What About Will by Ellen Hopkins
Narrated by Michael Wetherbee
Release date: September 14, 2021
Trace is a kid just like any other, who loves baseball, music, and spending time with his family. But then his brother Will is injured and ends up with a traumatic brain injury, and Trace’s life begins to change. His parents get a divorce, Will isn’t around much anymore, and Trace worries about what he’s doing. When things escalate out of control, Trace has to make some difficult choices to help his brother and heal.
Writing a book about severe trauma and mental illness can be challenging while remaining true to a child’s voice. The narrator, Micheal Wetherbee, manages to capture twelve-year-old Trace’s voice and make room for the hardship his family faces. This book is a gentle, but honest, look at depression and addiction that also models positive responses and community support.
For fans of Ghost by Jason Reynolds and Before the Ever After by Jaqueline Woodson, What About Will is important and moving.
Other Nominated Titles:
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.