Hazel's Theory of Evolution
“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 doesn’t have answers for the questions awaiting her as she enters eighth grade.Due to redistricting, she has to attend a new school where she worries no one will understand her. And at home things get worse when she discovers one of her moms is pregnant. Hazel can’t wait to be a big sister, but her mom has already miscarried twice. Hazel fears it might happen again.As Hazel struggles through the next few months, she’ll grow to realize that if the answers to life’s most important questions can’t be found in a book, she’ll have to find them within herself.

Hazel's Theory of Evolution Details

TitleHazel's Theory of Evolution
Author
ReleaseOct 8th, 2019
PublisherHarperCollins
ISBN-139780062791191
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, LGBT, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult, Fiction

Hazel's Theory of Evolution Review

  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    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
  • Laura (bbliophile)
    January 1, 1970
    Full review to come soon but I loved this a lot
  • Kathie
    January 1, 1970
    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, 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 a new school for her last year of middle school. She just wants to be invisible and make it through the year so she can be with her best friend, Becca again, but life has other plans for Hazel. She's befriended by Carina, a student from her former school who is looking for a new start. She also develops a "sort-of" friendship with Yosh, and the three kids become their own group who feel like they don't quite belong, but somehow fit together. But things at home are really hard for Hazel when she discovers one of her moms is pregnant after two previous miscarriages, and she tries to figure out what it means to her to be a sister. There are many issues being quietly explored in this book. It looks at infant sibling loss, and the impact it has on family members. It addresses sexuality, and includes a transgender character who is an important part of the story, but whose sexuality is not the main focus. It also addresses disability, and I love that the characters from a wide range of life experiences bring their diversity to the story in supporting roles. It's a character-driven book, and succeeds in drawing the reader into their lives. I look forward to reading more from this author, and hope you'll add her books to your TBR lists.
    more
  • Shan Salter
    January 1, 1970
    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 BigelowRelease date: 10/8/19From 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 th 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 BigelowRelease date: 10/8/19From 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 she finds herself in a new school without her best (and only) friend. On top of which, one of her moms becomes pregnant after two past miscarriages - a prospect which terrifies Hazel. As the story unfolds, our heroine struggles internally and even experiments with ‘hiberbating’ her emotions in order to protect herself from the perceived threats of heartache in her life. Luckily, two new friends (a kind transgender girl and an outspoken wheelchair-bound boy) weave their way in at just the right moment: providing Hazel with some much needed humor, distraction, and kinship.Hazel is the worrier in all of us and reader’s are sure to fall in love with her from the moment she discusses the importance of earthworms in Human Development class. Her journey of inner growth and self discovery is both empowering and believable. The handling of sensitive topics such as infant loss, sexuality, identity, and disability are expertly handled thanks to the first-person narration and Bigelow’s mastery of character-driven story telling. This book is not to be missed!
    more
  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from Edelweiss PlusHazel 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 cry E ARC from Edelweiss PlusHazel 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 sure she flew under everyone's radar. This is rather lonely, but she eventually finds a table in the cafeteria where she can sit with Yosh, an outspoken boy with a colorful Mohawk who is in a wheelchair, and Carina. Carina went to Hazel's old school, but presented as a boy then. Hazel gets along well with her, and the two slowly become friends. When a school family tree project is assigned, Hazel struggles. She wants to include Lena and Miles, babies that Mimi had who both died before they were born, but doesn't want people to make fun of her. This is an especially sensitive topic because Mimi is pregnant again, and Hazel is beside herself with fear. Even Rowan, who just graduated from high school, took a gap year before going to college because he was concerned about his family coping. When there is a Health and Human Development project to carry around a bag of flour and treat it as if it were an infant, Hazel's concern deepens. It doesn't help that Becca has become a cheerleader, hangs out with Kristen, and doesn't often contact Hazel. When Mimi goes into premature labor, she must reach out to Becca's family for help, and she realizes that she has more support from all of her friends than she realized. Strengths: It was interesting to see a character working on a small farm-- there is not much of that in literature. I also enjoyed Rowan as a supportive older brother. The friend drama with Becca was very true to life, and Hazel's general anxiety is on trend. It's nice to see Carina as a supporting character whose role is to be Hazel's friend and whose gender is not all that relevant. We need literature that shows all manner of characters, and Bigelow does a good job at this. Weaknesses: I'm still not convinced that middle grade readers want much younger siblings. This was also my complaint about Lowry's Son. I'm old enough that miscarriages are NOT something that one talked about; it seems odd to me that Lena and Miles has names and Hazel even knew what was going on. When I was the age to be having children, this would have been something very much kept quiet. I may or may not be speaking from personal experience about this. What I really think: I think it is hard to understand but important to realize that LGBTQIA+ people sometimes congregate. There was an interview with Lisa Bunker that pointed this out, which was good for me to read because my feeling about her books was that there were a LOT of characters my students may never have met, and it might be confusing to them to have so many. This interview made me understand books with characters who might feel more comfortable with others like themselves. Is Hazel more accepting of Carina given her family background? Perhaps.
