STARRED REVIEW
May 2016

Friendship without boundaries

By Donna Gephart
Review by
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.
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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.

 

This article was originally published in the May 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Lily and Dunkin

Lily and Dunkin

By Donna Gephart
Delacorte
ISBN 9780553536744

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