Thursday, December 12, 2019
Focused, written by Alyson Gerber, reviewed by Stephanie Wilson
Straight Talk for Librarians: Focused shatters the traditional myths surrounding ADHD. ADHD affects girls but their symptoms are more subtle and often dismissed. Gerber’s experience mirrors this. She struggled in school as early as first grade but wasn’t diagnosed until college. Clea is an engaging character and her challenges feel authentic. The scenes where we “see” her thoughts in motion are revelatory. Her friends want to support her but they struggle with her impulsive behavior. Gerber realistically portrays how ADHD affects every single aspect of Clea’s life. Focused is more than simply a disease-of-the-week driven novel. The novel also has a strong plot line about chess teams and chess tournaments. Gerber does a fantastic job of revealing this world to those with limited knowledge of the game. The lower reading level and high-interest subject make it a great choice for striving readers. Fans of chess will enjoy this novel. Focused is a great book for students with ADHD, students who want to understand more about ADHD and teachers who teach students with ADHD.