Cover Image: No One Ever Asked

No One Ever Asked

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Member Reviews

NO! PLEASE STOP! I can’t take it anymore. I am horribly invested in this book. I have a life, teaching 11th graders, and this book seriously makes me want to quit my job so I can just read all day. What a freaking book!?!?! Stop what you’re doing and go get it, read it, and love it as much as I do! Thank you @netgalley and @katieganshert!
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Follow the lives of Camille, Jen, and Anaya as their worlds entwine when an inner city school district loses its accreditation, sending many of their misplaced students to a well-to-do school district that is less than excited to take them in. Camille seems to have it all—a wealthy husband and three beautiful children that attend some of the best schools available. How will this school integration affect her affluent family? Jen, her husband, and their newly adopted Liberian daughter are new to town and just trying to settle into a normal life. Should they send their daughter to school with other kids like her or one where she is the minority? Anaya is in her first year of teaching and has accepted a job in the school district receiving transfer students. Despite her hesitancy, she is determined that she will make a positive impact somehow. With racism and segregation at the forefront of this story, these three women will have to figure out a way to do what is best for their children, family, and community. 

This book was incredible! I was intrigued from the very beginning. There is such an intricate and enlightening story that unfolds, and it will stay with me long past the last page. Topics such as racism, segregation, family dynamics, adoption, and faith are all delicately and empathetically discussed within a story that just flows so well together. Each character was well developed and portrayed, with each of their personal stories  and growth being equally fascinating. How Katie Ganshert managed to piece together such difficult topics into a story so beautifully is beyond me. I think it really says something about a book when it can make you look at things differently in life—in a good way. My eyes have been opened to some of the significant struggles many individuals have faced and continue to face. I would highly recommend this book to anyone! It would spark some great discussion for a book club, or it could just be an enthralling solo read. I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
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No one ever asked if South Fork School District wanted to merge with the Crystal Ridge School District.

No one ever asked Camille if she wanted her husband to move out.

No one ever asked Anaya if she wanted to teach a predominantly white class.

No one ever asked Jen if she wanted her daughter to have an attachment disorder.

And no one ever asked the South Fork School District kids if they wanted long bus rides.

The year had opened up with promise, but deteriorated quickly when Camille's youngest daughter used a racial slur in class, and the principal wouldn't back up Anaya because of who the girl was.

Camille's oldest daughter broke up with her boyfriend and started hanging out with a boy from South Fork and caused a different kind of racial tension.

Life sometimes stinks and for the characters in this book, life stinks a lot and there's hardly any places in the novel where it doesn't.  But that doesn't mean there's no redemption in the book.  There is a lot of perseverance, overcoming, and taking honest looks at what life really is. 

When I opened this galley to read, I knew one thing, it was a contemporary book--that was what I wanted. I wasn't sure I wanted a book of angst, but Katie Ganshert made it work.  It was hard to put down, it was hard to read, but not putting it down won out.  It is a five star book, just like the rest of Katie's books. Two Thumbs Up, and a PTA room mother who gets a long look at herself and doesn't like what she sees.

Waterbrook Multnomah provided the galley for me to read and review.  The opinions expressed here are my own.
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I found this a challenging read in many way - at first I couldnt quite get to grips with the story, the characters flew in, names confused me, but things fell into place around 20% in and after that I got into my stride.  It was an interesting novel, challenging racism both subtly and overtly within the same piece.

I preferred the narrative of Camille, but more as I identified with her marital journey so I was invested in her relationship with Neil. And whilst Anaya was a strong female lead I struggled with some of her views - and then Jen was right in-between.

I really did enjoy the book despite the discomfort I sometimes felt, it was a very interesting read and I would recommend it.
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Oh my goodness! This book is all that and a box of cracker jacks! I was blown away with the complex plot and characters. The way that the story line grips a reader is breathtaking and I was moved to tears more than once. It is stunning, stunning novel.
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Although I won't be using this in my 8th grade classroom, this is a fantastic book for any adult! Love the different storylines and all are so timely in today's world.
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Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this thought provoking book by an author I’m sure to read again. The book follows three women, a young Black teacher, an affluent married woman who seems to have it all and a nurse who has just realized her dream of becoming a mother through adoption. This book challenges you to think about how we view people who are different from ourselves and clearly establishes that racism runs deep and at times is quite overt. The author did a phenomenal job of developing the characters and made no effort to hide their flaws.  As a social worker I especially found Jenn’s experiences as a new adoptive mother to be spot on. Adopting a child who has experienced trauma is extremely challenging but ultimately rewarding if you can truly make the commitment. 
I will be looking for future books from this author.
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This was a thought-provoking book about a very timely subject, I thought the author did a really nice job working through complicated issues from the points of views of different characters.
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This is an interesting book, and very different than what I normally read. It really makes you rethink your world views.
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It took me three days to sit down and write this review. If I had right from when I finished, it would have been 5 stars and that would have been a mistake. Here’s the thing: I want to love this book. I want to like it so much and if I was judging by the heartwarming, faith-based nature of it, this book would have 5 stars. If I was judging by how the book builds to the climax, it would have 5 stars. If I could only judge by the considerations of different perspectives within this book, it would have 5 stars.

