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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
son loved it all. could totally relate and great that small snippets of info not just a clinical book dumbed down for kids.Published 5 months ago by mother of 3
This book is a must for anyone living with ADHD or who has a child with ADHD. The author has ADHD and gives you insight to how he felt and things he experienced living with it. Read morePublished 9 months ago by JBG
Any one, parents especially, who has delt with, worked with or had a child with ADHD needs to read this book. I strongly recommend this book for teachers as well. Read morePublished 15 months ago by cm29
My 13 year old likes the book but hasn't read it cover to cover, it's not that kind of book. i found it fascinating and it helps me remember how things are really and truly... Read morePublished on January 4, 2013 by Amazon Customer
So I was at my local library this book was sitting on the end shelf and it caught my eye so fast and I picked it up and flipped through it and it looked amazing since I myself am... Read morePublished on November 26, 2012 by sandman
Kids who have ADHD have brains that work differently - that much is clear. Is it an advantage or a disadvantage? That is less clear, and depends on the situation. Read morePublished on October 22, 2012 by Carolyn K. of Hoagies' Gifted Education Page