    more
  • Mikayla Tewksbury
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 generations navigating the world, and I highly recommend it.
    more
  • Eloise
    January 1, 1970
    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, wit 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 family. Can you love someone who was never even born? Can you love your family when they're doing scary things that might hurt them? Can you love your best friend who seems to be turning against you..? Her thoughts and feelings are very touching and so relatable in ways i have rarely seen in books i've read.So thank you, Lisa Jenn Bigelow. I cannot wait to read more from this author.Also, two mums and a trans friend who were simply part of the story without making a big deal out of their identities : Perfect.
    more
  • Karen McKenna
    January 1, 1970
    Since kindergarten, Hazel has been known as Goat Girl. Her favorite place in the world is sitting in an old pickup truck in her family's farm's pasture surrounded by the goats they raise reading science encyclopedias about undervalued animals like earthworms and cockroaches. The fact that everyone thinks she is weird is made bearable by her best friend, Becca. But when the middle school lines get redrawn, Hazel finds herself headed to a new middle school for eighth grade. Her plan: to hibernate Since kindergarten, Hazel has been known as Goat Girl. Her favorite place in the world is sitting in an old pickup truck in her family's farm's pasture surrounded by the goats they raise reading science encyclopedias about undervalued animals like earthworms and cockroaches. The fact that everyone thinks she is weird is made bearable by her best friend, Becca. But when the middle school lines get redrawn, Hazel finds herself headed to a new middle school for eighth grade. Her plan: to hibernate until high school. When her friendship with Becca starts falling apart and she discovers her mom is pregnant again (after two stillbirths), hibernating seems like the only way to survive the turmoil around her. Unfortunately, the other two students sitting at the "Island of Misfit Toys" (AKA lunch table for friendless students) seem determined to get to know Hazel, as does her health teacher. Add an attachment to a flour baby assignment for sex ed, and it is hard to keep all of her feelings in hibernation. Full of internal conflict, the confusion of adolescence, and the hope that family and friends bring, Hazel's story reminds me of Judy Blume for a new generation. #LitReviewCrew
    more
  • Namrata
    January 1, 1970
    Okay. I looked at the cover, read the summary, and now I’m officially addicted.
