You don't know everything, Jilly P!

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Alex Gino: You don't know everything, Jilly P! (2018, Scholastic, Incorporated)

247 pages

English language

Published Sept. 26, 2018 by Scholastic, Incorporated.

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3 stars (2 reviews)

Jilly thinks she's figured out how life works. But when her sister Emma is born Deaf, she realizes how much she still has to learn. A big fantasy reader, Jilly connects with another fan, Derek, who is a Deaf Black ASL user. She goes to Derek for advice but doesn't always know the best way to ask for it.

4 editions

Review of "You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P!" on 'Storygraph'

3 stars

My review: I felt closer to 2.5 stars, but I'm rounding up because it tied together some important conversations I've had with my 10 year old, and she enjoyed the book. I felt like it got too preachy, but my child didn't feel that way at all. The direct approach worked for her. Maybe my desire for more showing, not telling, isn't important - after all, I'm not the target age group. The author's note covered some of the discomfort I had considering this isn't #ownvoices.

My 10-year-old's review: It's a mix of "it's good" and "I really liked it." The abbreviations were annoying, only a little bit. I listened to the audiobook and sometimes there were different voices for the characters, but other times not. Sometimes I was confused about who was talking. I learned a lot and liked the story. I'm going to learn ASL now, though!

Review of "You don't know everything, Jilly P!" on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Mixed feelings on this one. It's written for white, hearing children trying to navigate their privilege. Jilly P makes mistakes (and watches others make mistakes) in interacting with her Deaf sister, Deaf Black friend, and Black aunt, and she learns what she did wrong and how to do better. In that way, I think it's essential reading for all white hearing children. For me, it's just a little too...after-school special is the wrong phrase, but it reads almost like a story version of a pamphlet on "how to start acknowledging your privilege." Jilly P is charming, though, and I enjoyed her Aunt Alicia a lot, too. It's a book where the message is better articulated than the story, I suppose. Still, I'll add it to my list of realistic fiction recommendations.


  • Deaf
  • Disabilities
  • Friendship
  • Disabled persons
  • Fiction