Karen Wilifred: Just Lizzie

Karen Wilfred: Just Lizzie
Reading and Book Signing

Thursday, Novmber 30, 2023 at 7:00pm

Books available for sale in the shop after it's release on November 14 or preorder here.

In this beautifully written contemporary middle grade debut, an eighth grader's study of asexuality in science class leads her to understand her own asexual identity as she embarks on a journey toward self-discovery and self-advocacy. For readers of Alex Gino and Ashley Herring Blake.

There’s the part of me that doesn’t understand kissing or cuteness or attraction, and then there’s the part of me that feels so lonely. How do I make sense of those two parts? Maybe I’ll never make sense of them.

What do you do when there's a question inside you that feels so big, you don't know how to put words to it? How do you even begin to ask it? Fourteen-year-old Lizzie is experiencing a lot of change: her family had to move after the incident with their neighbor, leaving behind not only her beloved apple tree, but what feels like her childhood along with it. Lizzie's brother is too busy for her in his first semester of college and her friends are more interested in dating than dolls. It’s hard not to feel left behind, especially as she tries to explain the fact that she still has zero interest in boys, girls, or the baffling behavior known as “flirting.”

But just as Lizzie’s world feels like its closing in, a class lesson on asexual reproduction in plants piques her curiosity, leading her to look up whether people can be asexual too—and suddenly, her world opens up. Lizzie finally finds an identity, a word for all her messy, unnamable feelings that feels like it fits, although she quickly realizes that a label isn’t enough if no one believes it’s real.

Accessible, moving, and compassionate, Just Lizzie effortlessly braids a nuanced individual journey of identity with the bittersweet angst of growing up, growing apart, and learning there are many ways to live and love.


Karen Wilfrid is a writer and seventh-grade English teacher based in Newton, Massachusetts. After receiving her B.A. in Creative Writing and Spanish from Oberlin College, she taught for two years on a Fulbright teaching fellowship in Cantabria, Spain. She is a graduate of GrubStreet in Boston's 2020-2021 Novel Incubator Program, and now specializes in essays, fiction, and teaching seventh graders the finer points of comma usage. Her work has appeared in Cicada magazine, Publishers Weekly, Dead Darlings​, and Embark literary journal.









Event date: 
Thursday, November 30, 2023 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
372 Chandler Street
Worcester, MA 01602
Just Lizzie By Karen Wilfrid Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063290297
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Clarion Books - November 14th, 2023