  • Lynn O'Connacht
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Hazel’s Theory of Evolution by Lisa Jenn Bigelow as an e-ARC.Content Notes: Deals with grief over miscarriages (seen through the eyes of a sibling, but affecting the whole family), childbirth gone wrong, bullying, allusions to transphobia and some brief descriptions of transphobic bullying, suicide ideation.To be honest, when I requested Hazel’s Theory of Evolution, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect of it, but I absolutely wanted to read it asap. I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Hazel’s Theory of Evolution by Lisa Jenn Bigelow as an e-ARC.Content Notes: Deals with grief over miscarriages (seen through the eyes of a sibling, but affecting the whole family), childbirth gone wrong, bullying, allusions to transphobia and some brief descriptions of transphobic bullying, suicide ideation.To be honest, when I requested Hazel’s Theory of Evolution, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect of it, but I absolutely wanted to read it asap. Hazel is the very first middle-grade book with a deliberately asexual and aromantic protagonist and, even if Hazel doesn’t find or use those words to describe herself, they’re difficult to miss as Hazel’s friends start to discover romantic feelings.I did not, emphatically did not, expect the book to tear my heart out and cut it into tiny little pieces. I wish, above all else, that I could take this book, wrap it up in the prettiest, loveliest wrapping paper, and take it back in time to leave it somewhere only my childhood self would find it because it was, without a doubt, a book I sorely needed to read. Now or then, though it would have had more impact then.Hazel’s Theory of Evolution leans, a little, into aroace stereotypes in that Hazel is highly scientific and doesn’t have a lot of friends, but it balances that incredibly well with its narrative. Like other great aro and ace narratives, the book works to dismantle those stereotypes every step of the way and, as the book goes on, we learn that Hazel’s lack of friends has nothing to do with who she is, and everything to do with who the class bully is and how that affects Hazel’s self-esteem.This is such a quiet middle grade book about family and friends, as well as growing up, and learning to be brave for others and what strength you’re made of. It’s a story about discovering what matters, and who matters, and why you, too, matter. It’s a story about a young girl’s struggle to fit in a new school and dealing with the way changes can, sometimes, pile up until they’re almost overwhelming. It’s a story about dealing with grief and loss, of handling change and making mistakes.Above all, however, it’s a story about love. Whether that’s familial or friendship or, even, romance (which Hazel has no interest in and only watches from the sidelines).I wouldn’t advise reading this book without tissues on hand. Hazel’s struggle with grief as her whole world is (or seems to be) upended when all she wants is for things to remain the same is powerful, especially in the moments when Hazel is left reeling from unhealed wounds being torn open all over again.I loved it, though. Her friendship with Carina and her maybe-friendship with Yosh was incredibly touching. The way Hazel learns Carina is transgender is handled gently while allowing for the way a thirteen-year-old might react to meeting someone they knew after that person has transitioned. Likewise, the way Hazel tries to learn more about Yosh’s wheelchair is handled in a way to capture the reactions a thirteen-year-old might have while making it clear where Hazel is behaving rudely.I enjoyed how much Hazel’s sexuality wasn’t part of the narrative. Would I have liked to have seen more of it? Of course. It would’ve been amazing if the first middle grade book with an aroace character (and ownvoices for at least asexuality!) had been a story that incorporates asexuality and aromanticism more than it did, but it would have been a very different story and I’m honestly not sure I would have liked it as much. It’s a very mixed feeling.I loved the way the book stressed that Hazel is fine the way she is, the way her mothers and friends accept her the way she is, and the way the narrative, in part because it didn’t focus on sexuality. Often, when it comes to narratives that are about the character’s asexuality or aromanticism, it’s about that character learning they are not broken and don’t need to be fixed. While that is an important message, Bigelow’s approach is to take out even the suggestion that Hazel is broken, leaving no room for that argument at all. To me that’s what made the book so powerful. By choosing to include the labels in an author’s note instead of the narrative and by choosing to leave out any suggestion that Hazel is ‘broken’ or a late-bloomer, it gives readers who need it the chance to internalise that they are not broken before being offered potential words for the feelings they resonated with.I loved Hazel. She cares so strongly and she doesn’t always know what to do with her feelings, or herself, and she’s struggling so much. But she’s surrounded by people who love her: her mothers, her brother, her new friends, her old friend. I loved how much Bigelow managed to fit into this narrative. We learn as much about Mimi, Becca and Carina as we do about Hazel, it feels like, and it never feels like superfluous information. It all ties together in a beautiful, touching novel that I can’t wait to recommend to people looking for an emotional, intense read and for middle grade asexual and aromantic representation.
