****I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*****
Releasing on August 22, 2017 by Abrams Kids.
SideTracked by Diana Harmon Asher is a middle grade novel about Joseph Friedman. I seventh grader with ADD who is kind of small for his age and is constantly being picked on and bullied. Joseph, pushed by his Resource Teacher, joins the track team at his school where he is able to become comfortable in his own skin and realize that he isn’t so different from the other seventh graders.
I LOVED this book! Joseph is a lovable character who you really feel for and relate too. His friendship with Heather is adorable and just perfect. Asher’s created characters that had realistic middle school voices and were very believable. Her depiction of Joseph’s ADD was spot-on (my son has ADHD). The cast of characters was diverse without being overt. There were different races, learning disabilities, and family structures that you do not often see in middle grade books. Joseph’s parents and grandfather were awesome characters and you could really see how they gave him space to deal with his learning disability. Sidetracked explored themes of what makes you an “outcast” when you are a boy and a girl in the seventh grade.
The pacing was good and there was never a point where the book lagged. I even cried happy tears on some parts.
I HIGHLY recommend this book for ages 9 and up. The writing style was easy to read and the story was interesting enough to keep any young readers attention. I of course gave this 5 stars! This is another one we will be adding to our collection.