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|Not if I can help it|
Author: Mackler, Carolyn
Willa lives on the upper West Side of Manhattan with her divorced father and her younger brother and attends fifth grade with her best friend Ruby, and she likes things to be a certain way, because it makes life manageable even with her Sensory Processing Disorder; she certainly does not like surprises, and her father has just thrown her a big one: he has been dating Ruby's mother, and suddenly Willa's life seems to be spiraling out of her control--and part of the trouble is that she cannot even explain why she thinks this is a horrible idea, when everyone else thinks that it is wonderful.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.90
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 503929
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 76624
Kirkus Reviews (+) (05/01/19)
School Library Journal (07/01/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/07/19)
The Hornbook (00/09/19)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 07/01/2019 Gr 3–6—Willa, who has sensory processing disorder, is best friends with Ruby, who struggles with anxiety. Things for the friends get rough at the end of fifth grade as they await their middle school placements and when Willa's dad and Ruby's mom announce that not only have they been dating for quite some time, but are getting engaged. On top of these massive changes, Joshua, Willa and her brother's sitter, is moving to Chicago with his boyfriend before the summer is over, and Willa's long-promised plans to adopt a dog are put on hold. All these changes make living in Willa's body harder than it already is, but luckily she has a strong support network. Both her father and mother are sensitive and supportive and work well as a divorced couple co-parenting their children. Willa has a wonderful occupational therapist, and she's paired with Sophie, a kindergartener who is also having a rough time. This novel manages to convey not only the experience of living with sensory processing disorder, but also the message that all families and people are unique and valued, not in spite of but because of their differences. Willa and her biological family are white, Ruby is first-generation American, and her mother is Indian. Mackler weaves friendship, family, disability, and race into a story which feels genuine, engaging, and never didactic. VERDICT Loving and hopeful, this is a recommended first purchase.—Taylor Worley, Springfield Public Library, OR - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 07/01/2019 Willa, who lives with her little brother and their divorced father during the school year, has barely adjusted to the news that Dad has been dating her best friend Ruby’s mother, when he announces that they’ll be getting married soon. For a kid who doesn’t like change, that’s a lot to take in, and it doesn’t help that Ruby is so positive about their parents’ relationship. Can their close friendship survive step-sisterhood? Will Ruby think her friend is weird when she finds out about Willa’s sensory processing issues? With help from her wide support network, Willa copes with her troubles while mentoring a lonely, withdrawn kindergartner. The contrast between her fretful reactions to change and Ruby’s enthusiastic ones helps define the two characters. Always in touch with her feelings, Willa makes a sympathetic, highly articulate narrator. In the appended acknowledgments section, Mackler mentions her first-hand knowledge of sensory processing disorder and the help that is available. While Willa’s sensory issues aren’t at the forefront of the narrative, readers will gain awareness as they read her story. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.