Nothing Is Little

Holiday House. Jul. 2022. 224p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823450114.
Gr 3-6–Ever the optimist about his short stature, 11-year-old Felix has a growth hormone deficiency that requires shots to help him grow. Unsure as to why he’s so short, Felix asks his mom about his biological father whom he’s never met. Felix’s mother isn’t ready to talk about it as she is preoccupied with a baby on the way and with her husband, Paul. Paul does his best to include Felix in the family activities, but Felix can’t help wondering if he’ll ever stop feeling like “an extra puzzle piece.” At school, things seem to be clicking with the Forensic Science Club he’s joined; he’s made new friends and learned a lot about gathering evidence and clues. He’s hoping to use those skills and locate his biological father before he has to decide if he wants to take his stepfather’s last name. Written from Felix’s perspective, the story keeps a steady pace as it alternates between school and home, giving a firsthand account of what it’s like to be young and faced with decisions that are difficult to navigate.
VERDICT Engaging and heartfelt, Van Vleet’s title delivers big on the feels. Anyone who’s ever been made to feel small will benefit from hearing Felix’s story.

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