No One Ever Asked

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Having taught in North Carolina in the late 1960's during the middle of desegregation, I found this book very interesting.  I taught in an all black school where the only integration that had taken place was the teaching staff.  It was close to a military base and over half the teachers were military wives who would leave as soon as their husbands were transferred which meant some classes might have 2 or 3 teachers in the same year.  My husband was discharged from the service in March, but we had made a commitment that I would complete the school year with my class.  I later taught in Texas at the beginning of enforced desegregation where children were bussed to different schools in order to equalize ethnic ratios.  

Having lived through this, I feel that Ganshert definitely did her research and was accurate in her portrayal of the happenings during this time period.  She navigated well between the turmoil, prejudices, and discrimination that took place then and continues now.  She challenges the readers thinking as she follows the three main women characters through the happenings in their area as one lower income school district is closed when it loses its accreditation and another wealthy district must absorb many of its students.  Each of the women grows in their understanding of their own prejudices and beliefs.  This book deals with hot button topics that are still a brick wall for many people today.  Ganshert stepped out of her comfort zone and in so doing made me consider my own thinking.  This book made my 2018 favorites list.

**I received a complimentary copy of this book  from Random House through NetGalley.  Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
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No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert
My one main regret about this novel is that I read a digital copy which I cannot share, because this is definitely a book to recommend and pass along to reading friends.  I think a paperback copy to loan out will find a permanent place on my book shelf.
Katie Ganshert details the lives of three different women in a school district.  Jen, an adoptive mother of a girl from an African country, Camille, an active mom of three children, and Anaya, an African American who is a first year teacher in an affluent school district.  The author portrays the struggles they share:  a challenged marriage, difficulties in adoption, racism, diabetes and even sexual harassment.
Ganshert weaves a complex, multi-layered tale that mirrors real life problems.  Her characters are real and relatable.  By the end of the book, each character experiences growth and hope. 
My one disappointment was that although the women would have claimed to be believers, Christianity didn’t seem to impact their behavior very much.  The church or the Bible didn’t seem very relevant to the answers to the problems they faced despite having Bible study groups pray or verses occasionally quoted.  And maybe this is part of the problem:  a vibrant faith isn’t impacting problems in society today.
Katie Ganshert brings these challenges to the forefront in a powerful way by using fiction.  It is my hope that this book will stimulate conversation and change.  She has given me much to ponder.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this, my honest review.
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I have no words. Just tears and a swollen heart. I knew this would be an emotional read when I picked it up, but after having heard so many rave reviews I thought I was prepared.

Not even.

This book undid me so many times—sometimes in the little things, but other times in scenes that will stay with me forever.

In the author’s note at the end, Katie Ganshert says, “Story is a powerful medium. It speaks to hearts in ways facts and articles cannot. Through it, we get to live someone else’s experience. We get to put on someone else’s skin and walk a mile in their shoes, which makes it the best possible breeding ground for empathy.” Well, they’d better be sturdy shoes, because you’ll walk a lot further than a mile in this book. And you’ll probably need to stop and have a few quiet sobs along the way—although, if you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to put the book down while you do. It’s the kind of story that compels you to keep reading. Even when I told myself to put it down (and occasionally managed to follow through), I’d find my thoughts drifting back, then suddenly I would be in the middle of another chapter without even realising I’d picked up the book.

The overarching story is gripping in its own right, but it’s the three point of view characters and the very different perspectives they bring that gives this story maximum impact. All three women are brilliantly drawn—genuine, yet flawed—and through their individual struggles and the way their lives intersect, we’re given a convicting picture of the subtle and not-so-subtle ways we judge others and make assumptions about them and their lives, particularly when there are racial differences involved. And that climax—wow! The prologue gives you a hint of what to expect, but you really have no idea who’s involved until it happens, and that carries a powerful message in itself.

This is an eye-opening read and so well written. You’ll be convicted, you’ll cry, and you’ll come away changed. But whatever else you do, make sure you pick this one up!
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No One Ever Asked is not a light book. It deals heavily with the topic of prejudice and discrimination based on the colour of a person's skin. There are instances written of how a boy was shot dead by a policeman for playing with a toy gun (this was in the news), but when a white boy actually ends up shooting his friend in a mad tussle he gets off with counselling. Where a white boy can come and go in a neighbourhood, Darius (Anaya's brother) has the cops called on him by Camille's neighbours. All because he wanted to visit his friend's (Camille's daughter) house. The feeling of fear that these people live with is palpable. It is a living, breathing entity in No One Ever Asked. Camille and her gang fear for their school - if the averages would go down, about the sort of students that would get transferred in and their influences on their own children. Anaya and her family fear if even their everyday actions could rain hell on their lives. Jen doubts her own worth as a mother and fears for the well being of her child. Each of these characters is justified, yet they are all prejudiced in their own stand. Do they get over these fears and prejudices is what No One Ever Asked has managed to ask.

