Spencer has been able to see directly into Hope’s bedroom window from his own since she moved to town the summer before seventh grade. From that vantage, they’ve been in the right place to fall for each other, but never at the right time. That hasn’t kept Spencer from annotating, in detailed, drawn taxonomies, their ever-changing relationship throughout middle and high school: Hope as the only girl who likes to climb trees with him. Hope as the one person who doesn’t make fun of his Tourette’s. ...
No one expects off-the-wall Meg and painfully quiet Kat to ace the tenth-grade science fair as partners. “That’s what makes it so epic,” thinks Meg. “The girl with ADHD and the girl with panic attacks—like the hobbits setting across Mordor to Mount Doom, no one will see us coming.” But that’s exactly what the two intend to do, as long as Meg can focus long enough and Kat can keep from micromanaging her to death. The two form a friendship that’s awesomely fun to watch unfold as they use their favorite video game as science project fodder.
If you’re seeing signs of frustration in your grade-schooler, middle-schooler or high-schooler, it can help to look for patterns in those behaviors over time. And if you’re unsure if your child has learning and attention issues, keeping a frustration log could help you find answers about your child’s struggles.
Cady spent the last 12 years of her life in the jungles of Africa. But starting high school in suburban Illinois? That’s where things get really wild. As 16-year-old Cady navigates the unfamiliar terrain of sophomore year, she’s thrust into learning about pack hierarchy and mating rituals of a totally new kind. Cady is befriended almost instantly by artsy Janis and Damian. But superpopular (and truly catty) Regina, queen of the Plastics—her entourage of doting gal pals—has her eyes set on Cady as well. Egged on by Janis and Damian, Cady sets out to subvert Regina’s social prowess . . .
Twyla has big plans for her life. First, she’ll hightail it out of Halo, Montana, the military hometown she’s come to despise, the moment she graduates high school. Then she and her boyfriend, Billy, will head straight to California, where he’ll study to be a famous chef and she’ll become a renowned food photographer. It’ll be the escape Twyla’s always dreamed of. But as soon as she meets Gabriel, the brash former U.S. Marine she’s supposed to assist for community-service credits, Twyla begins to question exactly what she’s running from and why, and whether her heart is truly set on where ...
Explore this list of unexpected and creative IEP and 504 plan accommodations that help kids succeed at school, courtesy of the Understood Facebook community.
Our Community Weighs In: The Most Difficult Part of Parenting Kids With Learning and Attention Issues | Understood.org
We asked the Understood Facebook community to share the most difficult part of parenting kids with learning and attention issues. Read their candid replies.
Rosie is uncommonly beautiful, and she’s always known that being the prettiest girl in town has afforded her some major perks. But when Rosie’s best friend, Maddie, returns from a summer abroad as a knockout in her own right, Rosie starts feeling unusually jealous. As their junior year advances, Rosie wrestles with Maddie’s newfound beauty and status while simultaneously discovering the dark side of her own looks—some men are starting to get grabby, and Maddie’s crush takes advantage of Rosie in a vulnerable moment, which causes even more problems with her friend. In the aftermath, Rosie is forced to reexamine how she feels about her appearance and reputation, and to confront her feelings of jealousy and self-doubt about her friendships. Rosie’s candid first-person narrative reveals the inner life of a girl waking up to the realities of her so-called luck, and explores the weight of wielding beauty and power. Maciel (Tease, 2014) offers readers a compelling, thought-provoking character study, which should invite them to consider things they may take for granted. — Lexi Walters Wright, First published April 28, 2017 (Booklist Online).
