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ADHD in HD: Brains Gone Wild Paperback – April 9, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

As someone who has come to understand and even celebrate his disorder, the author presents a very different view of ADHD. The book contains 60 topics arranged in a somewhat random order, with advice for young people who have ADHD to help them to be successful in life. Chesner writes with a great deal of humor and makes good use of examples to get his points across. Not only does he give great suggestions on how to succeed in secondary school, but he also candidly talks about the advantages of having a “special brain” and how thinking in a different way can be something to be proud of. While the tips are short, easy to read and understand, and very useful, there is one small caution. The book is written on colorful pages with a variety of graphics and backgrounds. Although this mimics the thought patterns of a person with ADHD, it might prove to be too distracting for a “special brain” to read and comprehend. However, it’s definitely worth the try. Chesner’s frank approach to problems that have occurred in his life is refreshing as well as somewhat disarming. Those who are struggling with ADHD need to see that having it is not all a downer and that there are many people with the disorder who have been über-successful.—School Library Journal



ADHD in HD is good fun advice for special and non-special brains alike, but instead of coming from some random dork, it comes from Jonathan, who’s like your buddy from high school—but in the future.”—Matt Powers, Formula DRIFT Pro driver, driftparty.com



A writer with ADHD shares his experiences and offers practical advice to readers who might also have brains that are wired differently.

“My name is Jonathan, and I have a special brain,” says Chesner, who is quick to tell readers he is a perfectly smart person; he even attended the University of Southern California and received a degree in public policy. But he knew early on that his brain wasn’t like other people’s brains. He says, “I had the type of brain that would wear a Hawaiian shirt, bright red pants, and cool painted shoes to a wedding.” From garish cover to hyperactive format, the design of the volume imitates the author’s brain—lots of bright yellow, more than 60 short chapters on distinct topics for easy and frenetic skipping around and many photographs, drawings and speech bubbles. In the midst of the hyperactive goings-on, Chesner offers plenty of good-hearted advice on such topics as dating, homework, snacks and family life, concluding by advising readers to follow their hearts and dreams. He cautions that life isn’t a fairy tale, and “most dreams don’t come true,” but readers will never know if they don’t try.

Readers with ADHD, and anyone else for that matter, will like the “go for it” spirit of a writer who found blessings in his struggles with his “special brain.” (glossary, index, about the author) (Nonfiction. 12 & up)—Kirkus



Actor, entrepreneur, and artist Chesner, who was diagnosed with ADHD at an early age, has created the kind of upbeat and informative book for those with “special brains” that he would have liked to have read as a teen. Throughout the many, mostly two-page chapters, the focus is on seven topics that pop up randomly but are easily discernible by icons, or “topic keys,” placed within each of the sections, so those just interested in reading about, for instance, school can simply flip to those sections with that icon. The other topics are authority figures (parents, too!), distractions, food, the future, meds, and social life. Pocket-size, eccentrically designed, and filled with humorous black-and-white visuals (with ample yellow highlights), this will surely appeal to those who have short attention spans. With much practical advice (for example, taking “baby steps” when trying to establish eating habits), this packs in plenty of valuable content—and is pretty enjoyable, too.—Booklist



VOYA’s 2012 Nonfiction Honor List



“A high-energy, firsthand look at ADHD that is meant to be read quickly and repeatedly. Approaching his ‘special brain’ as a blessing in disguise, the author offers anecdotes and advice on topics ranging from school to meds to friendship.”—VOYA



Jonathan Chesner was diagnosed with ADHD at age seven. After years of living with what he calls his “special brain,” Chesner has written a brief and funny guide to what it is like to have ADHD. Content is presented in short bursts with illustrations everywhere. It is visually frenetic, mirroring how an ADHD brain works most of the time. Tips for succeeding with ADHD, based on the author’s experiences, suggest that getting homework or other kinds of assignments done requires silent and distraction-free zones. He also suggests that those with ADHD avoid junk food, try medication and psychiatry if other routes do not work, and trust their instincts. The table of contents helps readers organize how they want to read the book; going front to back is not necessary because the contents are not presented in any linear progression and the glossary will help with some terms Chesner uses.

 

ADHD in HD works at several levels—as a validation for those with “special brains,” a suggestion guide for surviving and adapting, both in school and life, and a brief and non-threatening introduction to others who know, live, work with, or teach someone with ADHD. The book should be read by all educators and given to any adolescent diagnosed with this disorder.—VOYA



“This hysterical and helpful book is a must-read for anyone with ADHD. Especially great for kids and teens, but as a hyperactive adult with ADHD, I loved it, too.”—Zoë Kessler, ChickADD

About the Author

Jonathan Chesner started acting at age 18, and appears in national commercials, including a campaign for Jack in the Box that aired during the Super Bowl, and in television shows such as Veronica Mars and Bones. At 22, he started his own clothing company, NiZ Couture, a T-shirt line for young adults sold at better surf shops and boutiques in Southern California and Japan. Jonathan’s art has been shown in numerous art galleries as well as on his surf couture line. Major surf companies like Von Zipper and Future Fins have incorporated his conceptual work, and he is well-known for his unique and humorous collages. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing (April 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1575423863
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575423869
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonathan Chesner was diagnosed with ADHD at age 7, and since then he has tried to use his special powers for good (like being creative and energized) instead of evil (like getting sent to the principal's office). He started acting at age 18, and appears in national commercials, including a campaign for Jack in the Box that aired during the Super Bowl, and in television shows such as Veronica Mars and Bones.

