Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hazel's Theory of Evolution” as Want to Read:
Hazel's Theory of Evolution
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hazel's Theory of Evolution

by
4.29  ·  Rating details ·  541 ratings  ·  140 reviews
“Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t make it illogical.”

Hazel knows all about life on Earth. She could tell you anything from what earthworms eat to how fast a turkey can run. That’s because when she’s not hanging out with her best friend, Becca, or helping care for the goats on her family’s farm, she loves reading through dusty old encyclopedias. But even Hazel d
...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by HarperCollins
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hazel's Theory of Evolution, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Bailey Whiteman Yes. My daughter first listened to the audiobook version when she was 9 and loved it. I read it with a class of 10-14-year-olds last month and everyon…moreYes. My daughter first listened to the audiobook version when she was 9 and loved it. I read it with a class of 10-14-year-olds last month and everyone got a lot out of it as well. (less)
EpicReader8 Definitely! This book has lots of great messages and representation that a 13-year-old girl could really enjoy and/or benefit from.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  541 ratings  ·  140 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Hazel's Theory of Evolution
Kathleen
Aug 06, 2019 added it
Shelves: 2019, arc-galley
There's one section towards the end, where Mimi's talking to Hazel, and it's everything I wish I'd been told when I was Hazel's age, that it's okay not to want a romantic relationship or a sexual relationship, that all the stupid heteronormative milestones and relationship expectations aren't actually requirements and it's okay to want something else, or only parts of them. ...more
Anniek
This book was very different from what I expected, but it was also very good. It's mainly about one of Hazel's mums being pregnant again after two miscarriages, and Hazel having a hard time dealing with her anxiety surrounding this pregnancy. At the same time, Hazel is starting at a new school and feels her best friend drift away from her when she becomes friends with Hazel's former bully. She learns that there's always room for hope in any situation, and that you can always make room for new fr ...more
Laura (bbliophile)
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-releases
Full review to come soon but I loved this a lot
Nev
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
For the majority of this book I was feeling like this was a 3 or 3.5 star read. There definitely wasn’t anything wrong with it, but I also wasn’t totally engrossed by the story. Hazel has to move to a different school and ends up drifting away from her only friend while also dealing with the stress of one of her moms being pregnant. But damn, those last 50 pages just hit me in a way I wasn’t expecting and had me SOBBING.

I liked how casually queer this Middle Grade book was. Hazel has two moms a
...more
Kathie
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the author and HarperCollins for an ARC of this book.

Can I just say that I consider Lisa Jenn Bigelow one of the most underrated middle grade writers whose books I've had the pleasure to read? Last year, her book DRUM ROLL, PLEASE was one of my favorite reads of the year, and now HAZEL'S THEORY OF EVOLUTION has also captured my heart. I sincerely hope you'll add this book to your TBR list to when it's released on October 8th.

Due to school zone restructuring, Hazel is forced to go to
...more
Laura
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: god-tier
Honestly this might be the best book I've ever read, and I'm not even the intended audience.

The book follows 13 year old Hazel who is starting her 8th grade year at a new school, thanks to district rezoning. Hazel is 13, with frizzy hair, glasses and lives on a farm in Michigan and to be honest I was pretty sure this was my literal exact childhood. Introverted, loves to read and spend time outside? The biggest difference is that my farm had Pumpkins instead of goats haha.

Anyway, This is a part
...more
Shaye Miller
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: overdrive
You know what? This book was way more EVERYTHING than I expected. I realize it is classified as middle grade literature, but I would say it’s intended for older middle graders as well as the YA crowd. There’s just a little language (ex: damn) and some younger kids may be all giggly in a class read aloud where the word “teets” keeps being mentioned (because they live on a goat farm where goats are milked regularly). One of Hazel’s moms has experiences two miscarriages and so there’s a lot of fear ...more
Nadja
"This book doesn’t focus on the fact that there are people who are gay, black, Jewish, ace+aro, or in a wheelchair, they’re just people. And the fact that this exists so easily makes my heart so very, very happy." perfectly said by Star.

