This Is How We Change the Ending

Text Publishing
ISBN: 9781922268136
The Book of the Year: Older Readers 2020 Notable
This is a raw, gritty story with plenty of compassion that will leave the reader with a sense of hope. The skillfully drawn setting, of a suburb in decline with locals suffering from acute poverty, adds another dimension to the initial apathy and hopelessness felt by the complex main character, Nate. The character development here is excellent. Nate is a smart boy beaten down by his circumstances, who has learned to hide his intellect and emotions. A deep love for his younger brothers, stepmother, and even his abusive father, is the driving force in demonstrating how the powerless can be powerful. Wakefield does not shy away from the realities of destitution and domestic abuse, both physical and emotional. Almost every character is flawed but Wakefield’s skill lies in creating empathy without resorting to sentimentality. The tone and pacing are pitch-perfect, and the story will encourage teenage readers to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Ultimately, it is a thought-provoking and uplifting read.