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Sidetracked Hardcover – August 22, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Joseph, a boy with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and anxiety, joins his school's cross-country team and finds his footing. On the first day of school, he meets Heather, a new student, when she puts the school bully, a constant source of misery in Joseph's life, in his place. Joseph is convinced to join the cross-country team by a teacher and is surprised to discover Heather is also on the team. While running does not come easily, Joseph develops a connection to Heather, who also feels isolated. Their unlikely friendship blossoms as Joseph attempts not to win but to run his "PR" (personal record). The characters in Asher's debut novel are likable and approachable, and the story is absorbing and moves quickly. Readers will root for Joseph and his new teammates. The protagonist's worries seem typical for a kid his age, though he has a lot more of them than most children. However, Joseph's diagnoses are problematic. He specifically says he has ADD but not attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but the medical community currently categorizes ADD as a form of ADHD. Joseph also explains that his school psychologist diagnoses him with "anticipatory anxiety." In real life, a trained psychologist would offer Joseph strategies or tools to manage his anxiety, but save for one misunderstood instruction to keep a "worry list," none are mentioned in the text. Readers familiar with the challenges of living with ADD or anxiety disorders are likely to find Joseph's ability to overcome his issues unrealistic. VERDICT An engaging novel with an oversimplified portrayal of mental illness.—Mary Kuehner, Arapahoe Library District, CO
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Joseph is in 7th grade and spends part of his day in the resource room.Read more
*****/5 stars. I highly recommend this debut.Read more
Sidetracked is an absolutely charming story about Joseph and Heather, two kids on...Read more