just moved from the New Jersey town he's called home for the past thirteen years. This would be hard enough, but the fact that he is also hiding from a painful secret makes it even worse.
One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives forever change.
A JLG Selection
An Indie Next Pick
Amazon Best Book of the Month
CBC's May Hot Off the Press
An NAIBA Seasonal Pick
A New York Public Library Best book for Kids, 2016
Another Indie Favorite Title
Amazon's Top 20 Children's Books of 2016
"Gephart clearly has a lot of heart, and she tells their stories with compassion."--Kirkus
"A thoughtfully and sensitively written work of character-driven fiction that dramatically addresses two important subjects that deserve more widespread attention."--Booklist, starred
"Gephart sympathetically contrasts the physical awkwardness, uncertainty, and longings of these two outsiders during a few tightly-plotted months, building to a crescendo of revelation... A] valuable portrait of two teenagers whose journeys are just beginning."--PW
"This would be a fantastic addition to any middle grade library collection, and is highly recommended for all ages."--VOYA
"Lily and Dunkin is a delight. Here's a book for anyone who's ever struggled with being different--or anyone who's ever loved someone who bears the burden of difference. . . . Crucial, heart-breaking, and inspiring." --Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She's Not There and Stuck in the Middle with You
- ISBN-13: 9780553536744
- ISBN-10: 0553536745
- Publisher: Delacorte Press
- Publish Date: May 2016
- Page Count: 352
- Reading Level: Ages 10-14
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-03-07
- Reviewer: Staff
With humor and great sensitivity, Gephart (Death by Toilet Paper) juxtaposes the efforts of two eighth-graders—one struggling with gender dysphoria, one with mental illness—to establish new identities for themselves. Determined, gentle, and self-aware Tim was “born with boy parts” but identifies as a girl, preferring the name Lily; already “out” to her family and best friend Dare, Lily is both excited and terrified about reactions to a more public transformation. Meanwhile, mercurial newcomer Norbert hates his name—but loves the nickname Lily gives him, Dunkin, which alludes to his favorite haunt—and keeps deep secrets, even from himself. Their friendship develops slowly as Dunkin, desperate for acceptance, gets swept up by an intolerant basketball-playing crowd. Gephart sympathetically contrasts the physical awkwardness, uncertainty, and longings of these two outsiders during a few tightly-plotted months, building to a crescendo of revelation. Strong, supportive women accept these teens as they are, while their fathers struggle mightily. Despite an overly tidy resolution to Dunkin’s story and Lily being a bit too perfect, it’s a valuable portrait of two teenagers whose journeys are just beginning. Ages 10–up. Agent: Tina Wexler, ICM. (May)
Friendship without boundaries
Timothy McGrother was born a boy but knows she is really a girl. Norbert Dorfman is battling bipolar disorder as well as being the new kid in town. Coming home from a Dunkin Donuts run, Norbert sees Tim in a dress and sandals, and his heart skips a beat for the girl with long blond hair and piercing blue eyes. The two meet again when Norbert spies Tim perched on the branches of the great banyan tree outside the local library. Norbert tells Tim that he prefers the name Dunkin, while Tim keeps mum about her preferred name, Lily. As an ensuing friendship unfolds, Lily and Dunkin each narrate their stories, exposing the good, the bad and the ugly that come with keeping secrets from themselves and from others. Despite their differences and conflicts along the way, Lily and Dunkin’s thread of friendship remains tight.
Lily and Dunkin is a seamless blend of issues faced by transgender children and those who live with mental illness. Donna Gephart sensitively handles their choices and shows realistic consequences, holding nothing back when it comes to what it takes to be seen, and loved, for who you really are. But as these two eighth graders figure out their places in the world, friendship and honesty shape the true core of this strong coming-of-age novel.