HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Zipper: The Kid with ADHD
Author: Caroline Janover
Illustrator: Rick Powell
Publisher: iUniverse, republished 2007
Related website(s): http://www.Backinprint.com (publisher)
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 10 and up
Rating: **** 4 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Janover, Caroline. Zipper: The Kid with ADHD (Published in 1997 by Woodbine House inc., 6510 Bells Mill Rd., Bethesda, MD 20817). Eleven year old Zachary Winson lives with his father, a house builder, his mother, who runs a flower shop, and his younger sister Isabel. He is a fifth grader at Valley School, where his teacher is Mrs. Ginsburg and his best friends are Josh and Kip. Some people call him Zach, but most know him as Zipper. His grandfather nicknamed him that because when he was a baby he jumped up and down in his crib. Although Zipper is a very intelligent boy, plays baseball well, and is in Boy Scouts, he seems to have a lot of problems. He forgets things, fails to turn his class assignments in when they are due, loses his temper quickly, is tapping on something all the time, argues a lot, talks back, and is impatient. As a result, he doesn’t have a lot of friends and is frequently in trouble at school.
What is the cause of all these problems? Is there anything that Zipper can do to help with them? And will he ever get better? Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has been a big item in educational news over the past few years. I know this from having scheduled homeschool conference seminars and workshops on the subject. On the one hand, I suspect that ADHD has been grossly overdiagnosed in a lot of cases and far too many naturally active young boys have been zoned out on mind-altering drugs just to get them to sit still for eight hours a day in school. On the other hand, the evidence seems to show that in some children ADHD is real, although the root cause may often be more environmental than biological, and some treatment may be required.
Zipper: The Kid with ADHD could be used to show kids with ADHD that there are ways of dealing positively with their condition and to help those who don’t have it to be more sympathetic towards those who do. Parents may want to know that Zipper must write an apology to a teacher because he “whispered the F word,” his dad and mom both drink red wine when the family goes out for pizza, and Isabel mentions how her mother hates birds because of the time when “that sea gull pooped on her hair up in Maine.” In the back of the book, there is an appendix with more information about ADHD and suggested resources. Author Caroline Janover grew up with dyslexia, received a master’s degree in special education, and has a son who was diagnosed with ADHD in the first grade.