Focused by Alyson Gerber

Published by Scholastic Press

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Summary:  Clea’s managed to do okay in school until she hits seventh grade.  This year she’s more aware than ever of how her racing thoughts, distractibility, and tendency to blurt out whatever she’s thinking are affecting her at school, both academically and socially.  Her parents and teachers have noticed, too, and after a few failed assignments, they decide to get her tested for ADHD. Her diagnosis both scares and relieves Clea. As she begins to better understand how her brain works, she learns to ask for help when she needs it and use new strategies to help her succeed.  Clea’s passion is chess, and staying on the team motivates her to do well in school. With support from her friends, family, and counselors, Clea seems well on her way to success going forward. 304 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  Readers who have been diagnosed with ADHD, or know someone who has, will find this book enlightening and comforting.  Learning to ask for help and being kind to yourself are themes that will resonate with everyone.

Cons:  The seventh grade kids seemed preternaturally adept at dealing with their emotions and conflicts with one another.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

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