    more
  • michelle
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this from the #kidlitexchange in order to provide an honest review. All opinions are my own.I absolutely LOVED this book. Early on I saw things that just called out to me, but what makes me know that it was a special book is that I didn't want it to end. I wanted to stay with these characters for longer. There are going to be some that complain about the way the LGBTQ+ community is so casually represented, but that is almost what makes it better. I will say that I received a copy of this from the #kidlitexchange in order to provide an honest review. All opinions are my own.I absolutely LOVED this book. Early on I saw things that just called out to me, but what makes me know that it was a special book is that I didn't want it to end. I wanted to stay with these characters for longer. There are going to be some that complain about the way the LGBTQ+ community is so casually represented, but that is almost what makes it better. I will say that this book does have liberal overtones, so those who are not comfortable with that will not be comfortable with this book. Best line is how their dog, Arby, got his name.Hazel is the central character, but they story is about how all sorts of events and people are impacting her life. The biggest of all of these is the fact that one of her mothers is pregnant. This is the third time that Mimi is pregnant, but they have yet to have a live birth. Having known my fair share of women who have lost a child at various stages of their pregnancies, Hazel's fears were quite realistic. It would have been great if she could have talked about them, but the reality is that kids are not always able to talk about what is going on with them when we are talking about complicated topics like this. She wants a baby brother or sister, but she is afraid they will lose another baby, she is angry that Mimi is taking the chance, and she is unable to put on a brave face for anyone.The other big part of the story is the fact that Hazel is struggling with friendships after she has to switch schools in 8th grade. Her school redistricted and she wound up at the "other" school. Hazel is not your typical kid. She has two mothers, a brother, and they live on a goat farm. Hazel is incredibly smart and loves to read about animals. She takes things very seriously, even if they are meant to be lighthearted and silly. She even ponders Darwin's theory of evolution, hence the title of the book. She has been teased in the past and as such, she has put up a number of walls. She has to make new friends and she also struggles with the fact that her best friend is also doing new things at their old school.As I said, I loved this book. The situations that Hazel had to go through felt very real. She was a character that I really just adored and would have loved to continue on with this special cast.
    more
  • Kate Waggoner
    January 1, 1970
    @kidlitexchange #partnerThank you to the publisher @harpercollinsch and the author @lisajennbigelow for sharing an advance copy of Hazel's Theory of Evolution with the #kidlitexchange network. This character-driven and emotion filled middle grades novel will hit shelves October 8, 2019.Hazel is an introvert who lives with her two moms and older brother, Rowan, on a goat farm. She has one best friend, Becca, who she must leave behind as she attends a new middle school due @kidlitexchange #partnerThank you to the publisher @harpercollinsch and the author @lisajennbigelow for sharing an advance copy of Hazel's Theory of Evolution with the #kidlitexchange network. This character-driven and emotion filled middle grades novel will hit shelves October 8, 2019.Hazel is an introvert who lives with her two moms and older brother, Rowan, on a goat farm. She has one best friend, Becca, who she must leave behind as she attends a new middle school due to redistricting. Hazel is set on flying under the radar and "hibernating." Her life is turned even more upside down when she learns that Mimi, one of her mom's, is pregnant again. Mimi had two previous pregnancies that ended in miscarriages, so Hazel is on edge and not sure how to handle the news. The story follows Hazel as she develops new friendships, goes through growing pains and changes in old friendships, navigates her family situation, and discovers more about herself. There is so much to love about this book that I don't really know where to begin. Hazel and her emotions/feelings are so raw and real that they extend beyond the page and really get to you as you read. There were times when my heart ached for Hazel as she dealt with the grief of losing her younger siblings. Then there were times when I was laughing out loud. I love Hazel's love of science and underdogs. While I'm not a huge fan of cockroaches or skunks, I get where she is coming from and I love the entries she made in her Guide to Misunderstood Creatures. I love that the protagonist has two moms, a friend who is transgender, and that she is also thinking about things in her own identity (like how she has no interest in romantic relationships or the thought of ever having kids). One of the most powerful moments for me that really summed up the message of this book came at the end, where Mimi tells Hazel that no matter what she decides or who she grows up to be, she will always be loved for who she is. This is a book and a message that so many middle grade readers need to read and hear. I look forward to sharing this book with my students.
