Maybe the famous pizza in New Jersey will make up for moving from California for Dad’s work. Big brother Ollie just wants to play his last year of high school lacrosse and get to college.
Harris is determined to be known at his new school as more than “the guy in the powered wheelchair” so he needs a nurse-assistant right now! Having his mom accompany him everywhere (including the cafeteria and bathroom) won’t help the 15 year old blend in.
Enter the lovely Miranda, a nursing student in her final year, who graduated from his high school! She’s comfortable with administering breathing treatments, taking his notes in class, driving their giant van with the lift, and not taking any crap from Harris.
His new pal Zander is a little crazy (in a good way), but Harris still can’t get cute Nory in his honors classes to answer his getting-to-know-you question: what’s your favorite color? She’s quiet at school, but texts him photos of the wonderful Mexican meals that she cooks for her widowed father every evening.
Partnered with Harris for their big physics project, Nory decides they should study his theory of colors and personality = yes, that means time together after school!
Harris decides to sit with the football players at lunch, and his expert analysis of their first game blows them away = yes, more friends!
His first high school party with Nory and Zander = umm, not great. His first live concert with Nory (and Miranda) = really great!
Something terrible happened at school during Miranda’s senior year = she’s not over it yet, is she?
If only navigating relationships was as simple as using the joystick on his wheelchair…
Like Harris, the author was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy as a baby, spent way too much time in hospitals, and decided to motor his way through life with friendship and positivity. Read the first chapter here free, courtesy of the publisher.
What’s the first thing that you notice about a new friend?
Book info: The First Thing About You / Chaz Hayden. Candlewick Press, 2022. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.