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Honestly Elliott

Note from Gillian:

Elliott only feels like himself when he's in the kitchen. Sixth grade has been a struggle and he's been feeling out of place at his Dad's house, too. When he's paired with super-smart and popular Maribel to do a school project, it may be the chance to show the world who he really is. 

I wrote this book because I wanted to explore cooking and community. I also drew on my own experiences as a person with ADHD and celiac disease.


A Great Fit for:

  • Readers who love to cook

  • Readers experiencing their own neurodivergence or the neurodiversity of others 

  • Readers who like reading about "found family"

  • Parent/kid discussion: Why is it sometimes hard for kids and parents to understand each other? Why did Elliott feel upset about "The Incident"? What kind of business plan would you want to make?

Honors & Awards

  • 2023 Schneider Family Book Award Honor Book

  • AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

  • Junior Library Guild selection

  • Common Sense Media Common Sense Selection

  • Washington Post Kids Summer Book Club selection

  • Children's Book Council, Librarian Favorites Award

  • Amazon Teachers' Pick

    ★ Kirkus, starred review

    ★ Publishers Weekly, starred review

    ★ Booklist, starred review

    ★ School Library Journal, starred review

  • Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Award List

  • Georgia State Book Award Nominee

  • Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl 

  • Maryland BlackEyed Susan Award List

  • Vermont Golden Dome Book Award List

  • Delaware Diamond Award List

  • Michigan MISelf in Books List, Middle School

  • Michigan MISelf in Books List, Upper Elementary

  • South Carolina Children's Book Award List

  • Junior Tome Book Award 

  • Washington State Sasquatch Award Nominee

Book Details


Age range: 8-13

Grade level: 3-8

Hardcover: 288 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books

ISBN-10: 1547606258

ISBN-13: 978-1547606252

Art by Mirelle Ortega, design by Jeanette Levy

Available in:

  • Hardcover

  • Paperback

  • Ebook

  • Audio book, narrated by Matthew Bridges

Signed copies available through Quail Ridge Books
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