Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Grade: 8 to 12
- Reading age: 12 to 18
Declan's life in small-town Quebec is defined by his parents' divorce, his older brother's delinquency and his own lackluster performance at school, which lands him with a tutor he calls Little Miss Perfect. He likes his job at the local ice rink, and he has a couple of good buddies, but his father's five-year absence is a constant source of pain and anger. When he finds out the truth about his parents' divorce, he is forced to reconsider everything he has believed about his family and himself.
About the author
Karen Nesbitt works as a high school counselor near Montreal, Quebec. The mother of two teenagers, Karen spends most of her days immersed in teen culture. She lives with her husband and children in Pierrefonds, Quebec. Subject to Change is Karen's debut novel
- Commended, Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year
- Short-listed, White Pine Award
- Winner, Quebec Writers' Federation Prize for Children's and Young Adult Literature
"Vividly illustrates the confusion, elation, pain, and self-doubt typical of adolescence. Nesbitt does a great job of personalizing issues such as homosexuality, divorce, substance abuse, racism, and poverty...It is touching to see how [Declan's] character develops and changes...All in all, Subject to Change is a gritty, touching, well-told story with great character development."
"Nesbitt's debut novel brilliantly captures the anger, angst, and alienation left by a socially marginalized teenager struggling to make sense of his fractured family relationships. The book touches on an aspect of the Holocaust that many young people may not be aware of. A smattering of profane language and scenes involving marijuana use and alcohol abuse provide a gritty sense of reality to this finely written book."
Association of Jewish Libraries
"Nesbitt has crafted a sensitive portrait of a teen's uncertain relationship with a gay parent...Fans of John Corey Whaley and John Green will enjoy this realistic young adult story."
School Library Journal
"Nesbitt makes adept use of her experience working with teens. Declan's convincing observations about the world around him are sharp, but he still comes off like a real teenage boy."
Montreal Review of Books
"The characters are realistic and sympathetic…The story rings true and the reader roots for Declan as he becomes more mature. Readers ages 13 and up will enjoy this story of a boy who faces his problems with the help of family and friends."
Jewish Book Council
"This is a realistically portrayed segment of the teenage population that is under represented in literature. The author...seems to have significant insight to the adolescent characters."