Monday, March 9, 2015

Nobody's Family Is Going To Change by Louise Fitzhugh

Another book written for middle graders but still a worthwhile read for any age. Fitzhugh deals with some very difficult topics: institutional racism, obesity, sexism, gender stereotypes. But Fitzhugh handles these topics so beautifully and without wrapping anything in a neat bow. Nobody's Family Is Going To Change is a wonderful story that will keep you thinking for days.

Nobody's Family Is Going To Change follows the Sheridan family. Emma, the eleven year old daughter, is a little on the chubby side and wants to be a lawyer. Willie is seven and wants to be a dancer. The father, William, is a lawyer and feels that he's struggled to get to a comfortable position. The mother, Ginny, is a dutiful wife who also had a difficult childhood. The main struggle is the father, William, doesn't want his son to be a dancer or his daughter to be a lawyer.

I had a hard time with Nobody's Family. It's set in the 1970's and people's expectations and norms were different. I think there are still people like William who think women should just be wives and mothers and that men should have "real jobs", not be dancers. But that's not the norm (or maybe I have a sheltered view because I live in Seattle). But it was good for me to learn about the difficulties and confront my own ideas. I think it would be difficult to be a child and really want to do something like dance and be told you can't. Not that we don't have the money for lessons. You can't because I as a parent don't feel that it what's best for you. I don't know. I'm not a parent so I can't comment on that either. But it still made me examine my own feelings.

Overall, Nobody's Family Is going to change was a thought provoking read. I wish there were more books like this. Others who shared their thoughts on Nobody's Family Is Going To Change: This Fleeting Dream

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