It’s unfair to call this simply a book about teen pregnancy. Yes, 17-year-old Audrey finds herself unexpectedly pregnant by her longtime beloved, Julian. And appropriately, the bulk of this nuanced novel follows her as she wrestles with choosing what to do next. Adopted as a baby herself, Audrey ruminates on that option: How might the life of her child differ from her own upbringing? Should she follow the path of her birth mother, who she has only ever read a single letter from? If she keeps the baby, can she offer all she gratefully experienced growing up? She also wonders about abortion: How might it shape the person she is trying to become—and who is that, anyway? Through starkly genuine conversations with her boyfriend, her mother, and her best friend, Audrey is encouraged in earnest to make her choice with integrity. In this debut novel, Barrow has crafted soulful, complex characters who will resonate with readers who’ve had to contemplate the weight of their decisions upon their futures and themselves.— Lexi Walters Wright, First published June 1, 2017 (Booklist)
At 17, acerbic Reggie has a razor-sharp understanding of the depths of depression. “You feel equally alive and dead and have no idea how that’s even possible. And everything around you doesn’t feel so full anymore. And you can’t tell if the world is empty or if you are.” It’s a sentiment she doubts anyone else can understand—not her too-nice therapist or her God-fearing mom. But tattooed, Prozac-popping Snake does. He, too, knows clinical despair. And Reggie finds it annoying (OK, and somewhat charming) that he understands. As the two begin to explore what misanthropic romance may mean, they’re confounded by a circumstance even more troubling than their respective emotional unease: Snake’s ex-girlfriend Carla is due with his baby within weeks. As Reggie confronts the boundaries she’s erected to protect herself, Carla sees an opportunity for an unlikely camaraderie, all to Snake’s dismay. Taylor crafts an improbable but irresistible love triangle. This first novel is full of raw emotion, biting wit, and—unexpectedly—pure heart. — Lexi Walters Wright, First published April 15, 2017 (Booklist).
Dyslexia made Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer nervous about reading aloud for the audio version of her own book. But it can't stop her success.
We asked our Understood Facebook community what one thing people should know about their child with dyslexia. Here are their insightful responses.
When Scottish-born Storm was just 13 years old, her demo CD landed in the hands of rock legend Elton John. Within 24 hours, John himself invited her to open a concert for him. And from there, Storm’s singing career exploded overnight. Today, she is a music and fashion celebrity in her own right. And in her debut novel, Storm spins a rocket-to-fame tale loosely based on her own uncanny experiences, even using her own last name as the first for her protagonist. Pop Girl follows 14-year-old Storm as she yearns to become an entertainer. “Singing is my Thing. Totally and utterly my capital-T Thing,” she pines. She’s devastated to miss a national singing competition because of a Hawaiian family vacation, but, once in paradise, Storm literally stumbles into an opportunity to showcase her voice and talent on a scale even she could never have dreamed of. Charming but gauzy, Pop Girl is a literal art-imitating-life endeavor by an author who shows promise at excelling in yet another art form.
— Lexi Walters Wright, First published March 10, 2017 (Booklist Online).
What would you sacrifice to achieve perfection? Your most treasured pastime? Your very best friends? For Kara, it’s her loss of dignity that finally forces her to question just how much she’s willing to risk to maintain her veneer. In pursuit of stellar SAT scores—so that she can attend a college her demanding parents approve of—Kara makes a series of flawed decisions her old self (Perfect Kara) could never have dreamed of. She is quickly embroiled in a fast-paced scandal that threatens to unravel everything she’s worked for in high school. Yes, these choices introduce her to an alluring new world, filled with people she can’t believe she’s lucky enough to know. But if Kara makes the wrong move among this new crowd she’s enmeshed herself in, she may be forced to reveal the blemished truth she’s been hiding about herself. Falkoff’s sophomore novel is a thrilling peek inside the high cost of having it all, and the twisty reveal of secrets and scandals will appeal to fans of light thrillers. — Lexi Walters Wright,
First published February 10, 2017 (Booklist Online).
Arnold’s latest reveals how capricious first love—and our trust in it—can be. Nina, 16, is trying to make sense of the obsession she feels for her first boyfriend. “I know it isn’t okay to care this much about a boy. I know it’s not feminist, or whatever, to make all my decisions based on what Seth would think,” she chastises herself. Besides, she has grown up being told by her mother that all love has limits; it can’t just surge forth unbridled. Then, just as Nina and Seth’s relationship turns more intimate, he abandons her without explanation. In Nina’s grief, she explores the origins of her longing for love, recalling a trip she took with her mother to Italy to study statues of saints, intertwining the saints’ suffering with what she views as her own. Nina’s honest musings about her vapid relationship with Seth, as well as the relationship of her fickle parents, demonstrate a keen sense of introspection and self-respect. Smart, true, and devastating, this is brutally, necessarily forthcoming about the crags of teen courtship.
— Lexi Walters Wright,
First published February 15, 2017 (Booklist).