No One Ever Asked will manage to touch a few nerves here and there. It doesn't matter if you are living in America or Australia or India. Each country comes with own set of prejudices. But today, I can write I know that fear. I can sense it. It is now palpable in everyday life. Where once there was a sense of safety there is now a sense of being preyed upon - because of your religion or your sex or what have you. Recently there was an incident where someone cancelled a cab because it was driven by a Muslim. Of course many justified it while an even more number looked down upon it and made a meme of it. There are distinctions in everyday life that divide us. And those dividing factors are the ones that No One Ever Asked makes us think about. It is a book that will make you feel and then introspect.
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This book is mainly about prejudice and racism. The author did an amazing job of showing both sides and how it changes/affects everyone. How EVERYONE struggles with stereotypes and how we all have our own hardships. She pinpoints that the hardships in life do not have to make you a hard and unloving person. You will never be free or happy when you have hatred in your heart. No matter your impression of a person, you have no idea what goes on behind the scenes. I loved the character development and how attached I grew to all of the characters. While I have a hard time getting in to anything other than murder mystery, I loved this book!! I have really grown to enjoy this reading genre. With that being said, I would highly recommend it to any and all ages/ethnicities/readers.

I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for the opportunity!
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Thought-provoking novel on hidden racism and its harmfulness.  While reading, I laughed and I cried.  

I highly recommend the book.  

Beautiful conclusion.
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I'll admit, I was terrified to read this one, which is why I went for it in the first place. A white lady from eastern Iowa whose bio says she "loves Jesus" and is writing about race? One that takes place in suburban St. Louis, with a bunch of white ladies whose biggest concerns in life seem to be their marriages, PTA meetings and high school sports? Oh wow, this could be loaded... 

I chose to read this book, also, because it hit pretty close to home for me for a variety of reasons - and sure, yeah, okay, I wanted to see what she had to say. I live in a reality where race, appropriation, etc. are discussed a lot, heavily and intellectually. I have friends who've adopted black children from Ethiopia and Tanzania. I knew the Hart family, too, the two white women whose van recently went over a cliff and into the Pacific ocean, taking with it the six black children they'd adopted (and whom the media ripped to shreds afterward). 

So here's the deal: this white lady did well here. I think, for the audience she will probably reach with this book, that she has brought some of the basic issues of race in this country to light in a way that will pack a. gentle but solid punch for those who are still somehow oblivious to the fact that the United States is as racist as it has ever been and don't yet understand why #blacklivesmatter. I also think she's done well with not shoving a religious viewpoint down anyone's throat. There are a few "familiar" references to Bible verses here and there, but overall, it's a very "What Would Jesus Do" kind of thing that points to people just loving and being kind and helpful toward one another, accepting our differences and finding our common ground.
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This book makes you look at things with a different perspective and empathy for others.  Very well written, a timely book.
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I wanted to love No One Ever Asked, as so many did. My negative review is not a testament of the book itself, as I think it was just not for me. I struggled to get through the many characters being weaved into the story at the beginning. It reminded me of the pilot of a drama on television where it is awkwardly showing you everyone you need to see, exposing that those people will be important at some time, but that time is not now. I did not enjoy how many stories were represented in this book. I thought it got muddled and confusing. Again, I think this was just not the book for me.
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4 1/2 stars

No One Ever Asked was a hard story to get through- it is so meaty and ripe with controversial and hot-button topics. It's a riveting story that you just want to keep reading to find out what really happens. The book starts with a bang- literally a shooting and then backtracks to a year beforehand and then forward again to that pivotal moment. So while you're reading, you're trying to figure out in the back of your mind who did it, you're also trying to follow along with the many character story lines. 

The main crux of the book has to do with race, and how even people that may not act racist, have deeply ingrained prejudices that have been rooted by upbringing and societal attitudes. But there are other dramas unfolding in the background- parents adjusting to bringing home an adopted child, a family facing a possible divorce, a woman moving forward after abuse, students facing switching to a new school, etc.

This is a book that will haunt you after you've read the last page. In a good way, it will stick with and make you think about your own prejudices that you might not even realize you have. This is truly a "pride and prejudice" story that tackles more than just your class in society and will make you look at your life and those around you with new, hopefully more accepting and open, eyes.

The only reason this isn't a 5-star read to me is that it isn't one that I will be drawn to re-read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook & Multnomah through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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In the times we live in, this book struck a nerve that I think everyone should feel deeply.  From racism to attachment issues with adoption, this book hits some strong points. I have come to expect not just hard topics, but a well written novel by Ms. Ganshert. I was not disappointed. This will be one that I would recommend as a book club read, book group or anything like that, as you will want to talk about it with someone. 

You won't want to miss this book. You know how you can't stop thinking about a book after you read it? This is one of those. 

