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54 Things Wrong with Gwendolyn Rogers: A book review

My opinion on a book about mental health and asking for help.

By Paige Published about a year ago 3 min read

I recently stumbled upon this book at my local bookstore. I looked at the cover and it intrigued me. Especially the title I decided to look it up when i got home to see if I would be interested in reading it. When I read the summary.

It made me want to read it even more. As someone who falls under the umbrella term Neurodivergent. Books like this are super important. It gives us a chance to see what it's like for a fictional character to go through some things we neurodivergent people experience daily. This book follows Gwendolyn Rodgers or Gwen.

As she learns to navigate her life as a child whose neurodivergent, Gwen accidentally reads her IEP. (individualized education plan.) and creates a large list of things she deems wrong with her that she read from her IEP report that was done when she was young.

Gwen believes that all these things are her fault. Gwen struggles a lot and this book is about her learning how to figure out to help herself and those around her. This story is a mystery in a sense as we try to figure out what could be affecting Gwen's ability to handle school and other aspects of her life. This book also explains the hard process of getting girls diagnosed properly and being able to get the proper treatment and accommodations.

Throughout the story, we see Gwen struggle emotionally and physically. Gwen believes she can be cured of whatever is causing her fifty-four problems. Not realizing that her problems are actually not as bad as they seem. (Especially because the IEP report is outdated by more than three years.) This book explains the struggles of a child who can't get the proper help. Gwen also was afraid to get help because those around her didn't believe she had a problem. Often times some kids can understand they are different and try to reach out for help.

But the adults around them only punish or get frustrated at them instead of actually trying to help them. These kids end up thinking they themselves are a problem instead of having an issue that can be managed and treated. The importance of showing neurodiversity in media has become a huge part of our modern society. However, there are issues that crop up because of the stereotypes placed on different mental health conditions. (Such as OCD being neat and tidy, Autism being only for young, white males who like trains, or ADHD is only being hyperactive and nothing else.

All of this is false.) Gwen eventually finds her way after a lot of struggle and she learns to accept who she is. Books like this can teach people so much about neurodiversity and how it can affect anyone around them. This book is amazing at teaching kids about differences and the way this book explains ADHD and other mental differences is a great way to teach others. Especially kids about how everyone's minds work differently and how you might be able to help.

Gwen feels so different from everyone else and she's jealous that other kids around her don't get in trouble the same way she does. Since the teachers around her don't understand her they make her life harder and Gwen struggles a lot. She hates that she can't remember things and that other kids can. She feels left out and lonely. Any person who is Neurodivergent can explain just how hard it is to be social and make connections because you might be awkward or uncomfortable. This book explains these details that are often overlooked. I love how this book made me feel after reading it. I loved the style of writing, the plot, and the twists and turns. There are also parts where Gwen points out some of her behavior that's included in her list so you can better understand where she's coming from and how she's listed her behaviors. This book has the message of it's ok to be different and need help. There's no need to feel ashamed or that you can't be helped. Everyone can get help. Sometimes you just have to find a new way.

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About the Creator


Hi, I'm Paige and I love to read and write. I love music and dogs. I mostly will write about my favorite things. Enjoy

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