Tuesday, August 4, 2009

ADHD & Me--Blake Taylor (book review)

It was the subtitle that got me: What I Learned From Lighting Fires at the Dinner Table. That, and the fact that Blake Taylor was 17 years old when he wrote this memoir/guide to living with Attention Deficit Disorder with hyperactivity.

Having navigated through expulsion from preschool, a disastrous move in 6th grade, and the San Francisco Bay in a sail boat, Taylor offers advice on handling the obstacles many people with ADHD face (and, as an added bonus, why sailing into the San Francisco Bay without permission is a bad idea.)

Taylor organizes ADHD & Me by typical traits, with chapter headings like Being Bullied and Being Disobedient. Each chapter has three parts: a personal anecdote, a description of the cause and effect of the trait, and suggestion solutions. The anecdotes are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and always well-written and insightful.

This would be a great book for parents and teachers dealing with ADHD, or for middle- or high school teens who tend to be disorganized or not to fit in with their peers. Taylor is young enough to be a peer to these kids, and successful enough (now in college at Berkeley) to be an inspiration.

The Soundtrack: Footloose, by Kenny Loggins.
You're playing so cool
Obeying every rule
Dig way down in your heart
You're burning, yearning for some
Somebody to tell you
That life ain't passing you by

Publication Info: 2007, New Harbinger Publications, 176 pages.


  1. Sounds like a good book for me to read and my son to read when he is older.

  2. At 17 writing a book on this disease is amazing! I have heard about this but know near to nothing about it.

  3. I've known a few people with ADHD, so I know a little bit about it. It's not just something kids struggle with; adults do as well.

  4. Shannansbooks, it really is a great one for both parents and kids.

    Veens, I agree! He seems like an outstanding young man.

    Rich, Since you brought it up: There's a great book for adults with ADHD, called Driven to Distraction, written by a psychiatrist with ADHD. I would recommend that one over this one for adults coping with ADHD, but this one for teens.

  5. Yeah, I've read that book! It's a wonderful resource with lots of straight talk on the subject. I definitely recommend it too!

  6. I wish this book had been around when I was younger. Of course, I did not know I had ADD until I was 28. But, it would have made such a huge difference in my confusing world. Now I read up on it as much as I can. I am still learning how to deal with its effects, especially disorganization and forgetfulness. I think impulsiveness is the one I have the most under control now. Anyway, thanks for sharing this book. :)

  7. My best friend has a son with ADHD and life is very 'different' for him at times.

    This sounds like a VERY good book for them to read.