Lily & Dunkin

Part of June’s #BooksBuildTolerance, where I’m committed to reading, promoting, sharing, and/or purchasing books that promote tolerance of race, gender, identity, religion, ability, and sexual orientation.

You know those books that you pick up and, after reading a dozen or so pages, know it is going to be unputdownable (which is totally a word).

Donna Gephart’s Lily & Dunkin is that kind of book. Absolutely riveting and unputdownable.

Lily & Dunkin by Donna Gephart

Realistic Fiction.  Stand-alone novel. (c)2016. Ages 11+.

Lily & Dunkin is the friendship story of the decade told from the alternating viewpoints of two eight-grade students, Timothy (Lily) and Norbert (Dunkin). Nicknamed after his favorite shop in town, Dunkin has recently moved to Florida. Finding his place in school seems easier when he meets Timothy and makes the basketball team. But the ballers relentlessly torment Timothy and Dunkin’s basketball career may be derailed by his reluctance to take his bipolar medication.  Lily struggles with Dunkin’s school choices, but it’s the ones her dad makes that are more troubling: he refuses to accept her as a girl and won’t allow her the hormone blockers she desperately wants.

With Dunkin’s raw honesty taken from Gephart’s own experiences, this genuine story will open eyes and hearts to those who suffer from mental illness. The accuracy of Lily’s struggle with acceptance and identity is both hopeful and heartbreaking.  This story is as educational as it is emotional.  Highly recommended.

Also: I predict a flurry of literary awards in this book’s future…

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