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.
About the Author
Lisa Jenn Bigelow grew up in Kalamazoo and still considers the Mitten State home. Lisa’s young adult novel, Starting from Here, was named a Rainbow List Top Ten Book by the American Library Association. Drum Roll, Please is her middle grade debut. When she isn’t writing, she serves as a youth librarian in the Chicago suburbs. Visit her online at www.lisajennbigelow.com.
“This vivid first-person narrative revolves around the well-drawn main character. Bigelow portrays many characters with empathy and skill. A heartfelt novel of family, friends, and change.”
— ALA Booklist (starred review)
“Warm and memorable.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Bigelow 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.”
— Publishers Weekly
"Readers will find [Hazel's] sensitive, reflective nature heartening."
— School Library Journal
Praise for Drum Roll, Please: “Bigelow artfully captures the complexity of middle-school relationships and, with a gentle hand, delivers a mighty message to turn up the volume on your inner drumbeat.”
— Ami Polonsky, author of Gracefully Grayson and Threads
“Both fun and substantial, readable and empowering, this novel is a master class in balancing real issues with a light-hearted tone. Bigelow’s compassionate take on the classic middle school topics of family, friendship, and first romance hits all the right notes. Highly recommended.”
— School Library Journal (starred review)
“In a story about growing pains, turning points, and self-discovery, Bigelow shows an equally clear understanding of the dynamics of young adolescent emotions. Bigelow has a graceful and genuine touch as her protagonist processes new experiences and navigates changes in friendships and family.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)