Cover Reveal: Focused by Alyson Gerber

Happy Thursday! Alyson Gerber dropped by to chat with me about Focused's cover, ADHD, Clea, and story. I wrote the words in purple, and she wrote the words in black. Thank you, Alyson! 

Focused's cover is better than I ever imagined. There is something beautiful and complicated, yet hopeful, about the girl and the chalkboard. Elizabeth Parisi did an incredible job designing a cover that illustrates what Focused is about, and as soon as I saw it, I cried.

This book means so much to me, because like Clea, I struggled in school—academically and socially. I spent most of my childhood feeling like there was something wrong with me and like I wasn’t trying hard enough. It wasn’t until my early twenties, after my much younger brother—a seventh grader at the time—was tested for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, that I was finally diagnosed. It took me a long time to come to terms with my diagnosis, to accept that ADHD and intelligence are not connected, and to see that thinking differently can be a wonderful and powerful advantage. My hope is that readers, especially kids who are struggling in school and in other parts of their lives, can find themselves and their strengths in this book. And that all readers come away rethinking and challenging what it means to be smart.

Focused tells the story of a twelve-year-old girl named Clea, who is caught between her love of chess and her ADHD.

Braced and Focused are both stories about girls faced with major challenges, who have to find the courage within themselves to be strong and fight for what they want. In Braced, Rachel gets a back brace to treat her scoliosis, and in Focused, Clea is diagnosed with ADHD.

Story is a chance to relate to someone else’s experience, to learn and listen to a new perspective, to find yourself, and to feel heard.

Explore Alyson's website. 
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me: How I hope Focused can impact readers. My hope is that Focused resonates with every reader in ways that make them appreciate themselves and others. I hope this book, and Braced, helps readers treat everyone as they’d want to be treated—as unique and important with so much to offer.

Look for Focused on March 26, 2019. 


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