Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of the Midwest Book Review:

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The Trouble With Peer Pressure, A Simple “My ADHD Story” for Young Teens

Darlene R. Wood (author)
Victor Guiza (illustrator)

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478734468

Synopsis:

Do You Have ADHD? You Are Not Alone!

If you have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), you already know that sometimes, everyday life seems like it’s too much to handle. And probably you’ve already experienced the fact that when you’re already overwhelmed, peer pressure seems to compound any situation. The Trouble With Peer Pressure is a friendly, practical guide to help you navigate the challenges of peer pressure. Author Darlene R. Wood provides information you can use, including ways to think about the consequences of your actions, and strategies to feel less isolated by the label of ADHD. You may feel that figuring out how to deal with peer pressure is hard—but guess what? It doesn’t have to be. Like any other issue, it just requires that everyone step back, evaluate, and design a thoughtful and respectful solution. The Trouble With Peer Pressure is a valuable resource for you and your family that will make life easier for you, both in school and at home.

Critique:

“The Trouble With Peer Pressure” is a moving story about a real young man who grew up suffering from problems with peer pressure. Some of his problems were diagnosed as ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and he was prescribed medication to help with some of his symptoms or problem behaviors. However, taking the medication did not solve all the problems for this young man. He continued to feel hurt by other kids and the experience of peer pressure. He also got attention for negative behavior, which led to more impulsive, risk taking behavior, including taking drugs and alcohol. In an effort to understand himself, he arrived at the observation of experiencing pressure at different circles of life, such as family pressure, neighbor pressure, law pressure, and peer pressure. Ultimately, after many painful experiences, he concluded that life improves when he works hard to cope with every day simple tasks, hoping to make his own unique contribution to society. He concludes “Success is the only option,” with the added hope that one day the trouble with peer pressure will go away, one person at a time. An effort to increase empathy, “The Trouble With Peer Pressure” is an experiential book for young adults and teens that attempts to explain the feelings experienced by a young man with ADHD who tries hard to fit in with the rest.

reviewed by Children’s Bookwatch ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

I was drawn to this book for a few different reasons. The first of which is because I’m in school to be a teacher, so gaining any additional insight into the minds of young people is a great help. The other reason is because my girlfriend has ADHD, and I often fail at learning to step into her shoes. She was only recently diagnosed in adulthood, though she’s struggled with school and learning for a long time. So, I thought I’d check this book out in order to learn a thing or two.

The first thing that really draws the attention is the illustrations. They’re really well done, with good, vibrant colors. This is good for keeping the attention. And I found that each illustration was well corresponded with whatever topic was being discussed in the book at that present moment.

This book is written in choppy, short sentences, but I think that’s a good thing considering the subject matter and intended audience. It’s also written in a first person narrative, so those who know what it’s like to live with ADHD can easily relate, and those who do not know this life are forced to put themselves in that position. There’s a lot of questions narrated in this book, making it easier to think out loud and to formulate a discussion.

That’s actually how I think this book is best used- a discussion starter. It opens the doors to have a bigger, more meaningful conversation but leaves something to be desired in the actual story itself. I don’t think that the themes of ADHD and peer pressure always blend together in this book, but I understood the point well enough. I think this is the type of book best shared between parents and children, used as a communication or educational tool. It’s a solid book that I’m sure parents and educators alike will find useful.
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Amazon Reviewer Jill

The young teen years are when most people first experience the development of cliques, where you are defined by your social standing within the group rather than anything else. For many, although they may have gone to school with some other children for years and been friends, that has vanished and they are no longer friends.
While every child experiences feelings of loneliness and wants to be noticed, those whose behaviors differ from the norm are especially troubled, specifically if they are considered as suffering from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Most aspects of society are designed to pressure people into conforming to often ill-defined and sometimes fluid social norms and no place does this more than public schools. A teacher has a class of twenty or so students and they are all doing the same standardized lesson with little room for individualization of the curriculum. While part of this is peer pressure (from people your own age), there is also social pressure being applied to achieve at the general expectations of performance.
This book is a simple story written for the child that does not fit in, whether or not that oddness is due to a medical condition or simple circumstances. The story is presented from the perspective of a child diagnosed with ADHD where the medication did not seem to make a significant difference. He is a boy that wants to be part of the group, yet ended up responding by consuming drugs and alcohol and eventually had trouble with the law.
Humans are social animals and from our ancient tribal roots we have the ideas of social conformity deeply embedded into our mental structures. This means that there will always be peer pressure to conform to the social norms for the good of the group. Success cannot be defined by avoiding peer pressure but by how well we are able to cope with it
Expressed as a series of events and questions that he asks himself, the main character responds that he just wants to be himself and have friends without feeling pressure to move outside his core being. One of the best therapies for humans to work through their difficulties is to know that they are not unique and that other people have previously and are currently suffering through the same problems and difficulties that they are. The main character is one that all young teens will relate to, they ask themselves the same questions as they try to establish their core identities. This book is a good starting point for a conversation about being a young teen and taking your first strides towards individual identity.

Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer Charles Ashbacher


Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!

Self Publishing Advisor

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