I obtained this book through NetGalley and the publisher. The opinions contained herein are my own.
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I have read many of Katie Ganshert's book.  I enjoy reading of areas close to me in Missouri.

Read intro of Brown v. Board of Education and I was interested.

As I started reading, I thought that it sounded like a situation that I kept reading of and seeing on our local news...then in the Afterword, I learned that I was correct- it was based on the local schools.  

South Fork schools lost accreditation - so it will start busing students to Crystal Ridge.   
A mother is teaching in her 1st year
A mother has just adopted a girl of another race and who has suffered a trauma.
A mother is pulling together after her husband leaves her.

This book raises issues of racism, white privilege, education, segregation, parenthood/childhood
new and old friendships both for young and mature.  

EMPATHY WILL GROW!  We must allow it to.
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*Thanks to NetGalley and Waterbrook for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.* This hard-hitting novels manages to deal with a plethora of topical issues - from school funding and zoning, to race, class, police shootings and international adoption. It helped me hooked from the very first page. The characters are not always likeable or perfect, but that makes them inherently more relatable. The story is based around two very different school districts in the state of Missouri - privileged, mainly white Crystal Ridge and underprivileged, non-white South Fork. When the South Fork School District loses its accreditation (I'm not American, so did not even know that was a thing), the students that attend its schools are given the option to be bussed to high-performing Crystal Ridge schools. This is where the fun begins, as families on both sides resent the move and simmering hostilities are brought out into the open. A brilliant, thought-provoking read.
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3.5 stars
This book is the story of three families whose lives overlap in many areas including school, adoption, health issues, marriage issues, racism and gun violence.
I am so very conflicted about this book. I truly loved most of the book, but other parts I did not care for at all. The very best thing about this book is the strong Christian theme running throughout the story. Secondly, the author is a master at creating both believable characters and delivering solid writing within every sentence. 
However, Ms. Ganshert is just plain trying to hard to be profound and relevant. She tackles some troubling and disturbing aspects of day to day life without sugarcoating them, which I appreciate from authors. Ganshert just tried to incorporate far too many stories into one book. This book really should have been broken into two books.
The story of Taylor, Camille and their family should be one story, Jen and her family one story and Anaya and her family included into any of the other stories. The chapter by chapter back and forth between the three main characters left out to much detail and as a reader much has to be assumed. 
There is just so much going on in this book. If it was scaled back just a tad it would have been much more believable. Overall, It is a good book and I would not hesitate to read this author again.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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I really think books like No One Ever Asked are so important. There are some things we can never understand unless we we are able to see the point of view of others. I think this book did a great job of conveying that point. There were several different characters who cross paths but who all have different walks of life and different struggles and I thought Ganshert did a great job with their character development. I have read every book Katie Ganshert has written, and I have loved them all, but this one I think may be the most important. This is book club material. This is a book that needs to be discussed and open further dialogue about racism. I love that there are discussions questions conveniently included. I recommended No One Ever Asked to fans of Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give or to fans of Katie Ganshert.
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Thank you Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
I enjoyed this book. I found it to be a very well written story, an important story that unfortunately is still all to real in our world today. 
This book got me thinking about how we may think we feel a certain way but actions show our true selves much more than words. 
I believe there is much more work to be done.....books like this prevent us from forgetting that the world still has a way to go....in some ways we have made great strides in our thinking ..... but in many ways we have a great deal ways to go!,,
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Does this kind of thing as described in this raw, but beautifully written novel actually happen today? You betcha! Look around!
This is just the book everyone and especially adolescents need to read and discuss. 
Each person and family in these chapters is dealing with everyday real life crisis! It is a hard but necessary read!
Well done Katie Ganshert!
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A well written book touching a sensitive subject mstter,race, goid devrlopmrnt of characters throughout the book with a twist at the end of the book.The suthor poses a series of questions,snd sttitude thst people relate to in the race issue it slso shows that race is a two duded effect.
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No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert was absolutely amazing. The characters were so well developed they were actually four-dimensional! Katie did a wonderful job threading the characters together. I loved how the characters saw the others as having a more solid life than themselves, yet the others were far from perfect as they were all dealing with big issues.

The plot was so current to the times we are living in. At first I thought something like that could never happen in today's world, but once I put thought to the matter I realized that unfortunately, these events could and can happen.

I especially liked the Jubilee subplot as I'm not familiar with adoption of a child other than an infant. So the issues Jubilee and her parents had over the course of the book was eye opening to me. I highly, highly recommend No One Ever Asked, grab your copy today!
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A story that helps gives insight on a crucial problem we need to fix to make North America Great: racism.  From the viewpoint of a white mother, a white mother of an adopted Liberian girl, and a black woman whose skin colour has cost her and hers so much, this is an uplifting, gripping story that will leave a great impression on readers wanting to contribute to the elimination of racism.
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