    more
  • Kristin Crouch
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the author for providing an ARC for Collabookation to review.Ugh! Do you remember the uncertainty and anxiety of middle school? Remember analyzing everything you said, everything others have said to you? Hazel's Theory of Evolution brought me right back to that time of constant self-doubt, and as uncomfortable as it was, I loved it. Hazel is a quiet kid, eager to hibernate through her first year of a new school. But inside, she's full of emotion, guts, and introspection. She i Thank you to the author for providing an ARC for Collabookation to review.Ugh! Do you remember the uncertainty and anxiety of middle school? Remember analyzing everything you said, everything others have said to you? Hazel's Theory of Evolution brought me right back to that time of constant self-doubt, and as uncomfortable as it was, I loved it. Hazel is a quiet kid, eager to hibernate through her first year of a new school. But inside, she's full of emotion, guts, and introspection. She is smart and sweet, but yes, a bit odd. She had a yearlong phase in which she advocated for skunks. She loves reading old encyclopedias. She lives on a goat farm.Up until now, Hazel has had the shelter of a wonderful friendship to protect her from mean kids who ridicule her. But starting a new school, Hazel is sure the only way to fit in anywhere is to fit in nowhere. Do not talk, do not laugh, make no friends. Then she learns that Mimi is pregnant. She's known her moms have been trying to get pregnant because she's gone through the process of losing two babies with them. Hazel is not sure she can bear to see Mimi lose another pregnancy, and she definitely can't go through the grieving process again...So, in true Hazel fashion, she chooses avoidance.This book is full of so much great stuff: heartbreak, love and support, friendship, grieving, healing, learning to hope, learning to find your place in the world. Full of life and lessons that anyone can learn from, I recommend Hazel's Theory of Evolution to mature fifth graders and up. Ideal for those temultuous middle school years!
    more
  • J Mccarragher
    January 1, 1970
    @kidlitexchange #partner “Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for thereview copy of this book - all opinions are my own.” Wow! Lisa Jenn Bigelow has written a gem of a story. In Hazel’s Theory of Evolution, we meet a timid 14-year-old who thinks her best option for dealing with a district move to a new school for 8th grade includes hibernating. What better way to get through a stressful year without best friend, Becca! Meet Carina and Yosh! To complicate matters, one of Hazel’s two moms @kidlitexchange #partner “Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for thereview copy of this book - all opinions are my own.” Wow! Lisa Jenn Bigelow has written a gem of a story. In Hazel’s Theory of Evolution, we meet a timid 14-year-old who thinks her best option for dealing with a district move to a new school for 8th grade includes hibernating. What better way to get through a stressful year without best friend, Becca! Meet Carina and Yosh! To complicate matters, one of Hazel’s two moms is pregnant for the third time after losing two previous babies to miscarriage. While Hazel thinks she has to internalize all her feelings, her brother Rowen recognizes this and picks up some of the slack. His understanding of his sister and the bigger picture even drives his decision to defer his first year away at college. Rather than emphasize the unconventional family structure, Bigelow concentrates on building relationships and the many different ways to be family. She does a masterful job in creating poignant, insightful, and compassionate characters. This is a story full of love, uncertainty, loss, and adolescent angst. It’s a journey of self-discovery and acceptance. The cast of characters is robust, diverse, and realistic. “If there’s anything I learned ..., it’s that hope and fear and love and loss are totally tangled together. You can’t unsnarl them”. Perfect for any middle school classroom library!