Jonathan attended the University of Southern California and furthered his creative pursuits by turning his off-campus apartment into an art studio/art gallery/surfboard shaping room/T-shirt factory. At 22, Jonathan started his own clothing company, NiZ Couture, a T-shirt line for young adults, sold at better surf shops and boutiques in Southern California and Japan. Jonathan's art has been shown in numerous art galleries as well as on his surf couture line. Major surf companies like Von Zipper and Future Fins have incorporated his conceptual work, and he is well-known for his unique and humorous collages.

Jonathan grew up in San Diego, California, and lives in Los Angeles, California.

He also loves breakfast burritos and hates bad traffic...

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 24, 2013
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My son loved going through this book. It kept his attention. Since each of the topics were short (1-2 page minimum), funny, and full of visuals, my son(13) actually digest the info. He was excited to share what he learned with me. Not to mention the elation that someone was able to explain how his mind worked..."mom, that's just like me!" or "I do that a lot too!"

Keep in mind this is not a linear step-by-step instruction guide, nor does it go into drawn-out details about the ADHD mind. It wasn't meant to be long and boring. This is a book packed with tips on how one can tweak or trick their ADHD thought process into performing arduous or boring tasks by making it fun or looking at things differently than "organized" folks do. So, if you're expecting an in-depth discussion on the pre-frontal cortex, making lists, or how to change a brain into something it is not, you're looking in the wrong place. This is a book written full of ideas, perspectives, and tools that can help those that struggle...by using the ADHD brain in ways its geared to be used. Some of these tips are things we already do, but there were also things we had not thought of. And just having a book that my son can easily absorb and relate to is 5 stars in of itself.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By sr on May 22, 2012
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This book is amazing. So detailed and visual. A great aid for young adults struggling with ADHD. A fun, fast paced, interesting book. 5 STARS for sure!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Loves To Read on April 29, 2012
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This book is truly creative. It's written from a first hand perspective on living with ADHD. If you've got children, specifically teenagers, with ADHD, get them this book.

The author describes growing up with ADHD - the pros and the cons. He shares his difficulties and his joys. But most of all, he shares his advice. He talks about dealing with school issues, homework, testing and friends. He talks frankly about medication and nutrition. He talks relationships, dealing with his parents and his friends. He talks with a wonderful sense of humor and will make you laugh out loud at some of his descriptions. He's unique.. funny and wise at the same time.

It's a totally innovative book written from the heart of someone who obviously has figured out how to deal with ADHD.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CCStreet on July 28, 2012
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I have ADD and thought this would be an interesting book to flip through, and I got way more than I bargained for! This book made me feel not so alone in my experiences with ADD and it's hilarious! The writer is very honest and open about his specific experiences, while at the same time being very clever & witty. It's a very easy read with lots of illustrations so it's suitable for a wide range of ages. My husband also read it and it helped him understand that some of the "different" things about my personality are related to my ADD. I definitely recommend this book to not only those with ADD/ADHD, but anyone who lives with an ADD/ADHD person.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Healthy Living on July 19, 2012
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One can only imagine how difficult life is for those with ADHD. Jonathan Chesner's funny little book brings into sharp relief the day-to-day issues that arise for those with ADHD. A quick break to go off and talk with friendly folks on the administrative staff was one of his favorite ways of escaping for a few minutes and recharging his batteries during the school day. But as Mr Chesner points out, many of the world's most successful enterpreneurs have ADHD in their DNA. One needs to learn how to appreciate the multivariate talents of the ADHDers around us. Mr Chesner's book provides lots of useful insights into how to do just that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carrie Hartley on June 13, 2013
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ADHD is such an issue in schools and unfortunately, both families and teachers are sometimes unsure of exactly what they are dealing with. This book is great for the student with ADHD as well. It is written in an easy style with colorful illustrations and real life examples and tips for families, teachers and children. The author has ADHD and writes directly to the reader from personal experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Busy Mama on April 24, 2013
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This was the first book he has read about ADHD and I have to say that it was a great way for him to learn about how his mind works. I think for the first time he had a better picture of how his mind works faster than momst people's.
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Boy how I seriously wish this book was around when I discovered that I was - as Jonathan perfectly puts it - a "special brain" ages ago in high school! From front to back, "ADHD in HD" is jam packed with insightful info that gives a unique, positive, and highly entertaining way to cope, live, and excel with what in layman's terms is called "Attention Deficit Disorder"(ADD) as well as ADHD. The structure of the book has a great flow for special brains and normal brains as there's plenty of different useful sections that you can flip to or go back to for reference and inspiration. Amongst other things, I really enjoyed Jonathan's insight about minimizing distractions & maximizing productivity, maintaining focus, social interactions, dealing with selective hearing, and how to (or not) take care of a fern haha! Jonathan's hilarious sense of humor, fun writing style, and highly positive outlook on life is truly an inspiration and I STRONGLY recommend this book to any and all "special brains" and or parents/teachers/grandparents/Mr.T/and others who would like to help out fellow special brains and let them live to their true full potential! Thank you Jonathan for the great read and thank you Poseidon for blessing me with a Special Brain!
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