* The book discussed in this post was gifted by the publisher.
I have constant faith in Usbourne books. They’re fantastic, inclusive and usually just an absolute dream to read. When i heard about Nothing Ever Happens Here, I knew it would be something i absolutely loved and wanted to share with you all.
Nothing Ever Happens Here is a middle-grade novel about Izzy and her family. She’s just moved up to year 8, she has an older sister and a younger brother, she loves to act, and her dad has just come out as trans. The story follows Izzy and her family coming to terms with the changes around them and the rest of their small town finding out.
As this book is middle-grade, it was naturally a little young for me, however that did not hinder my love of this story at all. I loved the characters, the writing and everything about it. The characters were all soft and lovely, all with individual personalities and issues, and it was quite a nice thing to see in a middle-grade novel the amount of depth to each character. I also really loved the parents in this story. Izzy’s mum and Dee are really wonderful parents and incredibly supportive, with the obvious parent embarrassment thrown in. The fact that her parents are still so open and loving with each other is a really good way to express trans people to children of a middle-grade age. It was very caring and lovely, and honestly made me feel quite happy.
The writing of this book was also extremely accessible and i felt like it talked about the LGBTQ+ community in a really good and positive way. Naturally there were bullies in this story, as there are in most middle-grade books, but Sarah did a great job at pointing out the way their behaviour was so wrong.
Nothing Ever Happens Here is so much happier and inclusive than i expected it to be. It shone some light on something that’s rarely discussed, adults transitioning and also the understanding of people transitioning from a younger persons perspective.
I’m also very glad that the story-line of Izzy’s Dee transitioning wasn’t the only thing that this book focused on. A lot of the story centered around Izzy’s relationship with her friends, making new friends and how she fit in at school. It covered so many topics that i really think this book is for anyone of any age, and is especially useful for pre-teens moving in to secondary school.
Overall, i probably cant say enough good about this wonderful novel. The writing was great and easy to follow, the characters are wonderful and have such personality and the idea for a middle-grade novel to cover such complex topics makes it one of the stand out middle-grade books of the last few years to me.
I urge you to buy this for any young person in your life, and probably to pick up a copy for yourself because it’s a really sweet and heart warming read.