    more
  • evan
    January 1, 1970
    (Full disclosure, the author is a friend of mine.)I loved this book! Everything that Lisa writes is heartfelt and tells a a beautiful story. I found this story emotionally harder than the other ones, but that is probably entirely due to the fact that it resonated with my fears about raising kids and what they might have to deal with as pre-teens/teenagers that I won't be able to (and shouldn't) protect them from.(view spoiler)(Full disclosure, the author is a friend of mine.)I loved this book! Everything that Lisa writes is heartfelt and tells a a beautiful story. I found this story emotionally harder than the other ones, but that is probably entirely due to the fact that it resonated with my fears about raising kids and what they might have to deal with as pre-teens/teenagers that I won't be able to (and shouldn't) protect them from.(view spoiler)[This book's plot is around a girl who has to change schools in 8th grade (I think) the year before entering high school. She becomes ever more estranged from her best friend. Meanwhile, one of her mom's is pregnant for the third time and she is terrified that she'll loose this pregnancy too.Last year my family and I went through a really hard twin pregnancy, so the fears for the pregnancy resonated hard with me. Additionally, I remember how hard friend groups were in middle & high school (how hard they can be now as an adult too) and how heartbreaking it was to have friendships slide away or sometimes suddenly stop. As a parent, I'm terrified of my kids dealing with these issues, because, I won't be able to do anything about it. And if I could, I shouldn't, because it will help them grow. Watching Hazel live through it, and watching her parents struggle, broke my heart. (hide spoiler)]I highly recommend this book, especially if you are looking for some great character driven glbtq literature.
    more
  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 particularly hard year for Hazel. One of her moms is pregnant, after suffering two miscarriages, shes starting this new school and shes afraid she'll lose her best friend in the process. The story is wholesome, relevant, and just feels true. I literally was crying in the last quarter of the book, something that is really really rare for me. I really felt for Hazel throughout the story, and it really reminded me of how difficult navigating middle school is without the additional worries Hazel had going on. Life is confusing and hard at that time and Bigelow tackles it perfectly. The story has a diverse cast, and covers some really heavy topics for a middle grade book but does so in a way that feels organic and age appropriate. I have nothing but love for this book and intend to check out more of Bigelow's work after this.
    more
  • Katie Reilley
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the author and Harper Collins Childrens for sharing an ARC with our #bookexpedition group. Hazel is an 8th grader who lives on a goat farm with her two moms and an older brother. Her last year of middle school is being spent at a new school (due to rezoning), away from her best (and only) friend. On top of that, one of her moms is pregnant (after having two miscarriages), and that terrifies Hazel. Hazel decides that the best way to deal with these changes is to hibernate her feeling Thank you to the author and Harper Collins Childrens for sharing an ARC with our #bookexpedition group. Hazel is an 8th grader who lives on a goat farm with her two moms and an older brother. Her last year of middle school is being spent at a new school (due to rezoning), away from her best (and only) friend. On top of that, one of her moms is pregnant (after having two miscarriages), and that terrifies Hazel. Hazel decides that the best way to deal with these changes is to hibernate her feelings, going through her daily life while hiding her emotions. Fortunately, two kids at her new school befriend Hazel and provide a distraction from her worries. The story provides middle grade readers with an experience of sensitive topics, such as infant loss and identity. There is a scene near the end of the book where Hazel and one of her moms are talking about what is means to be a family, and what she wants for Hazel. I sobbed. It’s everything I plan to say to my own girls. Highly recommend this one with themes of family, friendship, grief, hope, and love. Publishes October 8, 2019.
    more
  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    DRC from Edelweiss and Harper CollinsGreat story told from Hazel's point of view. She is an eighth grader who has been re-districted. She left behind her friends and familiarity and is entering a new middle school for one year before going to the local HS. Although her best friend, Becca, promises to keep in touch, things start to fall apart as the months progress.Hazel lives with her two moms and an older brother. Her mom makes soaps and lotions from the goat milk their farm produce DRC from Edelweiss and Harper CollinsGreat story told from Hazel's point of view. She is an eighth grader who has been re-districted. She left behind her friends and familiarity and is entering a new middle school for one year before going to the local HS. Although her best friend, Becca, promises to keep in touch, things start to fall apart as the months progress.Hazel lives with her two moms and an older brother. Her mom makes soaps and lotions from the goat milk their farm produces and Mimi is a lawyer. They attend Farmer markets and fairs. Mimi is pregnant for the third time - the last two were miscarriages and a still birth. Hazel is not happy about this and she doesn't want to have hope that the baby will survive. She prefers to not think about it.As things adjust in school and Hazel makes a few new friends, her relationship with Becca fractures. Then one weekend a crisis occurs, Hazel needs help, and there is only one person she can call.Heartwarming story that flows quickly. There is fun, sadness, hope and friendship. The characters are realistic and many readers will be able to relate to Hazel, her family, and her problems.
