A boy with attention deficit disorder learns coping methods and appreciates his own strengths in this illustrated children’s book.
Despite the title, this work’s unnamed, dark-skinned protagonist doesn’t exactly lose his attention. More often, his attention distracts him, especially in school, “by showing him all the other things that were happening inside and outside.” As the boy gets older and meets higher expectations for self-control, his distractibility, curiosity, and high energy cause problems at home and at school. Teachers devise various strategies to help him pay attention, such as rewards for completing work; at home, the boy’s mother also tries to keep him organized with lists and schedules and signs him up for energetic activities. A special doctor performs tests and diagnoses “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, for short,” and also discovers the boy is gifted in reading and math. With medication, the boy’s school performance improves, although he dislikes the pills’ side effects and sometimes doesn’t take them. Eventually, he realizes his “superpowers”—talents other kids don’t have—such as noticing patterns, grasping new ideas quickly, and problem-solving. (In fact, kids without ADHD can also have these qualities.) As an adult, now with “Adult Attention Deficit Disorder, or AADD,” he has a good job and uses his superpowers while still taking meds and managing his organizational challenges. Several pages of information and resources on ADHD are included. Weston (The Girl Who Couldn’t Read, 2018), an elementary school teacher with special needs students, skillfully describes the various manifestations of ADHD in simple language that youngsters with the condition can easily understand and relate to. The book covers the sometimes-puzzling aspects of ADHD, like the ability to superfocus on interesting things like video games. The author usefully acknowledges that not every solution works and that medication has drawbacks, helping to manage readers’ expectations while still providing hope and optimism. The colored-pencil or crayon images by debut illustrator AK (The Girl Who Couldn’t Read, 2018), a sixth-grade student, are well-done in a naïve manner, showing various expressions and diverse characters.
A helpful adjunct to diagnosis, therapy, and meds for youngsters with ADHD and their families.