Fans of John Green, Sara Barnard and Adam Silvera will love this contemporary YA that is packed with humour and heart.
A high school student with spinal muscular atrophy is determined to reinvent himself.
When new-boy Harris meets cute-girl-in-his-class Nory, he is determined to prove he is more than just the kid in the powered wheelchair. Luckily, he has a secret weapon. His new nurse Miranda.
Beautiful and confident, Miranda sees Harris for who he really is – funny, smart and totally worthy of Nory’s affections. It seems everything is working out for Harris for once. But Miranda has her own demons, and Harris starts to wonder if she has his best interests at heart.
PRAISE FOR THE FIRST THING ABOUT YOU
“A beautifully empathetic novel that makes you look at the world differently.” Phil Earle, author of When the Sky Falls
“A witty, candid take on love, friendship, belonging, and disability.” Kirkus
“A stellar debut. Chaz Hayden writes with the humor and heart of a seasoned storyteller. An instant favorite.” John Corey Whaley, author of National Book Award Finalist Noggin and Michael L. Printz Award winner Where Things Come Back
“Clear-eyed and bighearted and laugh-out-loud funny.” Katie Cotugno, New York Times bestselling author of 99 Days
"Following Harris as he navigates family, friendship, first love, and finding himself was thoroughly enjoyable. I would recommend this honest, hilarious, and heartfelt novel to anyone 14 years and over." Reading Time
Despite his struggles, the ending is totally uplifting, as Harris realizes what is important in his life. Written by someone with first hand experience of this condition lends realness and warmth to Harris’ challenges and triumphs. This is a tremendous novel suitable for all teenagers.
The First Thing about You, ‘a classic boy-in-a-wheelchair meets girl love story’ is a powerful read, written with humour and insight.
An honest and charming coming of age story, The First thing About You explores themes of disability, love, family, friendship, stereotypes, isolation, and grief. I deeply appreciated the well-developed yet realistically flawed characters including Harris’s family with whom there are many hilarious and heart-wrenching moments. Chaz Hayden (who shares the same condition as Harris) taps into his own lived experience to create an extremely authentic feeling narrative. Three dimensional disabled characters are hard to come by in Young Adult literature, but Hayden does an exemplary job with Harris and doesn’t shy away from some of the harsh realities of his everyday life. Following Harris as he navigates family, friendship, first love, and finding himself was thoroughly enjoyable. I would recommend this honest, hilarious, and heartfelt novel to anyone 14 years and over.
This book does a great job of capturing the Pains Of Being Fifteen. Also absolutely loved the poignant and crisp disability advocacy throughout the book… An explosively colourful story full of complex characters and amazing banter that read like a slice of life from a teen with Muscular Spinal Dystrophy. Totally recommend!