    more
  • Lesley
    January 1, 1970
    Hazel Brownlee-Wellington is spending her 8th grade year in a new school, trying to survive until high school can reunite with the one friend who seems able to accept her. With an older brother who has opted to delay his freshman year at Stanford, one mom navigating her third high risk pregnancy after two miscarriages and another mom trying to pick up the slack on the family's goat farm, Hazel has a lot of time on her own to delve into Darwin's theories of evolution, and come up with some observ Hazel Brownlee-Wellington is spending her 8th grade year in a new school, trying to survive until high school can reunite with the one friend who seems able to accept her. With an older brother who has opted to delay his freshman year at Stanford, one mom navigating her third high risk pregnancy after two miscarriages and another mom trying to pick up the slack on the family's goat farm, Hazel has a lot of time on her own to delve into Darwin's theories of evolution, and come up with some observations of her own. The characters in the book is diverse on many levels, and the conflicts and conversations around race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender assignment and disability are both believable and well crafted to engage the book's intended audience. Coming of age and coming into focus as an individual, Hazel is a heroine who can both milk goats and examine their taxonomy in a convincing and compelling manner.
    more
  • Laurie
    January 1, 1970
    A moving, compassionate, and relatable middle grade read! This book explores grief and sexuality in such a sensitive and heartfelt way. I felt deeply for Hazel, who struggles to handle the incredibly complicated emotions that arise when her mom, Mimi, becomes pregnant after two devastating late miscarriages. I really appreciate the way this story delves into infant loss and depicts the ways we try to protect ourselves from heartbreak. This is a necessary story about how complex grief can be and A moving, compassionate, and relatable middle grade read! This book explores grief and sexuality in such a sensitive and heartfelt way. I felt deeply for Hazel, who struggles to handle the incredibly complicated emotions that arise when her mom, Mimi, becomes pregnant after two devastating late miscarriages. I really appreciate the way this story delves into infant loss and depicts the ways we try to protect ourselves from heartbreak. This is a necessary story about how complex grief can be and how isolating it is when a person is dealing with a complex kind of grief that other people can’t readily understand. It also features goat farming, a lovely sibling relationship, relatable friendship dynamics, and a diverse cast of characters. I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading Lisa Jenn Bigelow’s other books!
    more
  • Margaret Desjardins
    January 1, 1970
    This engaging story follows a smart girl whose life is dramatically upset in her final year of middle school. She has so many questions about her transition to high school. Unanswered questions that mean everything to Hazel, our young hero.The author has created is a story that is poignant and believable. This story speaks well to middle school girls who are at the stage of development where rapid changes occur from the emotional safety of elementary to the uncertainty of the present and f This engaging story follows a smart girl whose life is dramatically upset in her final year of middle school. She has so many questions about her transition to high school. Unanswered questions that mean everything to Hazel, our young hero.The author has created is a story that is poignant and believable. This story speaks well to middle school girls who are at the stage of development where rapid changes occur from the emotional safety of elementary to the uncertainty of the present and future. A great story especially for middle school girls. Should be on a reading list in all middle schools. A must read!Margaret Desjardins Author of the Z-Dawg Series
    more
  • Kristy
    January 1, 1970
    Sweet, almost painful to read story about a girl who is authentic and earnest but just doesn’t fit in. She lives on a goat farm with her two moms, one of whom is pregnant again after two late term miscarriages. Hazel is extremely upset and anxious about her mom’s pregnancy and is just waiting for something to go wrong... she’s also going through that inevitable friend breakup that happens around 8th grade.Really well written. Give to this to the kids who feel like outsiders but are u Sweet, almost painful to read story about a girl who is authentic and earnest but just doesn’t fit in. She lives on a goat farm with her two moms, one of whom is pregnant again after two late term miscarriages. Hazel is extremely upset and anxious about her mom’s pregnancy and is just waiting for something to go wrong... she’s also going through that inevitable friend breakup that happens around 8th grade.Really well written. Give to this to the kids who feel like outsiders but are unwilling to change to fit in.
    more
  • Lainesha
    January 1, 1970
    I have not read it yet lol but I reviewed the book and so far it is good just got to read the hole thing.
