Not if I Can Help It

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
345 0
Not if I Can Help It
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
July 30, 2019
ISBN
0545709482
Buy This Book
      
From award-winning Carolyn Mackler, the story of Willa, who has been living with Sensory Processing Disorder but is thrown for a BIG loop when her dad announces he's dating Willa's best friend's mom.

Willa likes certain things to be certain ways. Her socks have to be soft . . . and definitely can't have irritating tags on the inside. She loves the crunch of popcorn and nachos . . . but is grossed out by the crunch of a baby carrot. And slimy foods? Those are the worst.

Willa can manage all these things -- but there are some things she can't deal with, like her father's big news. He's been keeping a big secret from her . . . that he's been dating the mom of Willa's best friend Ruby. Willa does NOT like the idea of them being together. And she does NOT like the idea of combining families. And she does NOT like the idea of her best friend becoming her sister overnight. Will she go along with all of these changes? NOT if she can help it!

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Interesting look at Sensory Processing Disorder
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Willa has struggled with a sensory processing disorder her whole life, but with supportive parents and some occupational therapy, she deals with it well enough that she doesn't even tell her best friend, Ruby, about it. She fits in well enough at The Children's School in New York City, where her classmates are all abuzz waiting to hear what their middle school placements will be. Willa and Ruby (who loves soccer and is herself a bit anxious, especially since she seems to have a smaller bladder than everyone else!) are worried that they won't be at the same school. Willa lives with her father and younger brother, and have a babysitter whom they really like. Her mother lives two hours away, where she took a professorship after the parents divorced. She is since remarried, and has approached Willa with the idea of living with her for middle school. All of this anxiety makes it harder for Willa to control her body, and she does get some coping strategies from her therapist, and her teachers know how to redirect her as well. When she finds out that her father and Ruby's mother have been dating for a while, and worse, are in love with each other and thinking about getting married, she is even more stressed. She likes her best friend, but she hates change, and doesn't want Ruby to know about her sensory processing disorder and all of the ways she copes with it. It doesn't help that Avery, a mean girl she's known since preschool, gives her a hard time about it. With the help of the adults in her life, Willa manages to navigate her way through her difficulties and end fifth grade on a high note.
Good Points
This was oddly compelling. I was absolutely sucked into Willa's world, and the details about how she dealt with her issues were enthralling (her dad prewears her socks; I can relate--my daughter prefers it if I break in her tennis shoes!). There's even a buzzing feeling of anxiety conveyed in the text that I can't quite explain. While the 1970s saw a lot of middle grade books about divorce, it's still a common occurrence, and many of my students have to deal with blended families, visiting parents on weekends, and thinking about alternate living arrangements. I have not seen this topic addressed in the literature as much, and this is one of the few books about sensory processing disorders out there.

There are a growing number of books about neurodivergent characters, like Baskin's Anything But Typical, Pla's Stanley Will Probably Be Fine, Hunt's Fish in a Tree, and Mass' A Mango-Shaped Space, and these are good resources for readers who want to understand that not everyone perceives the world in the same way.

There should be more middle grade novels with candy related covers- I think young readers will like the gummy bear so much that they will pick this one up just for that!
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Elemental Manipulation is tricky. Only those with the power can...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
When fifteen-year-old Marlee Stanley joins her two sisters and the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
They call me the Dark Queen… Ryleigh...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two friends in the 1980's were graduating from Cosmetology School....
Twisting Minds
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
How can you trust your heart when you can't trust...
The Art of Holding On
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Life happens, whether you’re ready or not. All you can...
Breaking Through: How Female Athletes Shattered Stereotypes in the Roaring Twenties
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Award-winning author Sue Macy offers a fresh and timely account...
Outlawed
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
OUTLANDER meets Robin Hood. Traveling through time...
The Path We Take
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
He’s alone He’s tattooed He’s badly burnt ...
Half-Blood Mage
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A cursed dragon hunter A half-blood mage...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
If genetic engineering could guarantee you and your family perfect...
Slayer (Slayer, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Into every generation a Slayer is born… ...
Magic Bound
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Starting a new school is never easy and this time...
When Wishes Bleed
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
One Prince. One Witch. One Fate. ...
Dealing in Dreams
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Outsiders meets Mad Max: Fury Road in this fast-paced...
Girls With Sharp Sticks (Girls With Sharp Sticks, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns. ...

Latest Member Reviews

Sword and Pen (Great Library Book, #5)
 
5.0
"Isn't great to finish a series and feel satisfied? Sword and Pen by Rachel Caine is the final book in..."
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)
 
3.7
"I snapped this one up because I love Wonder Woman, and I much appreciated Leigh Bardugo's adept writing in Six..."
Our Year in Love and Parties
 
4.0
"What I loved: The story was told through the unique lens of four specific events with..."
Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me
 
4.3
"JACK KEROUAC IS DEAD TO ME is Gae Polisner’s most recent YA Contemporary novel. Like in her other books, she..."
Woven in Moonlight
 
5.0
"Woven in Moonlight is a beautiful and lush fantasy, based on the culture and history of Bolivia. It is set..."
We Are All His Creatures: Tales of P. T. Barnum, the Greatest Showman
 
3.0
"WE ARE ALL HIS CREATURES by Deborah Noyes is a series of eleven short stories about the beloved showman, P.T...."
Jane Anonymous: A Novel
 
4.7
"JANE ANONYMOUS follows two timelines: one while Jane was captured for 7 months and one after she is back home...."
Finding Mr. Better-Than-You
 
4.3
"FINDING MR. BETTER-THAN-YOU starts off like a cheesy romantic comedy, but ends up being a lot more fulfilling light-hearted YA..."
Freaky in Fresno
 
3.7
"FREAKY IN FRESNO is a spin on the old novel, FREAKY FRIDAY. Ricki (nickname for Lyric) had a falling out..."
Only Mostly Devastated
 
4.3
"ONLY MOSTLY DEVASTATED is a charming YA contemporary romance that follows Ollie. Ollie had lived in California, until this year..."
Neffatira's First Challenge
 
5.0
"The descriptions are very beautiful and you can perceive the feelings of the characters to the point of empathy. ..."
Ink in the Blood (Ink in the Blood Duology #1)
 
4.3
"INK IN THE BLOOD is an engaging and atmospheric YA fantasy. Celia Sand was delighted when she was chosen to..."
What I Want You to See
 
4.0
"WHAT I WANT YOU TO SEE is an interesting book that discusses homelessness, choices and their intersection with privilege, as..."
The 47 People You'll Meet in Middle School
 
4.7
"'The 47 People You'll Meet in Middle School' by Kristin Mahoney is an endearing look at an often hard time..."
 
4.0
"The insatiable oasis will hunt down the thieves of this book and tear them apart, limb by limb, devouring their..."
All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth, #1)
 
5.0
"ALL THE STARS AND TEETH is an imaginative and lush YA fantasy that transports the reader to a fascinating new..."
Wardens of Eternity
 
3.0
"WARDENS OF ETERNITY follows Ziva, a young woman who was abandoned as a toddler, became a ward of the state,..."
The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious, #3)
 
4.3
"THE HAND ON THE WALL is a thrilling conclusion to the TRULY DEVIOUS series. Here, the students are at Ellingham,..."
His Hideous Heart
 
3.7
"WHAT I LOVED: I read various poems and short stories written by Edgar Allen Poe as early..."
The Vanishing Stair
 
4.0
"THE VANISHING STAIR continues the TRULY DEVIOUS plot as Stevie returns to the enigmatic private school, Ellingham. Stevie becomes more..."