MAMMAMIATHON 2020: Donna, the winnter takes it all, read a book that has won a prize/award.

Becca’s Bookoplathon Sept. 2020: Set in the Present.
...more
Ms. Yingling
Jul 31, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus



Hazel lives on a farm with her two mothers and her older brother Rowan. They have a heard of goats that her Mom milks for her business of making soaps and other products, and Mimi is a lawyer in town. Because of a change in the train schedule, Hazel has to go to another middle school, leaving her friend Becca behind for 8th grade. Since a girl at her old school, Kristen, was always very mean, calling Hazel "goat girl" and making fun of her for crying, Hazel wants to make
...more
Eloise
Well this was a delight.

Hazel is the sweetest 14 year old you'll ever read about. She loves her science books, her animals, her friends and her family so much my heart explodes just thinking about it. She's full of wonder, cheerfulness but also feeling like the odd one out.
Her relationships with new friends, old friends, her family and her animals were all so realistic and imperfect but beautiful.
And of course, she spends a lot of time questioning the meaning of love, with regards to friends and
...more
emmy
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a delightfully queer middle grade novel about a relatable and sweet feminine protagonist, with some neurodivergent qualities. I will handsell this, and particularly recommend it for classrooms.
Camille
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aro-ace main character who has 2 mothers, disabled kid rep and trans kid rep, and just for this, it deserves all the stars.

I've never read something so heavily focused on miscarriages, and the impact it had not only on the parents, but on the siblings as well, and while it can be a difficult topic, I found it well done.

Even though the terms are and ace aren't used in the book, the signs were here. I was able to see them because I'm familiar with them, but the author's note at the end was very w
...more
Ris Sasaki
2.5 ⭐

Even though I enjoyed my time reading it and enjoyed the way that the author introduced and handled certain topics and situations (as abortions, discovering your own sexuality, acceptance to who you are and acceptance and love towards queer people), I must say that overall I found this book to be quite... okay.

Nothing special and nothing new to add to the whole book community.
I think this would be a good book to introduce a child to read LGBTQA+ books or if you're an adult that want to st
...more
Star
The first thing that I want to say is that I absolutely love how easily inclusive this book is. And that every book ever needs to follow in its footsteps.

This book doesn’t focus on the fact that there are people who are gay, black, Jewish, ace+aro, or in a wheelchair, they’re just people. And the fact that this exists so easily makes my heart so very, very happy.

Hazel’s Theory of Evolution was on my radar from the second I knew of its existence (early 2019, I believe), and I was so ready for ano
...more
Hazel
May 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book!!!! It was super good. All of the different parts of the book where so enveloping that I could never put the book down.

10/10
definitely recommend
Mikayla Tewksbury
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is one of the most heartwarming middle grade books I've ever read.

Hazel has a lot going on: keeping up with the family farm, surviving the eighth grade at a new school because of redistricting, and now to top it off: one of her moms is pregnant again after having two miscarriages. Navigating the next few months will be more challenging than milking the goats on her farm, but Hazel will learn about herself along the way and form new relationships.

This coming of age story is perfect for new
...more
Shan Salter
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Hazel’s Theory of Evolution by Lisa Jenn Bigelow

Release date: 10/8/19

From the author of DRUM ROLL, PLEASE comes this quiet, character-driven, middle-grade novel overflowing with heart and raw emotion.

Introverted eighth-grader, Hazel, lives a peaceful life on a goat farm with her animal books, two moms, and her older brother. Her life takes an unwelcome turn when the school districts are redrawn and s
...more
Namrata
Okay. I looked at the cover, read the summary, and now I’m officially addicted.
Kerry (lines i underline)
4.0⭐️ “There are so many good ways to be in this world.”

This beautiful message encapsulates a lot of what this book is all about. I haven’t read a Middle Grade novel that offers representation in so many ways, without it seeming at all effort full or done to check boxes. This is a book that will give many young readers a feeling of being seen in literature, perhaps for the first time, and that is so important. I hope teachers, librarians and booksellers find ways to get it into the hands of kids
...more
Mora
I'm sad I didn't enjoy this more.

