Title : Hyper Harry
Author : Patricia H. Aust
The author Patricia H. Aust is a well informed person on ADHD as she had been on the CT Task Force on ADHD and was a school social worker working with children who had severe ADHD, while she wrote this book.
The story of 8-year old Harry is narrated in the voice of his elder brother 12-year old Ted, who finds it extremely challenging to deal with behavioral peculiarities of Harry. Many times he wants to avoid Harry but he also wants to help him when Harry gets into trouble because of no fault of his own. But it leads to situations when Ted finds himself confused and disturbed.
The story brings out the feelings, emotions, frustrations, desperation and turmoil of a young adult sharing space with a hyperactive sibling and what all it needs from him/her to be a compassionate, understanding and loving brother or sister.
I have a couple of books dedicated to the symptoms of ADHD and how some of them can be mitigated with medication, continuous therapies and tender love and care but this is one of a few books which have brought the feelings of a sibling in the forefront and that I feel, is commendable.
Taking cues from her experience while working with children with ADHD, Patricia does mention how medication helped Harry to a certain extent but it cannot completely eliminate the problem. Through Hyper Harry, she has tried to address this problem keeping in mind the mental state and stress every individual of the family goes through trying to grapple with the situation. I found the story and narrative having a lot of potential, however, I felt the soul was missing from it. Somehow, it did not move me the way usually such stories do and should do. If I have to give one suggestion, I feel the parents role could have been discussed in a little more detail but this is my personal view.
The author recommends this book to be read with the child who is suffering from ADHD but I am not so sure about it. I would suggest parents to use their own discretion in considering this option.