Twelve-year-old Abby’s plans for summer quickly unravel when she learns she needs to attend summer school after failing English.
Abby enjoys entertaining others with her comic antics, but her impetuosity can get in her way. Abby has ADHD (“the type…boys usually have, the hyperactive/impulsive variety) and lately finds herself apologizing a lot. After an impulsive scheme for revenge on her teacher goes awry, Abby reaches a turning point. Thanks to the guidance of Dr. C and the mentoring of a dedicated and caring summer school teacher, Abby’s summer is transformed. Meeting and working with the diverse group of summer school students fosters new relationships for the white girl. She soon develops genuine friendships with free-spirited Latina Trina, the seemingly aloof Amy, and new student Max. (The latter are both white.) Fischer creates a captivating portrayal of one girl’s experiences with ADHD. She captures Abby’s vibrant personality and sense of humor while sympathetically addressing her struggles, deftly revealing Abby’s dismay when her remarks inadvertently upset others. Fischer conveys Abby’s uncertainties behind her extroverted facade. As the summer progresses, Abby’s relationships, both with her family and new friends, deepen as she gains a greater self-understanding.
Fischer’s spunky and introspective protagonist offers a sympathetic mirror for many kids, both boys and girls. (author’s note) (Fiction. 10-14)