Friday, February 24, 2017

No One Needed to Know (Book Review)

NOTE: I received this book free from the author/publisher requesting an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's rules and guidelines.

One of the best parts of being a blogger is that I have been able to connect with so many amazing people around the world. Author +Donna G. Driver is one of those people. For my latest book review, I read her novel No One Needed to Know, a story about a young girl coping with the challenges of having an older, autistic brother.

In this very sensitive novel about autism awareness and bullying, Driver develops characters that are realistic and evoke sympathy. Although written with middle grade students in mind, even I became quickly engrossed in the characters. I really adored Donald, but was sympathetic toward Heidi's situation as well. As a parent and former educator myself, my heart bled for these two children.

Adolescence is tough enough for Heidi without the embarrassment of her brother, Donald.  She is much more interested in sports than boys and could care less about what the popular girls consider cool. Still, she has managed to secure a spot in the inner circle of the popular clique - that is, until they find out Heidi's brother is "different." Donald is 16, but having been diagnosed with autism and ADHD, he acts much younger and needs constant care.

In keeping with the theme that people are afraid of that which they do not understand, once word gets out that Heidi's brother is developmentally disabled, a secret Heidi kept to herself for years, she becomes ostracized from her friends. Now, not only is her brother the victim of bullies, she too is being ridiculed and tormented by classmates who do not understand Donald or his condition. Naturally, Heidi becomes resentful of her brother whom she feels ruined her life!

This is an important novel that is as much about anti-bullying as it is about autism awareness. I hope schools and educators discover this story and encourage their classes to read it and discuss its relevant themes. It makes a perfect read for National Anti-bullying Day held each October. I am sure many middle grade children would benefit from Heidi's story.

I was lucky enough to chat with Driver about No One Needed to Know and what she has on the horizon! Look for her interview in my first Nik's Spotlight coming next week. 



Other novels by D. G. Driver reviewed on Lavender Inspiration

Cry of the Sea

Whisper of the Woods