It was mostly because I found Hazel irritating, even though that's just me (maybe because she had too much in common with the parts of middle school me I wish I could forget). However, she is a realistic middle schooler with her jealousies and stubbornness and close-mindedness, and she's dealing with a lot! Her anxiety isn't helping things.

However, it's middle grade with an aro-ace POV (!!) with other queer characters and so much other rep besides, and it treats
...more
Ariel
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mg
Hazel is a little odd, especially by rural Michigan standards. She has two moms one of whom is black and the other of whom makes soap out of organic herbs and goat milk from their own farm. Hazel's always liked animals better than people. The only thing standing between her and the mean popular girls who call her Goat Girl is her best friend Becca.

So when the school district rezones her into a new middle school, Hazel is dreading 8th grade. And at first her forebodings seem justified. One of he
...more
Stephanie
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved Hazel! I laughed out loud and then cried in the same chapter. I could not put it down. As an adult reading I remembered the awful awkwardness of middle school. I moved to a new school in 7th grade and I totally agree with Hazel, it sucked! You will fall in love with her new friends and want to reach into the book and give them hugs. And now I REALLY want to get a goat. And I’m naming my next pet Arby.

This would be a wonderful read for tween or adult book clubs.
Shauna Yusko
Good for middle school but the character, while in 8th grade, read younger.
Allie
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade, queer
I did not realize how much I wanted aroace rep in middle grade. Instantly recognizable characterization that has me clamoring for more characters like Hazel.
Anna
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5+ this was so sweet.
Kristel (hungryandhappy)
Beautiful middle grade with so many little details I can't possible list so guess what?? READ IT, it's worth it. ...more
Hazel (and Nutsy)
I loved this book! I think it was a unique story with family drama, friend drama, and a wonderful ending! It touched on many important topics, and it was very engaging and enjoyable. I think this is a wonderful read for any ages 12 and above!
Coe
the author's note made me tear up I wish I had this book as a kid ...more
Susan Banner
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So many themes woven into this book. Bigelow gets the tone of the young people spot on. (I have this on the authority of my 12 and 14 year old granddaughters.) Well done weaving through difficult times!
Laina SpareTime
Cross-posted from my blog where there's more information on where I got my copy and links and everything.

Books like this make my little heart so happy. I loved this so much? Like I said, it’s been my movie (and doctor’s office) book for a couple weeks, so I was going like a week at a time between reading chunks of it, and each time I picked it up, it was like I hadn’t stopped reading it at all. Also can we talk about how I got to a really, really tense part and my doctor called me to go in, and
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Five Things About Ava Andrews
  • Ana on the Edge
  • In the Role of Brie Hutchens...
  • The Prettiest
  • The Best at It
  • Hurricane Season
  • The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James
  • Rick
  • Chirp
  • Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers
  • Zenobia July
  • My Life in the Fish Tank
  • A Place at the Table
  • The Only Black Girls in Town
  • From the Desk of Zoe Washington
  • I Can Make This Promise
  • Planet Earth Is Blue
  • Remarkables
See similar books…
See top shelves…
158 followers
Michigan native Lisa Jenn Bigelow is the critically acclaimed author of the middle grade novels Hazel’s Theory of Evolution (2019), winner of the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Children's/Middle Grade, and Drum Roll, Please (2018),  an Illinois Reads selection and Michigan Notable Book; and the young adult novel Starting from Here (2012), an ALA Rainbow List Top Ten Book. A graduate of Carne ...more

News & Interviews

Believe it or not, we're halfway through 2021! As is our tradition, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial team burrows into our data to...
114 likes · 81 comments
“You don't have to decide any of these things now. Life may surprise you. But whatever happens, whatever you decide is right for you, all of those things are okay. And when I say okay, I mean good. There are so many good ways to be in this world.” 1 likes
More quotes…