Tween Title: Not If I Can Help It by Carolyn Mackler

Hey everyone, it’s Sarah!

I have read a few books by this author before, but I was excited to see that she had a new middle grade novel coming out. I am always excited to find that next solid middle grade novel because typically my library readers fall between the children’s and teen section.


Willa’s parents divorced awhile ago and she finally got used to these changes. Along the way, she got her own bedroom. This allowed her to self soothe in privacy, because when she is feeling overwhelmed it doesn’t help when she thinks others are around watching her.  Willa hasn’t told her best friend about her sensory disorder and wants to keep it a secret, but when she finds out that her dad is dating her best friend’s mom, she will do anything to keep them apart and keep her home world separate from her friend world. However, her rejection of this relationship is causing trouble in her family and with her friend. These changes are hard and Willa is struggling to cope. With compromises from both her and her loving family and friends, they may find a way to peacefully exist in this new family space.


I think this was an approachable novel into a main character with sensory processing disorder. This book talks about the fact that you may have a friend with something more going on, but they can still be a friend and have likes/dislikes/and fun. I thought that there was a diverse element brought into the narrative without it feeling forced, but a reflection of the real world. It was a solid book that deals with changes.



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