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Nothing Ever Happens Here

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  266 ratings  ·  62 reviews
"This is Littlehaven. Nothing ever happens here. Until the spotlight hits my family."

Izzy's family is under the spotlight when her dad comes out as Danielle, a trans woman. Izzy is terrified her family will be torn apart. Will she lose her dad? Will her parents break up? And what will people at school say? Izzy's always been shy, but now all eyes are on her. Can she face h
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 9th 2020 by Usborne Publishing
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  266 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, queer
A heart-felt, touching middle grade novel about a small town girl whose parent comes out as a trans woman. While the situation felt simplified at times, it was nevertheless a beautiful story about family, friendship and kindness. I hope this finds its way into many children's (and parents') hands.

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Some people are trans, Get Over It
Some people are gay. Get Over It
Some people are bi. Get Over It
Some people are straight. Get Over It
Some people are asshole especially the ones who scream out loud the phrase 'Love is Love' but belittle the others who are in the same community. Don't blame the straights for every single thing that goes wrong within the community. Look in the mirror! You want respect, then give it first. And the straight, shut your gob before I shut it for you.

United we stand, a
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Nothing Ever Happens Here is a really lovely book, that will be a huge help and comfort to families and an excellent way for people to learn. Izzy, Jamie and Megan all adapt to the change in their family in different but valid ways and their love and eventual acceptance for Dee was very touching to read. I also loved seeing them find their own passion and self confidence improve as they realise their Dee is happier living openly as her true self. I think adults as well as children would do well ...more
Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)

Also Posted on For The Love of Fictional Worlds

Disclaimer: A physical copy was provided via Usborne YA and the Author in exchange for an honest review. The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own.

A beautiful middle grade fiction that is written simply that puts across a very important message to its readers without ever becoming over the top preaching or even boring!

Izzy, our tween protagonist lives a very ordinary life in an ordinary town, where noth
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Young people these days are so lucky that books like this exist. I didn’t “need” them, per se, since I always identified as cis and straight, and obviously every book I read as a child or teen was filled with people like me. But I still wish we’d had stories like this, about LGBT families, just to normalise it. And especially for my contemporaries who felt different and excluded, to see themselves represented. And for the bullies and ignorant people to learn from. 🌈
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english, 2021, favorites
A really important story about accepting who you are, no matter what anyone else says. This quickly turned into one of my favorite books. I really recommend reading this.
Jan 15, 2020 rated it did not like it
This is grooming children to cooperate and please their fathers. I hate to think how this could do damage to vulnerable kids.
Aug 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
I've heard a lot of really rave reviews of this book, from friends and strangers alike. But I really couldn't make it through the whole book. There is a lot of misgendering of the trans character, and just in the first few pages transphobic slurs show up on the page (there are ways to tackle slurs in books for children, but I don't think trans kids need to read horrific slurs about them in a book that is supposed to be about a family dealing with someone in their midst transitioning). There's al ...more
Robin Stevens
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A really sensitive and thoughtful book - it feels very real and very lovely. (8+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. If you use it in any marketing material, online or anywhere on a published book without asking permission from me first, I will ask you to remove that use immediately. Thank you!*
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Straight of the bat I was drawn to this book with its delightful cover but when I read the blurb I knew it is a book that I want to hold in my hands and devour, love and shout about until I can’t anymore.
We always see and hear about people wanting diverse books and I agree, I want diversity in books. But I want the diversity to be real and written well. I hate it when you read a book and the author’s only way of writing about a diverse character is to have “this character was different” on every
Kath Middleton
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Izzy thinks her life is boring. Turns out not to be true. She and her friend Grace are given starring roles in the school’s Christmas production, Guys and Dolls. When her Dad drops the bombshell that he is transitioning to become not Daniel but Danielle, Izzy’s world rocks. This is a brilliant study of early teens and their friends, the bullying they endure, the strength and loyalty of their friendships and the pull of family ties. I read it in just two days. It’s full of characters you care abo ...more
Claire Wynne
Jan 31, 2020 rated it did not like it
This was an opportunity missed. The book is written by a Stonewall representative and their rather narrow 'message'/teaching runs through it; it rapidly becomes impossible to believe the characters or their experience, and she does a poor job of creating a believable experience from the point of view of the main character. It's more a propaganda leaflet than a story, and all roads lead to acceptance and protection of the parent; there's little empathy for or exploration of other ways of feeling ...more
Mel Boom
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book shows that being trans doesn't always end up with being disowned by your family and your friend leaving you. This actually is the first book that properly shows a trans character being accepted. The representation is amazing and the characters are to die for (especially Jamie).

I really like the fact that this book is middle-grade, because these kinds of topics are still not frequently explored in middle-grade. Just another reason why I love this book.
David Owen
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Nothing Ever Happens Here is such a great book. Clear, compelling, and brimming with empathy. A copy should be in every primary school across the country. Highly recommended.
Emma Bryn
Jan 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
This is a shockingly insensitive book that I consider grooming. As a child of a trans parent I became increasingly disturbed reading this. In the book, any child who doesn’t believe what the dad says about being trans isn’t ‘clever’. The book is littered with references to Stonewall, a charity which is mostly financed by the trans lobby which is the writer’s employer. The charity has been criticised for the aggressiveness in its campaigning on trans issues. There is a huge diversion into the iss ...more
I want to preface this review by saying I’m reading and reviewing this book from a place of pure ignorance, by this I mean I’m not someone who has personally transitioned, nor do I know anyone who has transitioned. I would never deadname someone and I try and use everyone’s preferred pronouns but I am far from an expert in such things and as such I may get some things wrong in this review, please know this is not me being intentionally rude or hateful and if I do phrase something wrong please le ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jan 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Copy provided by @davidowenauthor through Twitter

Izzy lives in a small town in Eastern England with her mother, father, older sister and much younger brother. She has a great friend in Grace, and the two are determined have a great year and try out for the school production of Guys and Dolls run by Izzy's favorite teacher, Mr. Thomas. They get good roles, but Izzy's life takes a strange turn when her father tells the family that he is transgender and will be transitioning so that his appearance
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
First things first, I am way older than the target demographic for this book. To be honest it really doesn't read like a children's book, it just reads like a very good story that happens to have a 12 year old as it's protagonist. I will readily admit that I thoroughly enjoyed this story and following Izzy through one school term when her private life becomes very, very public.