Yet, I can’t judge by the good, technical nature of this book because that would be a disservice to the message it seeks to send. We’ll get to all that in a minute.


Great. No major grammatical errors noticeable to the untrained eye and the story overall flowed well. I liked the transitions between each of the stories and the individual voices of each character present within the transitions. Oftentimes, when switching between point of view, I’ll see authors make all the perspectives sound the same and this book didn’t struggle in that way.


This book starts at a point then goes back a year to lead back up to that event. I think the flashback was done well, but occasionally rushed through. I understand the reasons for not drawing out every moment but would have enjoyed a bit more from each family to get to know them beyond the struggles they were having. Overall, this was done well.

Characters and Arcs:

We spent a lot of time between Anaya, Jen, and Camille as well as those who are important to them. I think we skipped over some important steps that connected them between the beginning hook through the end of the flashback, but overall I enjoyed the progression of their stories. Camille seems to have really made a change and Jen connected with Jubilee on a level I really enjoyed.

I do struggle with Anaya’s arc. She did so great through about 75% of this one and where we missed the mark was the end. Politics were a major theme of the whole story, but in the end, the politics came to a head as problematic forgiveness for Anaya’s story. I understand the intention of bringing faith-based, “it’s for me!” forgiveness into the story. Yet, as someone who’s struggled with sexual harassment in previous work, I find this idea of forgiving the abuser one that makes my skin crawl. Add in Anaya’s need to forgive Camille on a simple apology and we’ve got another challenge. It puts the focus on giving Anaya emotional labor and an easy out for Camille.


Have you ever fallen in love with the idea of love? I feel like that’s where I’m at on this book. I finished this book and smiled. I wanted to stay in love with it. Yet, the more I reflected the more concerned I was with the precedent this book sets. I wish Katie would have had a co-author who is African American to give more opinion to the plot in its credibility and I worry it is another addition to a long line of books that has good intentions in a problematic delivery. I, as a fellow white woman like Katie, can’t give a sound opinion on whether this will damage the communities Katie intends to bring voice to. Yet, I feel it would be unethical or damaging to not bring that potential to the table. We, as a society, tend to put a lot of emotional labor on black people and take their voices. Will this book, which seeks to give voice to the struggles of being black in America outsell a book with the same intentions written by a black author who has actually experienced it? Is Anaya’s conclusion one that accurately represents their truth or is it one that simply makes us white women feel warm and fuzzy on finishing it?

That’s my worry.

Overall, I would recommend this book to others with a potential disclaimer or at the very least request for the reader to also check out one of the many books on the black experience in America written by black authors.
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Having lived through a similar experience and something that I see and deal with almost every day, the topic of this book intrigued me. What happens when a affluent school is forced to deal with the loss of accreditation of a struggling and low-income minority school system. I've seen the forces at play so thought it would be interesting to read about from the points of few Ms. Ganshert introduces us too. I was also intrigued with how a White writer would tackle some of the subtle issue. I have to say I was pleasant surprised, I think Ms. Ganshert did an excellent job and some aspects resonated with me and I liked that she introduced these idea to an audience that probably doesn't deal with them on a daily basis. I wonder how many of her readers were like the O'Hare principal and had no idea who Emmett Till was. That idea is heartbreaking to me but I imagine many readers are learning about him for the first time. Her details regarding Tamir Rice were very well laid out and I appreciate reading about it from her point of view. I think this is a great book- a great story that is well thought-out. So much of it rang true and the characters are real ( not felt real, I feel like she did this characters almost perfectly) I could not put this book down and will definite recommend this books in every time a mom ask for a book recommendation in every single mom group I am in. This should be required reading.
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No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert challenged me and grew my heart for people.  This story is wrapped in compassion and clarity.   Ganshert tackles very difficult subjects, such as racism and prejudice, and its underlying truth is that other people often have walked through crises and difficulties that require our compassion, mercy, and love.  The gospel must be taken to those people, and we are the ones charged with doing that.

