Nobody’s Family is Going to Change by Louise Fitzhugh (1975)

Louise Fitzhugh, Nobody’s Family is Going to Change, Nobody’s Family is Going to Change review, Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

From the original review in The Lincoln Star by Mary Somerville, February 1975: Publishers have recently come a long way toward liberating children’s books … in general, there are more titles with strong female characters.

This does not mean that all books now being published are nonsexist. Far from it. As a matter of fact, nonsexist easily readers are practically unobtainable. But a large number of new picture books, nonfiction, and fiction for older children reflect the craving for human liberation. 

Witness Nobody’s Family is Going to Change, a 1974 American Library Association Notable Book by Louise Fitzhugh, author of Harriet the Spy.


Emma wants to be a lawyer, Will wants to dance

Protagonist Emma is a tough, bright 11-year-old who wants to become a lawyer like Daddy. Daddy and Mother, upper-middle-class blacks, aren’t too keen on the idea, they want Emma to be a wife and Willie her younger brother, to be the lawyer.

Will, on the other hand, wants to be a Broadway dancer, which is anathema to Mom and Dad. Emma’s Afro may grow the wrong way (sideways rather than up), but her head is screwed on right.

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Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

You might also enjoy: Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

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She’ll have to grit her teeth and make it on her own

In the final scene, she realizes the truth of the title; if the family won’t applaud her career goals, she’ll just have to grit her teeth and make it the hard way.

Encomiums for Louise Fitzhugh, who died before this book was published. Harriet the Spy, her first and best, was way ahead of its time; she liberated her characters long before it was fashionable. She also revolutionized children’s books with her modern, zany and free-form plots. The best of recent authors … owe her an enormous debt.

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Nobody's family is going to change by Louise Fitzhugh

Nobody’s Family is Going to Change on Amazon

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