This is my Underrepresented category. You know of a minority, it is here. There are two dads in the doctor’s office. Jilly’s aunts are gay, and one is black (with two children from her previous marriage that she “called the biggest mistake of her life”). Gino speaks about the injustices surrounding the shootings of young black people. There is a black and deaf child. Jilly’s baby sister is deaf. The author, Alex Gino is non-gender conforming.
You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P! is Gino’s sophomore novel. Their first novel, George, has gotten a lot of praise and slack for talking about a transgender child for the younger crowd. Of course, it has been banned, challenged, put on reading lists, talked about and more. And while Jilly P is not as controversial on the surface, there is a lot going on that could get people talking.
The reading audience is getting a lot tossed at them. Maybe too much sometimes. I would have liked to see one, maybe two story lines, going on at the same time. Having it all come to a head might be a bit confusing for some readers. However, it is smoother of a read than George. The main plot is that Jilly P is a typical 12-year-old girl excited for her new baby sister. Her parent’s reaction to Emma being deaf is very realistic (they do everything to make her “fit” and be “normal”) while the reaction of Jilly’s online friend is also realistic (he is a proud deaf, black kid and does not let you forget it). It is when the story of the extended family being less that enlighten that the story gets very heavy handed. However, overall this book is very good and should be read.