CECH Library Spotlight: Ellen Outside the Lines by AJ Sass

CECH Spotlight highlights recommended books in the the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) Library.

Ellen Outside the Lines / written by AJ Sass / 2022

CW: Queer character being outed 

Ellen Outside the Lines by A.J. Sass is a contemporary juvenile novel that follows Ellen Katz, a queer, autistic, Jewish girl as she navigates life and friendship. Ellen’s Spanish class is going to Barcelona for two weeks, and she expects it to be a time for her to reconnect with her best friend Laurel. But during this trip, her carefully planned routines and expectations are thrown for a loop when she gets paired with a different group, allowing her to learn not just about herself but those around her.

This novel explores gender identity, queerness, religion, neurodivergence, and what it means to be a friend. It is a heartwarming story of growth and acceptance that makes it a read that you won’t want to put down until you’re done.

This book is available from the CECH Library, as well as the OhioLINK and Search Ohio lending networks.

Review by Alice Somers, CECH Library Student Assistant | Early Childhood Education and Deaf Studies, CECH 2026