LILY AND DUNKIN

Donna Gephart

A JLG Selection

An Indie Next Pick

Amazon Best Book of the Month

CBC’s May Hot Off the Press

An NAIBA Seasonal Pick

For readers who enjoyed Wonder and Counting by 7’s, award-winning author Donna Gephart crafts a compelling dual narrative about two remarkable young people: Lily, a transgender girl, and Dunkin, a boy dealing with bipolar disorder. Their powerful story will shred your heart, then stitch it back together with kindness, humor, bravery, and love.

Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother,

more …

A JLG Selection

An Indie Next Pick

Amazon Best Book of the Month

CBC’s May Hot Off the Press

An NAIBA Seasonal Pick

For readers who enjoyed Wonder and Counting by 7’s, award-winning author Donna Gephart crafts a compelling dual narrative about two remarkable young people: Lily, a transgender girl, and Dunkin, a boy dealing with bipolar disorder. Their powerful story will shred your heart, then stitch it back together with kindness, humor, bravery, and love.

Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl. But being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Especially when you’re in the eighth grade.

Dunkin Dorfman, birth name Norbert Dorfman, is dealing with bipolar disorder and has just moved from the New Jersey town he’s called home for the past thirteen years. This would be hard enough, but the fact that he is also hiding from a painful secret makes it even worse.

One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives forever change.

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  • Delacorte Books for Young Readers
  • Hardcover
  • May 2016
  • 352 Pages
  • 9780553536744

Buy the Book

$16.99

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About Donna Gephart

Donna Gephart writes award-winning, humorous middle grade novels from her home in South Florida. She’s a popular speaker at schools, libraries and conferences.

Praise

Gephart clearly has a lot of heart, and she tells their stories with compassion.”—Kirkus

A thoughtfully and sensitively written work of character-driven fiction that dramatically addresses two important subjects that deserve more widespread attention.”Booklist, starred

Gephart sympathetically contrasts the physical awkwardness, uncertainty, and longings of these two outsiders during a few tightly-plotted months, building to a crescendo of revelation…[A] valuable portrait of two teenagers whose journeys are just beginning.”—PW

“Lily and Dunkin is a delight. Here’s a book for anyone who’s ever struggled with being different–or anyone who’s ever loved someone who bears the burden of difference. Donna Gephart’s book is about trans children, and bipolar children, and their parents, of course, but what it’s really about is friendship, and the redeeming power of love. Crucial, heart-breaking, and inspiring.” —Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She’s Not There, and Stuck in the Middle with You

Discussion Questions

A transgender person is someone who does not identify with the biological gender assigned to him or

her at birth. Lily, born Tim, associates as a female and wants to start the hormone therapy that will allow

her to begin the physical transition to become a girl. When did Lily begin to think of herself as a girl?

Why is it best that she begin the hormone therapy now? Her mother and sister are very supportive, but

her father is not. Discuss why her father is resistant. How is Lily’s father finally convinced to support her

decision?

Throughout the book, members of Lily’s family and her close friend tell her how brave she is. How does

Lily exhibit this bravery when she stands up to the city in an attempt to save the tree she has named

Bob? Why is the tree especially important to her as she takes bigger steps toward becoming Lily? What

is her ultimate act of bravery?

Norbert suffers from bipolar disorder, a mood disorder that causes extreme lows and extreme highs.

The proper medication can control his mood swings. Why does he think stopping the medication will

help him on the basketball court? Why does his mother suspect that he isn’t taking his medication?

Who is Phin? Why is Norbert’s mother so concerned when he talks to Phin?

Lily is one of the first people Norbert meets when he moves to Florida. Why does Lily nickname Norbert

“Dunkin”? Why is Lily so disappointed when Dunkin wants to sit with the basketball team at lunch?

Cite evidence that Dunkin is uncomfortable when the basketball players call Lily names like “fag” or

bully her in the hallways.

Both characters are bullied because they don’t fit in with their classmates. Why are they hesitant to report

the bullying to school officials? How might schools intervene to help students like Lily and Dunkin?

Discuss the enormous courage it takes for Lily and Dunkin to share their secrets.

How does their acceptance of one another affect the way they act throughout the

rest of the novel? It won’t be an easy road for either of them. What are some of

the obstacles they are likely to face in the future?

How is this book about tolerance and understanding?