JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE
Longlisted for the Juniper Award, the Sparks Award and the James Reckitt Hull Children's Book Award.
Shortlisted for the Cheshire Schools Book Award.
"Acutely observed, warm and down to earth, Aidan’s gradual journey from denial to self-acceptance is an absorbing read for 11+." The Guardian
"A powerful and important book." Tamsin Winter, author of 'Girl in Real Life'
"One of the most gentle and emotionally intimate books I've read for its intended age group (10-13) - but its impact could be seismic [...] This book is authentic, heartfelt and could be a catalyst for change." @MamaGStories
what's it about?
Aidan lives with his loud, large and loving family, down the road from best friend Jack. When Aidan’s mum agrees to be a surrogate for gay couple, Justin and Atif, Aidan worries about what this will mean for himself and his family. It pushes him to think more about his own identity and whether or not he is ready to come out.
Meanwhile, Jack is bullied at school for seeming gay, and Aidan’s reaction threatens to drive the two friends apart, just when they both most need a friend.
why did i write it?
From a very early age, we all discover that there are certain things that are seen as okay for girls, and others that are okay for boys. There are lines that shouldn’t be crossed. I hope the characters in ‘Just Like Everyone Else’ inspire more people to question why that is and what they can do to change it.
Surrogacy isn’t often explored in fiction for children and young people, and there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about what it involves and why people do it.
I wanted to use one family’s situation as an opportunity to explore how we create our own networks, rich with meaning and love, beyond traditional family relationships.