Parents' Guide to

You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P!

By Joly Herman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Brave but heavy-handed look at racism and deaf life.

You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P! Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 9+

You don’t know everything jelly P

It’s a very good book. But it is very intense. There’s a lot of police violence which can get scary. One of the main characters tutors gets shot seven times in the back by the police.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
age 15+

Do not let your child read this before you have read it yourself-inappropriate content for a 10 year old.

My daughter chose this book at her school book fair. The description talks about a girl who has a baby sister who is born deaf and my daughter has hearing difficulties. She was really enjoying the book however she struggles with repeating things out of context and this book has huge potential to cause upset!!! It covers same sex relationships, (fine but warning would be nice to prepare for questions). It then goes on to cover racism from the police and a little boy getting shot, racism at a family dinner where it mentions the ‘n’ word. It doesn’t say the whole word but any child is going to ask. Thankfully my child has never heard the word and I don’t want her learning it-it’s from the dark ages and should stay there. All this controversial stuff takes away from the advertised theme of the book which could have been so good if they hadn’t ruined by making it so inappropriate for children. I really am quite cross this book was sold at a school book fair. Do know buy it unless you have a much older child with the maturity to deal with the adult themes.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (3):

Courageous in the conversation it boasts, but disappointing in the lack of subtlety, this story is ultimately an exercise in addressing prejudices. Author Alex Gino is right: All families need to talk about the fact that teens of color are at a far higher risk of being shot by police than white kids. All families need to talk about how racism is part of American culture and that we need to look at our own prejudices and beliefs about other races and cultures. What is also clear is that Jilly gets shamed by her black friends for being "uncool" when she doesn't say exactly the right thing. She wants to have conversations about race and deafness, but finds she's walking on eggshells when she begins to talk. It's as though she's to blame for other people's feelings, which isn't empowering for her either.

Because much of what happens in You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P! is summarized like a diary entry or an essay, the plot doesn't have a chance to blossom. Jilly's life is played out after school and online, and the richness of social interactions at school are missing. When she does meet an online friend in person, or when she experiences her first large protest in the company of her family, these moments feel real and good. Kids will enjoy the online chats about the fictional "Viidalia" trilogy that Jilly is obsessed with. But, like Jilly, they might rather immerse themselves in that fantasy world than a world where people are correcting others for their mistakes.

Book Details

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