A girl who has trouble following through finds a reason to stick with her martial arts class.
Eleven-year-old Eliza Bing will do anything to take a cake-decorating summer class with her friend Tony. Unfortunately, Eliza has a history of quitting new activities, and her parents tell her no. Determined to change their minds, Eliza negotiates a deal: If she finishes a taekwondo class over the summer, she can take the baking class in the fall. With no interest in martial arts, Eliza, who has ADHD, has created a real challenge for herself. The dobok robe is hot and scratchy, and the Korean words are impossible to pronounce. She even has to practice with Madison, the beautiful cheerleader who has bullied Eliza in the past. But Eliza realizes the biggest obstacle to her success is her own difficulty focusing. While striving to finish the martial arts class in order to frost cakes in the future, Eliza discovers a new strength she never knew she had. Van Vleet portrays a loving nuclear family that finds constructive ways to work with Eliza’s attention-deficit challenges. Will Eliza be able to finish the class when an unexpected injury jeopardizes her chance to prove her persistence to her parents? The anticipation builds as her yellow-belt exam quickly approaches.
Eliza’s personal growth is full of realistic hopes and challenges that will resonate with many readers. (endnote, glossary) (Fiction. 8-12)