  • Kathy Willhite
    January 1, 1970
    Lisa Jenn writes from a middle schooler's perspective in a positive and realistic way. Each of her books have been well written, but this is the best so far.
  • Deeps
    January 1, 1970
    Love it.....https://www.ganatrend.com/2019/10/ish...
  • roberta
    January 1, 1970
    4.5!
  • Audrey (missaudreyclass)
    January 1, 1970
    Cockroaches, earthworms, and Hazel: some of Earth’s most misunderstood creatures.Hazel’s Theory of Evolution is a heartfelt story that follows the title character, Hazel, as she navigates a new middle school, distancing friendships, difficult-to-categorize grief, and family anxieties...cataloging the injustices in and of nature along the way (Why do people hate opossums, anyway? I’m with you, Hazel. I think they’re cute).This novel showcases classic adolescent issues (the Cockroaches, earthworms, and Hazel: some of Earth’s most misunderstood creatures.Hazel’s Theory of Evolution is a heartfelt story that follows the title character, Hazel, as she navigates a new middle school, distancing friendships, difficult-to-categorize grief, and family anxieties...cataloging the injustices in and of nature along the way (Why do people hate opossums, anyway? I’m with you, Hazel. I think they’re cute).This novel showcases classic adolescent issues (the fear of making new friends, bullying, miscommunications in friendships, the stress of academic and familial responsibilities) AND intersectionally diverse characters (an interracial, lesbian, married couple, one of whom has been recovering from multiple miscarriages; Carina, Hazel’s new friend who has recently transitioned; and Yosh, her other new friend who uses a wheelchair). At first, I was tempted to wonder, “How is this one book going to tackle SO many issues, AND do them justice?” The answer is with communication, friendship, and love. That’s how.Lots of representation and lessons about friendships in this middle grade book! Recommend to grades 5-8.
    more
  • Devyn
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from Goodreads.Hazel's Theory of Evolution is a LGBTQ friendly, contemporary, character-driven, middle grade about the trauma of grief and the courage of hope. I'm so glad books like this exists. There wasn't anything like this available for me when I was growing up that so openly represented and discussed grief, friend I received this book from Goodreads.Hazel's Theory of Evolution is a LGBTQ friendly, contemporary, character-driven, middle grade about the trauma of grief and the courage of hope. I'm so glad books like this exists. There wasn't anything like this available for me when I was growing up that so openly represented and discussed grief, friendships, trust, understanding, sexuality, communication, acceptance- and encouraged true individuality in such a commonplace and normal way.Bravo, Lisa Jenn Bigelow.If the younger generation is being raised by books like this one, there may be hope for this world yet.
    more
  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    Full disclosure: I won a copy of an Advance Reader's Edition from the author on Twitter. My heart ached for Hazel as she stressed about making friends in a new school, tried to maintain her relationship with her best friend from her old school, and struggled to not worry about her mom being pregnant following two miscarriages. With the first page, Hazel is an immediately likable character. Bigelow adeptly conveys Hazel's "differentness" without being heavy-handed, leaving the reader to reach the Full disclosure: I won a copy of an Advance Reader's Edition from the author on Twitter. My heart ached for Hazel as she stressed about making friends in a new school, tried to maintain her relationship with her best friend from her old school, and struggled to not worry about her mom being pregnant following two miscarriages. With the first page, Hazel is an immediately likable character. Bigelow adeptly conveys Hazel's "differentness" without being heavy-handed, leaving the reader to reach their own conclusions. The secondary characters are equally interesting and provide a nice supporting cast for Hazel. The ending is hopeful and satisfying, perfect for the middle-grade reader. Recommended.
    more
Write a review