Honestly Elliott by Gillian McDunn

Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Summary:  Elliott loves to cook and is good at it, with an ability to focus in a way that he struggles with at school.  His ADHD makes schoolwork difficult and social interactions awkward at times.  After almost failing the first semester of sixth grade, Elliott has to endure lectures from his high-achieving, sports-loving dad who is expecting a new baby with his new wife Kate.  For a project at school, Elliott finds himself unexpectedly partnered with popular girl Maribel, whose revelations about her struggles with celiac disease make Elliott realize that her life isn’t as perfect as it seems.  By the end of the story, he’s realized that no one’s life or family is perfect and that he has more love and support around him than he realized.  Includes recipes for Desperation Pie and Elliott’s Crumb Crust that are the centerpiece of Elliott’s and Maribel’s project.  263 pages; grades 4-6.

Pros:  Elliott is an extremely likable character who has friend, family, and school problems that many readers will relate to.  He handles those problems with humor and a certain amount of grace and manages to connect with those around him without giving up on being himself. 

Cons:  There are way more accomplished kid chefs in children’s books than I actually seem to meet in real life.

One thought on “Honestly Elliott by Gillian McDunn

  1. This is a book I’ll recommend to teacher friends, and it hit close to my heart, as my daughter, now grown, has ADHD, though without the cooking superpower. You “Con.” made me laugh.


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