What to read after... Dread Wood 28/02/24
Reggie Houser Has the Power
Publisher: Scholastic Books
Reggie describes his ADHD brain as being like a fizzy sweet rather than a boring loaf of bread. But it also means he finds it incredibly hard to manage his energy, his time and belongings and his over-busy mind. He’salways accidentally getting into trouble and, above all, he’s lonely, having really struggled to fit in.
Reggie’s determined all this is going to change when he starts secondary school. The question is – how? Then a performance at a holiday camp inspires him to learn the art of hypnosis to influence and impress those around him. Before long, he has successfully hypnotised the dog and even the headmaster and is finally attracting the interest of the gang he yearns to be a part of. However, do his so-called new friends have his interests at heart? And will Reggie recognise that true friendship is right under his nose?
This light-hearted and warm-hearted middle grade read reminds us how hard it can be when you feel different and alienated from your peers. ADHD can be different for everyone, but Reggie’s particular experience is presented convincingly and clearly with research. There is a poignancy in the imperfect adults in his life who are clearly worn down by the impact of ‘coping’ with Reggie and have their own challenges too. The book deftly explores the dilemma of whether being accepted by the ‘wrong’ crowd is better than having one true friend.
A joyous reminder of the value of being honest and authentic, and using one’s skills wisely.