Lily and Dunkin

by: 
Donna Gephart

Dunkin, birth name Norbert, has just moved to South Florida from New Jersey. He’s tall and gangly and about to start 8th grade. Dunkin also has secrets. He is dealing with bipolar disorder, and his father is no longer in the picture (spoiler alert- the reader finds out later that Dunkin’s dad also had bipolar disorder and committed suicide). Dunkin now lives with his mother and grandmother, Bubbie, in the same neighborhood as a girl named Lily Jo. 

Lily Jo, birth name Timothy, has beautiful blonde hair and blue eyes. Like Dunkin, she is about to start 8th grade, and carries a secret of her own. Lily is a transgender girl.  Ever since she was about 5 years old, she knew that she was a girl and not a boy. Although Lily’s family and close friend, Dare, know about her desire to start living her life as Lily, Lily’s father struggles with accepting that his son, Timothy, is really a girl. 

One summer morning, Lily and Dunkin meet. The two become friends; however, Lily tells Dunkin that her name is Timothy--afraid that he might make fun of her if she were to reveal her true name. By the time they finally start middle school, Lily is excited to have another friend in Dunkin, but shortly after schools starts, Dunkin starts to hang out the basketball team -- the same guys that have been bullying Lily.  The rest of the novel continues to follow the struggles Lily and Dunkin face as they navigate the 8th grade, try to remain friends, and unearth their secrets to the world. 

Reading Level: 
Heads up - topics in this book that might require further discussion: 
Bullying
Death of a parent/close family member
Suicide/ Attempted suicide
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Yes