Not If I Can Help It by Carolyn Mackler, 240 pages. Scholastic Press, AUGUST 2019. $17
Content: G (1 swear)
BUYING ADVISORY: EL - ESSENTIAL
AUDIENCE APPEAL: HIGH
Willa, a 5th grader, already has a lot to deal with in her life; her Sensory Processing Disorder complicates everything she does, though she has been able to hide it from even her best friend, Ruby, ever since she was five. When her divorced dad tells her that he is seriously dating Ruby’s divorced mom, however, Willa feels everything spinning out of control. She wants to do anything she can to breakup the new couple, but she’ll have to do it without Ruby’s help. It’s not until Willa takes a chance to open up about her worries and her very real issues that she might finally find a path towards building room for these new relationships in her life.
My own daughter deals with some minor (compared to Willa) SPD challenges, so I had great sympathy for Willa. It was eye-opening for me to see these challenges through her eyes. While adults will definitely enjoy this, I would love to read this aloud to any elementary class, because it is a sure-fire way to open up discussion about reacting to the differences within all of us.
Cindy, Middle School Librarian, MLS
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