Holding Up The Universe

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There’s a lot of diversity happening in this YA book. Jumping back and forth between two main characters, it has the same style that I first saw in Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park. In one chapter we get the point of view of Jack, an African American teenager who suffers from “facial blindness” where he can’t recognize people’s faces. (This is probably the third book I’ve read this past year that deals with this topic – is it a new thing? I’d never heard of it before, but now it seems to be everywhere…)

In alternating chapters, we hear from Libby, who is tagged as being “America’s fattest teen” after being air-lifted from her home by a crane. The two characters get tangled up in one another’s lives, and we wind up with a touching coming-of-age story. Throw in a lesbian counselor, allusions to Jack’s younger brother being gay, and several classmates from different backgrounds and you have a nice mix of diversity here.

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