Inclusion Doesn’t Always Mean Representation, a guest post by Chaz Hayden

Leading up to the publication of my debut book, The First Thing About Youeveryone I meet asks me the same question: What’s it about?

It’s an honest question and probably deserves more of an honest answer than my usual rambling, which always turns out to be a pretty terrible elevator pitch. I tend to say something along the lines of “The story is about a teenage boy named Harris who has the same disability as me and he’s starting at a new high school and just trying to figure out how to make friends and who he wants to be in this confusing world.” On second thought, maybe that’s not such a terrible elevator pitch.

But my answer usually leaves me feeling a little empty, like I haven’t fully expressed what this book and the characters mean to me. Because when someone asks me, “What’s your book about?” what I really want to say is, “Well, it’s about a lot of things.”