“Not My Fault” by SB Frasca

“Not My Fault” by SB Frasca 647 1000 Reader Views Kids

Not My Fault

SB Frasca
BookBaby (2023)
ISBN: 978-1667896779
Reviewed by Stephanie Elizabeth Long for Reader Views (08/2023)

For tenth grader Hy, his days consist of evading bullies, eating his feelings, and trying not to be the reason for the sadness in his single mother’s eyes. Despite this somber reality, he finds moments of joy through creating art. The phrase “not my fault” has him particularly charged up and inspired, thinking it perfectly embodies the plight of being a misfit. Hy begins anonymously sharing this message throughout his school and community by carving it into furniture and creating flyers, causing people to take notice. In addition to his newfound inspiration, Hy’s self-esteem is lifted when he meets Belinda, a well-to-do older girl from his neighborhood.

Hy is used to being a wallflower, but this new confidence changes everything. People start to take notice. He begins to form friendships and navigate exciting, albeit confusing romantic encounters, and the not-my-fault message is becoming a viral sensation. Still, problems arise when he gets kicked out of school. All he wanted was to spread some positivity, not for his academic life to be in jeopardy. Follow Hy as he treads the uncharted waters of friendship, grief, and social politics in this immersive book for teens.

“Not My Fault” by SB Frasca caught me off guard; I didn’t expect to be so profoundly impacted by a novel geared towards a younger audience. The common themes of a young adult book, such as coming-of-age, friendship, and identity, were sprinkled throughout. Still, more than that, I was impressed by how the author illustrated that youth can be a catalyst for change in recognizing and taking on social injustices. Hy’s courageous art movement delivered a strong message about acceptance and inclusivity, so much so that I felt inspired to seek ways to enact positive change within my community.

Hy transformed before my eyes. His character evolution was fascinating. The author expertly highlighted the growth from the early days of wanting to disappear and fly under the radar to developing friendships and standing up to bullies. As he navigates deep feelings like empathy, loss, and understanding burgeoning physical urges, Hy’s journey is emotionally charged and age-appropriate for young readers.

The book has much to offer teens—a relatable protagonist, character diversity, and the power of believing in yourself. If you’re a young reader, or a reader of any age for that matter, who loves to root for the underdog, this book is for you!



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