Title: No One Needed to Know / Length: 138 pages / Publisher: D.G. Driver / Publication Date: January 15, 2017 / Genre: Coming of Age, Empathy, Social Issues / Ages: 8-12
Hedi is just starting middle school. And she’s also beginning to realize that her life and her family are not quite what she always thought; her playful brother has a learning disability and he gets bullied at school. What’s worst, she now feels ashamed of him and wants to keep his existence a secret from her new “friends”. Of course, such a secret can’t be kept for long. Soon, the popular girls’ clique in her school finds out. This puts Heidi in a very awkward position, as she is now being treated the way other kids treat her brother. But how is she going to be able to get out from such a mess?
No One Needed to Know is a middle grade level book by author D.G. Driver, loosely based on her own experience of growing up with a brother with special abilities. The book is very engaging and an easy read; I read it in couple of days, my 8 year-old daughter in one afternoon. The characters and situations are heart-felt, moving and deeply real. This makes it a wonderful way to expose how it feels have or be close to someone with a physical or mental challenge. The way Heidi solves her problem is close to what my own daughter’s school is doing: the best way to combat segregation and misunderstanding is by teaching, informing and letting kids be kids and play together. However, this needs to be achieved in a somewhat controlled environment, where adults can be there to assist, answer and teach of new ways to interact and be together.In the case of our school district, LAUSD, most children with different abilities are now integrated into the school environment, and given aides if they need them. For this reason, having a well-written book that talks about this themes is extremely timely and useful. My daughter enjoyed reading it a lot, as the book also gave her a closer view of what it is like to deal with these challenges. After reading it we discussed the different themes and strategies that the main character used and she opened up to talk about what she felt and the fears she had about approaching children with developmental or physical challenges. That alone makes the book an important read, both by parents and their children.
Note: I received a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review.
About D.G. Driver
D.G. Driver loves to write for young adults and middle grade readers. She writes book with diverse characters and that cover difficult topics like caring for the environment or people with special needs. She has several contemporary fantasy novels published by Fire and Ice Young Adult Books. No One Needed to Know is her first Middle Grade book about bullying and Autism Awareness. Her first adult romance story is in Second Chance for Love, and she has published fantasy stories in the books Fantastic Creatures, Tomato Slices, and A Tall Ship, a Star, and Plunder. You can learn more about D.G. Driver and her books at her website or follow her on FB, Twitter, Pinterest or Tumblr.