Trouble with a Tiny t by Merriam Sarcia Saunders (March 2021, Capstone, for ages 8 to 12)
Westin Hopper can't sit still. His ADHD brain constantly gets him in trouble. He's always thinking about something else instead of paying attention in school and at home. As if that's not enough, his parents are divorced and argue a lot, he's constantly bullied at school, and his best friend, Josh, no longer wants to be around him.
Drawing is the only thing West cares about.
West finds a magic pouch that belonged to his missing uncle, and discovers it can bring his thoughts to life. His toy T-Rex comes to life and it's tiny at first, but then it starts growing. West also brings to life a squad of headless Army men, and then a Thor, who marshalls the Army men to keep the T-Rex at bay.
If it wasn't for his new friend Lenora, West wouldn't be able to handle it all. Lenora helps West realize that his drawing talent may be the answer to dealing with the mess he's created. And West helps Lenora deal with her feelings about her mother.
How West and Lenora help each other through this bizarre situation makes for a great read. This is fast-paced and fun, with plenty of humor and warmth and honesty about neurodiverse kids and bullying. West is such a likable character, I was totally invested in his conflict. In fact, I was so involved, I actually had trouble putting this down to make dinner yesterday!
Merriam is a specialist in learning and behavioral disorders. Here's her professional website.
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