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MRS. GORSKI, I THINK I HAVE THE WIGGLE FIDGETS (The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses)

Author: Barbara Esham

Illustrator: Mike Gordon and Carl Gordon

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Publisher: Mainstream Connections Publishing,

Material: hard cover

Summary: David tries really hard, but he just can't stand in line like the other kids. Mrs. Gorski is always interrupting his thinking and correcting him. Even at home, he knows he gets on everyone's nerves. When Mrs. Gorski asks for a family-teacher conference, David spends the weekend brainstorming a cure for the wiggle fidgets. Maybe then everyone will be proud of him. This is a picture book story where the main character is struggling with attention controls.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, playtime reading, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 8 to 10

Interest Level: 4 to 10

Reading Level: 2.7

Age of Child: Read with a 7-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: The title grabbed my daughter's interest. Gorski was a "funny" name and she loved the sound of "wiggle fidgets" on her tongue. We had to read this book again right away. Then my daughter wanted to just explore the illustrations. We had lots of spontaneous "that's me" and "I do that, too" as we read.

Adult Reader Reaction: I LOVE this book. There are lots of stories that try to explain ADHD for kids at their level and tell them it's "okay," but this is so much better than that. Because David tells the story, the kids get the benefit of hearing someone "just like them." They can laugh at David's struggles, but they also empathize and learn responsibility. What impressed me the most, though, was how the author presented the home-school-student dynamic as a partnership. We all need to work together, and each of us has a responsibility. The Tshirts on the last page - with EVERYONE wearing them - is great!

Pros: Kids will be able to laugh and empathize with David, the main character, who has ADHD, an autism spectrum diagnosis. He also gives them specific strategies to help them learn.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. One in every 100 students has an autism diagnosis, which affects the way kids process information and learn. ALL kids can see themselves and their classmates in David. This is a positive story.

If You Liked This Book, Try: LAST TO FINISH: A STORY ABOUT THE SMARTEST BOY IN MATH CLASS (The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses)   EAGLE EYES: A CHILD'S GUIDE TO PAYING ATTENTION (The Coping Series)   TACOS ANYONE? / Alguien quiere tacos? (Autism Story Book, 2)

Educational Themes: This is a story that will help all kinds of learners, not just kids with ADHD. Visual learners and kinesthetic learners will get ideas, too. The author's approach (having David think up a solution) opens the door to discussions at home or in the classroom so everyone can benefit. It can also help in bridging understanding among students, too.

Notes: We picked up this book at Book Expo America, 2009.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book series, self worth, health, illness

Date(s) Reviewed: September 2009

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