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Book no.1

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Queenie Jean Is In Trouble Again

When ten-year-old Queenie and her family move from small-town Ontario to a glitzy suburb of Vancouver, she is desperate to fit in and make a best friend for the first time in her life. With her creativity and bubbly personality, Queenie arrives at Western Canada Preparatory School ready to win over her classmates and conquer the world. But even before the first bell rings, she finds herself in trouble.

From always being late to talking out of turn to never being able to focus, Queenie stands out like a sore thumb, especially among the cool girls she wants to impress. Hardest of all, she has a secret. She’s been diagnosed with ADHD, and she hates how different it makes her feel. After struggling to navigate her new world, dreaming up ill-advised schemes to make the other kids like her, she must face her greatest fear of all: making a speech in front of the whole school that will show everyone her true self.

Reviews

Author Christine Read shines a light on the thoughts and feelings of kids with ADHD in her debut middle-grade novel, Queenie Jean Is in Trouble Again.

Queenie is a Grade 5 student who gets herself into a lot of predicaments. She’s excitable, talkative, exuberant, forgetful, and impulsive. New to Vancouver, Queenie is looking for a BFF (best friend forever). She attempts to befriend Kenneth, who is not amused by her suggested nicknames of “Kenny” or “Ken,” and Chloe, who is more interested in Queenie’s cute older brother and hanging out with the cool kids at the country club.

Despite her best efforts to fit in, Queenie’s days are filled with chaos and disarray. Queenie encounters a lot of upper-case challenges, including a “Horrible Awful Brother,” her new “Very Important Principal,” and her “Horrible Awful ADHD.” When she loses track of her school calendar on the second day of class and forgets her gym clothes, her mother says, “You know how you lose and forget everything.” When the school calls, her father asks, “What did she do this time?” 

Queenie is short on allies. While her teacher Miss Smart is understanding and calm, and the vice-principal is empathetic, it’s Queenie’s mom who advocates for her unique behavioural needs. When Queenie decides to sell her artistic pencil cases at school to make money for her GIC, it’s her dad who celebrates her entrepreneurial spirit, while the principal makes her pay the profits back to the school.

Although she is a procrastinator, Queenie eventually has a breakthrough moment during the “Life-or-Death Speech Competition” when she speaks her truth as a left-handed ADHD kid, and wins a hard-earned victory among her classmates.

The author beautifully captures both the universal feelings of a misfit and the unique characteristics of kids with ADHD. Many readers will understand Queenie when she expresses such negative self-talk as, “I’m such a loser,” and “Shame washes over me.” The diary-like illustrations with misspellings give us a sense of Queenie’s challenges and inner world. The book’s final pages offer facts on ADHD with helpful tips for teachers.

Queenie Jean is a new underdog hero to all creative, energetic innovators and disrupters who are poised to harness the strengths of neurodiversity and forge new paths.

- Quill & Quire

“Enter the world of a spirited, neurodiverse fifth grader with ADHD...Queenie’s first-person voice, marked by rambling monologues and bursts of creative thinking, conveys her inner world and good intentions. Her narration includes misspelled emails and lists, which will be relatable to readers who have similar difficulties. Queenie’s parents support her patiently and with humor and help her navigate emotional outbursts, focus on her homework, and integration into her newschool. In the end, Queenie's resilience is symbolized by her crossing a swinging bridge that she's terrified of, foreshadowing her ability to overcome fear, stigma, and academic barriers. Short chapters and comedic moments make this an appealing read.”

Kirkus Reviews

"Incoming fifth grader Queenie and her family, who read as white, have just moved from Ontario, where Queenie is hoping for a fresh start—and a new best friend. But mishaps seem to follow her everywhere: first, gum stuck in her hair necessitates an unwanted haircut. Then she gets in trouble at her new school for not following its many rules, including, “No student shall cross the road alone.” Bubbly Queenie worries that her ADHD—which sometimes makes it hard for her to stay still, wait her turn to speak, or filter her remarks—will lead to more predicaments. Her fears are realized when the popular girls Queenie hopes to befriend bully her. Still, others show kindness, including her teacher and classmate Kenneth, who appreciate Queenie for the boisterous, good-hearted person that she is, and who help her navigate challenges surrounding dealing with her older brother, the upcoming school speech contest, and further bullying.Queenie’s ADHD, as well as her desire not to be defined by her diagnosis, are organically portrayed, and her adventures, her confidence in herself, and her upbeat life outlook make her an exemplary protagonist for Read’s joyful slice-of-life debut."

Publishers Weekly

“Queenie Jean's firecracker of a personality bursts right off the page of this warm, funny tale about ADHD and fitting in. She may be Trouble with a capital T, but her humour and good intentions shine right through, and (usually!) win the day. I was rooting for her, all the way!”

—Sally J. Pla, award-winning author of The Someday Birds and other novels for young people

“I tumbled my way through this lively, funny, heartwarming book, rooting for Queenie on every page. Queenie Is in Trouble Again takes readers deep into the daily struggles and triumphs of a kid with ADHD, while never letting issue eclipse character or story.”

—Maggie de Vries, writing coach, mentor, and the author of twelve books, including teen novel Rabbit Ears

 

“Queenie's struggles are very relatable for many kids with ADHD. Her bumpy journey of self-advocacy, skill-building, and finding meaningful connections is both validating and inspiring!”—Dr. Karen MacMillan, Registered Psychologist; mother of two daughters with ADHD; executive co-director of Foothills Academy in Calgary, Alberta (serving the LD and ADHD community)

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