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Carolyn Mackler: Not If I Can Help It

October 21, 2021

    Not If I Can Help It is a fiction story about a young girl named Willa and her journey with having a processing disorder. Willa's parents have been divorced since she was seven years old. Her best friend, Ruby also has divorced parents, so the two of them share a lot of the same experiences and feelings. Willa sees an occupational therapist for her processing disorder. She claims that her disorder makes her very weird from everyone else which is why she keeps it hidden from everyone, including her best friend Ruby. After school, Willa and Ruby were asked to meet at their favorite ice cream shoppe. When they got there, both Willa's dad and Ruby's mother were there. They shared with the girls that they had been dating each other and were, "very much in love." Ruby was in aww of them both, but Willa was furious. She did not want to share her life with anyone else because she did not want to share her disability with anyone else but her real family. 

    After an engagement and the moving in of Ruby and her mother, Willa became more flexible and willing to share her living space. From the beginning of the story until the end we learn that Willa really wants a dog, specifically a golden retriever. She does a great job seeing her occupational therapist, handling her disability, and adding new stickers to her behavior chart. By the end of the story, Willa's dad and new stepmother take the family on a road trip to pick up a golden-doodle, a new puppy for the whole family.

    I think that this book is a great read, especially for individuals ages 8-12 years old. I think it would be great for grades 3-12. It is a great book that can either be read aloud in class, or on a shelf in the classroom for students to read. This book would even be a great read for some adults who have or are experiencing the same situation with their families. Students who do have a processing disorder could relate a lot to this book and maybe even pick-up some helpful strategies from it. 

Mikayla Price

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