The subject matter itself is a very sensitive one. Being transgender and admitting it to yourself is difficult enough bu
Ryan // Vale
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer, trans
First thing I want to be clear about when reviewing this book is I am transgender. I am trans masculine rather than a trans woman like Dee and I'm certainly not a parent but I am coming from a background of someone who has come out as trangender to family and friends and I am reviewing this book with my own life experience in mind.

If you want to read books about trans people I will always always recommend you pick books by trans authors. That said, if you are going to pick a book about trans peo
Shayney Hardcastle
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars
“This year’s going to be a good one for both of us, isn’t it? I feel it, I feel it in my bones.”
I was so excited to read this book, as you rarely see a book with LGBT topics within, especially within family dynamics and more so books that are aimed at a younger audience. This book was not only so enlightening and emotional to read in parts, but it was so well executed. I found myself reading this in one sitting, reading until 1am because I couldn’t stop reading it.

The entirety of this
Rutuja Ramteke
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
🍭Nothing ever happens here🍭
"This is Littlehaven. Nothing ever happens here. Until the spotlight hits my family." Izzy's family is under the spotlight when her dad comes out as Danielle, a trans woman. Izzy is terrified her family will be torn apart. Will she lose her dad? Will her parents break up? And what will people at school say? Izzy's always been shy, but now all eyes are on her. Can she face her fears, find her voice and stand up for what's right?
🍭Hola hoop, this loop was too amazing to
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I found this to be a sensitively written book for young adults. It focuses on a young Yr8 girl and her family whose father has recently come out as being transgender. The Mum has known for a while and they are staying as a couple but Dad now feels that he cannot live as a man any longer.

The book handles the situation well bringing up most issues that the family might face in this situation. the older daughter in the VIth form struggled and was angry, Izzy in Yr 8 didn't have a problem with Dad b
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wendy Bamber
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fans of Jacqueline Wilson, Babysitters Club, of any pre-teen novel dealing with family issues will love this book. This time the family tensions are not caused by divorce or job losses, but by the decision by Izzy’s Dad to start the transitioning process to be a woman. This books deals with the problems you can imagine a 12 year old would deal with in this situation, how do we address our Dad now, misunderstandings with friends, unkind and taunting comments, prejudice and judgements from other p ...more
Serena Yates
‘Nothing Ever Happens Here’ is a book about a father coming out as a trans woman and the effect it has on her fourteen-year-old daughter, Izzy. Set in England and told from Izzy’s point of view, it is a rare look into the family dynamics, the issues a teenager faces when her world is pretty much turned inside-out from one day to the next, and the problems she encounters outside the home. The world as seen through a teenager's eyes comes through loud and clear. The secondary characters are well d ...more
Barbara Band
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Although this story is about Izzy's dad's decision to transition, there's lots of other things happening - her relationship with her older sister, her fallout (and making up) with her best friend, Izzy finding inner strength and resilience to speak out against bullies, the school play … basically this is a story about family and friendship, about love and acceptance, and being true to yourself. Thus whilst the LGBT+ aspect is a major part of the story, it isn't all of it …

It's writing in a very
Aug 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtqiap
this book was absolutely rife with transphobia, homophobia and misgendering and i actually had to stop and do something else a couple of times because it was just too much for me

the transwoman in this book is so apologetic about how her transness is affecting others and it just made me so sad. everyone in her life seems to react negatively to it (this book is from the pov of her 12 year old daughter, who yes, misgenders her and has issues with her transness) and it must just feel so isolating an
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sarah Hagger-Holt has a background of telling the stories of LGBTQ people in their own words to help her readers see through sensation and debate to the truth of lives simply lived. Her first children's fiction book has clearly grown from that strong foundation, so that the reader is drawn very naturally into Izzy's world. This is not an 'issues' book. There are no cariacatures, and no melodrama (no more than any teenager can create in her own emotional world, anyway!). This is the story of many ...more
Reuben Thomas
Sep 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites-2020
This was brilliant. Izzy and the whole cast were such lovely characters who I really connected with, and it just explored emotions so beautifully. Really well written, empathetic, realistic, and a perfectly age-appropriate light touch to the topics. It’ll make an excellent resource for kids learning about different kinds of families, and be so helpful to kids going through similar things to Izzy to finally see themselves on the page. I chose to read it at this time to see whether it’d be the rig ...more
Davy H
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was interested in this perspective and it's original to write from the point of view of a child in this situation. However it's disappointingly narrow; when I later found out the author works for Stonewall it made sense that it lacks breadth, imagination, and ends up being a 'teaching' tool rather than allowing for nuance. I actually think it wouldn't help a young person in this situation as it doesn't allow for complex, contradictory or negative feelings, and might make the person feel even w ...more
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