Focused
Book cover
Author(s): Alyson Gerber
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Copyright Year: 2019
ISBN/ISSN: 9781338185997
Review

Diagnoses of ADHD are so commonplace these days that it is easy to forget how these individuals suffer at home, school, and in interpersonal relationships. Gerber, who was diagnosed with ADHD as a young child, painstakingly illustrates the troubles 7th grade Clea faces as she navigates middle school. This book opens a window into Clea's life before her diagnosis as well as the experience of new medicine and psychological treatment that offers study strategies and problem-solving life skills. Clea is frustrated at always being two steps behind, easily distracted, overwhelmed, and forgetful, which leads to a vicious cycle of poor grades and low self-esteem. Clea doesn't want to overburden her parents who are well-intentioned with their desire to afford her the space and freedom to handle her own problems, yet slow to get Clea the help she needs because she didn't ask for it herself. Clea's teachers are the shining stars here, offering supportive second chances and resource time. Gerber doesn't sugarcoat the fact that medicine will not solve all her problems and that the entire process requires constant maintenance. Clea is an inspiring character who aids her younger sister suffering with a speech delay and finds solace in chess club with her tight-knit group of friends. This book includes middle school family drama, a little romance, and could be used for growth mindset lessons about being assertive and an effective communicator, identifying what individuals need to succeed, and learning to become a self-advocate.

Reviewer: Laura Dooley-Taylor
Rating: Highly Recommended
Grade (as stated by Reviewer/SLC): 6-8
Review Date: March 1, 2019
Product Description
Clea can't control her thoughts. She knows she has to do her homework . . . but she gets distracted. She knows she can't just say whatever thought comes into her head . . . but sometimes she can't help herself. She know she needs to focus . . . but how can she do that when the people around her are always chewing gum loudly or making other annoying noises?

It's starting to be a problem-not just in school, but when Clea's playing chess or just hanging out with her best friend. Other kids are starting to notice. When Clea fails one too many tests, her parents take her to be tested, and she finds out that she has ADHD, which means her attention is all over the place instead of where it needs to be.

Clea knows life can't continue the way it's been going. She's just not sure how you can fix a problem that's all in your head. But that's what she's going to have to do, to find a way to focus.
Media Type: Book, eBook
Binding: HC
# Pages: 298
Price: $17.00
Genre: Fiction
Sub-Genre: Realistic Fiction
Entry ID: 2189789

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