ELIZA BING IS (NOT) A BIG FAT QUITTER for Marvelous Middle Grade MIDWEEK

After posting my last thoughts on Joey Pigza, little did I know another ADHD main character was to follow with this bonuseliza-bing-jkt review. A friend with twin 8-year-olds was looking for recommendations for a first MG book after they had exhausted the chapter book selections. I thought of many Beverly Cleary titles to get them started, but soon after found ELIZA BING…  and I promptly read it over a four day period.

Eliza is on meds for her ADHD, but it’s a much calmer and sweeter story than what you’d find in Joey Pigza’s world. There aren’t really chapters but section headings as Eliza narrates the story in the same way she thinks. Issues of friendship, sticking to a task, and preparing for middle school would give a new MG reader an nice introduction to this contemporary genre. Older MG readers may pass on this one, but girls diagnosed as ADHD might benefit from checking this one out. You get a clear understanding that ADHD doesn’t have to control everything you do in life.

PUBLICATION DATE:2014   WORD COUNT: 34,250  READING LEVEL: 4.1

FULL PLOT (From Amazon):  In this uplifting novel about determination and the rewards of hard work, a preteen girl struggling with ADHD must stick with a summer taekwondo class to prove that she s dedicated enough to pursue her true passion: cake decorating.

FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT ELIZA BING… by Carmella Van Vleet

  1. It’s fast paced with Eliza stating an initial thought for each scene, then taking us through what got her to thinking that way. Some are a few lines while other last several pages.  An interesting approach to get us into the mind of Eliza.
  2. Yes, an actual two parent family. Lately, I’ve been wondering if that doesn’t happen in MG books. Here it is portrayed with an honest look at a Mom who is working while the Dad is changing careers. They both love Eliza with their own unique relationship.
  3. Eliza has an older brother. She’s 11 and he’s 15. Many families share this dynamic. You see the realistic balance of disdain and friendship these two siblings go through. Yes, they often aren’t the others favorite person, but when needed they are there to rescue each other.
  4. You’ll understand the range of subtle to striking differences that come with an ADHD child. Eliza learns to persevere and find other ways of succeeding.
  5. With taekwondo featured throughout the story, you learn not only about the discipline it takes to learn, but also many Korean words. There’s a nice glossary in the back covering all of their meanings

FAVORITE LINES:

Heads up: I’m switching channels. I do that sometimes.

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About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
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4 Responses to ELIZA BING IS (NOT) A BIG FAT QUITTER for Marvelous Middle Grade MIDWEEK

  1. This sounds like an interesting read. ADHD is much less common in girls than boys, so it’s interesting that this MC has that issue. There certainly is room in the market for such a book. Thanks for the review.

  2. agree, two parent family seems lacking in MG so glad to see it’s in here.

  3. a big Ki-hahp to you for this review – how did I miss it last week? not paying attention, I guess (and how appropriate, especially for this book)

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