Bookblog featuring book reviews, info on writing festivals, courses and other literary events.
Welcome to the book blog of writer and creative writing tutor, Diane Paul.
Thanks to the publishers and kind PR people who send me books and releases about their clients' books for review. Press releases and review copies of fiction and non-fiction are always welcome. (No sci-fi, fantasy or erotica please.)
Due to the barrage of requests from self-published authors for reviews, I'm unable to deal with them all, although I'm sometimes drawn to non-fiction for the subject matter. And because I love print books, the smell, the touch of the paper and the sight of the words, I don't have an electronic reader or review e-books.
A cute new idea for helping children understand where they're coming from has been launched in time for ADHD Awareness Week - that's this week, 19-25 September. It's all about raising awareness of this confusing condition and it's aimed at reaching children themselves. While parents and other adults find it hard enough to comprehend Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with all its co-morbid connections and the accusations flying around that they don't know how to bring up their children, ADHD children themselves must be even more in the dark about what's wrong with their 'norm'.
What's Up With Astra?
Medikidz explain ADHD
Now Medikidz, who publish a range of graphic novels to explain childhood illness imaginatively in comic form, have come up with a great ADHD comic book, beautifully produced in bright primary colours to explain ADHD to the kids that suffer from it. It's authored by Dr Kim Chilman-Blair and Marvel Comics expert, John Taddeo, who contributed to the drawings; and it's peer reviewed by Professor Peter D Hill. In it, Medikidz, a team of five super-heroes from planet Mediland are on a mission to explain clearly the medical background to ADHD; each of them is an expert on a different part of the body. I found it great fun and enjoyed reading it - it's a lot clearer than some of the ADHD websites I've come across so maybe adults should read it too. It explains how the brain works in the case of ADHD sufferers and outlines the main symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Where we parted company was the recommendation of drugs as the main antidote, followed by therapy and that side effects were mild. I wouldn't want my child to be pumped full of chemicals, certainly not in the long term, if other solutions were out there, not to mention the millions, yes the steadily risiing millions of £s these stimulants cost the NHS each year. I wondered if Medikidz was backed by a drugs company as we see their adverts so often on school wall charts and info packs under the guise of educational resources but it seems the series is put together by a medical team with a bright idea. However, in the UK, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines stress that medication should be used in extreme cases only and that side effects should be monitored regularly as some can be more severe than others. A good site to check out is http://www.handle.org/ based in the USA where alternative drug-free methods are used to help control ADHD symptoms with a high success rate. Dr Chilman-Blair said: 'There is a great amount of confusion about what ADHD is and why it occurs and while this information is often explained to parents, the children themselves are often overlooked.' Log on to http://www.medikidz.com/ to find out more and buy a copy of the book (or get it from http://www.amazon.co.uk/).
ADHD: The Essential Guide
by Diane Paul
While we're on the subject of ADHD information and it's ADHD Awareness Week, I might as well throw in a plug for my own book, launched at the end of 2008. This is a guide for parents and carers of ADHD children and it pulls together all the disparate info parents need in one place. This includes ADHD's definition, the signs and symptoms, causes, what parents should do, the drugs controversy, talking and alternative therapies, nutrition, support from schools and families and transition to adulthood as yes, it may get less of a nuisance but it doesn't necessarily go away. There's a big help list so you can find all the organisations to contact and a long list of recommended books and research material. It can be obtained from bookshops, amazon and the publisher at http://www.need2knowbooks.co.uk/