The story focuses on a new teacher in an upscale school district.  When a school in a less affluent area loses its accreditation, the "fancy" school is required to educate the displaced students.  This introduces conflict, hate, and ugly truths among the residents of both areas.  As a teacher myself, I found myself changing the way I view some of my students.  Often the students who cause discipline issues are fighting battles we do not see, and cannot imagine.

Plot twists and turns keep us rooting for the characters we come to love in this novel.  People on both sides of the issue must face some hidden truths about themselves, and decide whether they have the courage to change.   I found myself asking myself difficult questions while reading this novel.

The writing style quickly grabs the reader, and drops you into this divided community.  You may be surprised which characters you "side" with as the story progresses.  Ganshert's imagery and rich details make her characters three-dimensional and empowers the reader to face similar truths in her own life. 

I will recommend this novel to my students this year, and may read parts of it to them.   Placing issues of segregation and racism in this modern setting reveals the fact that our country still deals with complex ideas that we thought we conquered long ago.  This novel will be with me for a long time.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  These thoughts and words are my own.
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I received an advanced copy of this book through Netgalley. This book had me from the very beginning. I love that it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I would highly recommend this book to my fellow readers. Thank you for the chance to review this book!!!!
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This book was excellent.  Although I tend to prefer books with fewer main characters, this one wove the stories of three women together beautifully.
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I wasn't really sure what to expect since multiple points of views are not my favorite but Ganshert really made the characters and the struggles they face come across in a way I could relate to,
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Very emotional . Sometimes hard to read, but very important. Racism is dealt with from the point of view of three women from very different circumstances. When a failing school district that is predominately black is closed the children are bussed to the predominantly white district and causes emotions to run high. Deals with issues that are extremely relevant in today’s society. Heartbreaking, important book. Highly recommended.
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No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert.  This is the first book in a very long time that has me thinking about it days after finishing reading it.  Ms Ganshert has made quite an impression.  Camille, Jen , Anaya and their families were all true to life and thoroughly reliable.  Current headline topics were skillfully addressed and woven into an authentic, emotional and heartfelt story.  

Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for the opportunity to preview the book.
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Talk about making you reflect! This book gently encourages one to explore any biases, covert or overt. We often believe that we are without any [biases] but reading this book, it helps to reveal that there are many biases that go unrecognized. The way Ganshert intertwines the lives of these individuals creates an awesome story.
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This is such a tough book to review, but I am going to try. The story deals with many different issues, but the main one is segregation and racism. I truly feel that the author did a great job with these issues and approaching them from multiple angles. As I was reading, I found myself questioning many of my own thoughts and actions as well as wondering how I would react if I was put into the same situations as many of these characters. I really feel like this is an important book, well written, and hope it gets widely read. I know I will be recommending it to others. It tackled a lot of tough issues, but I feel that it addressed them in an honest and realistic way. I hope that as others read it, they go in with an open mind and see what they can learn. I think there are parts of this book that will hit home with individuals of all races and nationalities.

A quote from the book I hope to all remember "Forgiveness isn't pardon for them. It's freedom for you."

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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I loved No One Ever Asked because it is packed with plot! You all know how much I need plot in a book, and this book was everything I always look for in a book. It had great, diverse characters, and things happened to them throughout the whole book. It is a modern story about race in America – basically about desegregation of a school district. When a primarily black school is graded as failing, the students from that school are given the option to be bussed to a primarily white suburban school. The community is outraged. They don’t want their kids exposed to potentially dangerous youth. It is intense and true…and sad, but also hopeful.

The story follows three characters. A white mother of three with kids in the elementary, middle, and high schools. A young black teacher who had hoped to teach in the failing school district but ends up teaching 2nd grade in the rich elementary school. And a white mother of an adopted, black girl from Africa. The book is a little slow at the start as all three perspectives are introduced, but then things pick up quickly and are pretty intense for the remainder of the book.

This book would be terrific for book club discussion. There are many other issues beyond the racial aspect that would make for great conversation. I wish I’d read this book with other people. It’s a powerful story.
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