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Author: Gerber, Alyson
Twelve-year-old Clea wants to do her homework, follow instructions, pay attention in school, and play chess on the school team, but somehow she cannot focus on whatever is in front of her, and the other kids at school are starting to notice and make fun of her; when her worried parents take her to be tested she finds out that she has ADHD (only without the hyperactivity)--and with help from the psychiatrist who seems to really understand her she is determined to learn how to focus.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 500701
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 75853
Kirkus Reviews (+) (01/15/19)
School Library Journal (03/01/19)
Booklist (+) (02/15/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/03/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/15/2019 *Starred Review* Seventh-grader Clea struggles to finish homework on time, has trouble concentrating in school, and is often forgetful, disorganized, and blurts out things without thinking. Best friend Red is supportive, but he doesn't really understand her challenges, and classmates make fun of her because they think she's not smart. Clea loves chess and knows that if she continues to fail assignments, she won't be allowed on the school's team. Luckily, her teachers notice she's struggling and suggest Clea get tested for ADHD. She's soon diagnosed, but even with medication, things don't just automatically improve. After she blurts out a secret Red didn't want revealed, he refuses to speak to her. Sanam, Clea's dyslexic chess teammate, offers helpful advice, and with time, Clea's family comes to understand what she's going through. Clea also has a realistic love-hate relationship with chess champ Dylan, and a special one with her six-year-old sister, who has difficulty enunciating words. Clea's likability, persistence, and ability to bounce back from adversity is truly inspiring. Author Gerber (Braced, 2017), who has ADHD herself, is able to compassionately and realistically convey the experience in this sweetly appealing story, which concludes with a list of helpful resources. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2019 Gr 5–8—Seventh grader Clea doesn't know why she can't seem to get her homework done on time or why she gets distracted and fails tests. Saying things she doesn't mean is her normal, even when she wishes it wasn't. She blurts out answers at chess club, ruining a live-action game, and then exposes her best friend's family problems to everyone at school. When her parents take her to be tested for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), she is angry and anxious but also hopeful. She doesn't want to have ADHD, but she does want to feel like she has control over her actions. Clea's signs of ADHD are realistic: the little things that distract her, impulse control issues, and poor management skills. Readers with and without ADHD will relate to Clea's struggles in her school and social life as she strives to achieve the balance she needs to be successful. At times, the protagonist appears more mature and self-aware than her age. She puts her doctor's and counselor's support into place with very little parental help and quickly learns how to advocate for herself. Her explanation of her diagnosis and enumeration of its effects on her and the supports she needs sometimes takes away from the immediacy of the story and veers toward the didactic. However, the portrayal of what it can be like to live with ADHD is spot-on. Also, the message of supposed weaknesses being hidden strengths is a perennially important one. VERDICT A good addition to realistic fiction collections.—Kelly Roth, Bartow County Public Library, Cartersville, GA - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.